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Dates Found To Protect Arteries

New research at the Rambam Medical Center and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa has shown tht while dates are sweet, they don't raise blood sugar levels and even help protect against atherosclerosis.

According to a study by Technion professor Michael Aviram, soon to be published in the Journal of Agriculture  and Food Chemistry, dates offer a bonanza of health benefits.

"There was a suspic thats dates are sugar bombs, " said the Technion/Rambam researcher. But studies on healthy people found that eating a little under four ounces of dates a day for a month did not cause an increase in blood sugar, while it did significantly bring down levels of triglyceride fats in the blood.

It was also found that eating dates suppresses the the oxygenization of cholesterol. It is this oxygenation that causes fatty plaque to stick to the blood vessels in the heart and in those leading to the brain. Eating dates also improves cholesterol profiles.

Aviram, who has long studied the impact of specific fruits and vegetables on health,was the first to cite the benefits of pomegranates, red wine and olive oil in suppressing the development of heart disease and stroke.

He studied two date varieties - Halawi and Medjool - and found that Halawi dates were slightly better at protecting against artherosclerosis than the Medjool, though both were demmed beneficial.


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