Debunking 4 common myths about durians

From Mao Shan Wang to D24 and D13 durians, there is no other fruit with a smell pungent enough to evacuate 600 students and staff from an Australian university building¹ — yet with flesh so creamy that it draws its fans in droves!

However, durians still have a reputation that’s shrouded in myths. Let the truth reign as we debunk 4 common myths about the King of Fruits!

Myth 1: Durians are high in cholesterol

It’s high time to get clear on this one — the answer is no! There is no cholesterol² in the flesh of this spiky fruit. Instead, you’ll find heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that can lower triglyceride levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as “bad” cholesterol³. While durians do still have a small amount of saturated fat³, they are also rich in polyphenols such as flavonoids and carotenoids that can help protect cardiovascular health⁴!

Myth 2: Durians aren’t sugary

Durians may pack a nutritious punch, but they’re also an energy-dense fruit brimming with carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are actually a form of sugar that’s regarded as an essential macronutrient for the body to run smoothly⁵. Diabetics should take note, however, that over-consumption can spike blood sugar levels. Alas, too much of a good thing can be a thing — enjoy the fruit in moderation as always!

Fun fact: Depending on its size, three durian seeds can contain between 20 to 30 grams of carbohydrates. That’s equivalent to the sugar in half a can of regular Coke⁶!

Myth 3: Eating durians with alcohol will kill you

This is largely an urban myth. This is because durians contain high levels of sulphuric compounds that are known to be “heaty” and can affect certain individuals’ ability to process alcohol⁷. It’s believed to worsen possible symptoms such as severe facial flushing, nausea and migraines⁸. You may feel slightly ill, but your life definitely won’t be flashing before your eyes!

Myth 4: Durians are heaty and must be eaten with mangosteens

This misconception is rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that believes in the balance of “yin” and “yang” for optimal health⁹. The king of fruits is considered to be abundant in male “yang” energy and therefore, heaty¹⁰. Durian’s abundant “yang” can only be counteracted by the female “yin” energy of foods such as mangosteens, a fruit that’s actually said to have the most cooling properties out of any known plant¹¹. This earned mangosteens its moniker as the Queen of Fruits!

However, there is no scientific proof that mangosteens actually counteract the heatiness of durians — it may simply be that in the harvesting time for durians and mangosteens are both from June to August¹².

Salivating over durians already? It’s the season* to discover the wide variety of durians available at your nearest FairPrice store**!

From now till 31 July 2021, you can pre-order the premium varieties you love in-store easily too! Simply approach any staff in this special fluorescent green vest and they’ll be happy to assist you.

All pre-orders need an advanced notice of:

2 days: 20 boxes and below
4 days:
20 boxes and above

Pre-order(s) and collection are to be made at the same store. Locate your nearest store here.

* The end of durian season may be in mid or end August, depending on availability. While stocks last.
** Unavailable at FairPrice Shop. Terms & conditions apply.

***

References:

¹ Reinfrank, A 2018, After a durian causes university evacuation, here are five other incidents with the pungent fruit, South China Morning Post, viewed 24 June 2021
² ⁶ Soh, A, Chia, B & Chew, H.G, Five myths about durians, Raffles Medical Group, viewed 24 June 2021
³ Poon, C.H 2015, Durians’ thorny issues: Experts debunk 5 commonly-held beliefs about the fruit,  The Straits Times, viewed 25 June 2021
⁴ Mount Alvernia Hospital 2021, Durians – are they good for me?, viewed 25 June 2021
⁵ Edermaniger, L 2021, Carbs vs sugar: what’s the difference?, Atlas Blog, viewed 26 June 2021
⁷ Khoo, B.K 2020, Can you get allergies from eating durian? Why is drinking alcohol a no-no?, CNA Lifestyle, ChannelNewsAsia, viewed 26 June 2021
⁸ Tan, A 2021, Will mixing durian & alcohol kill you? We uncover the myth, Uncover Asia, viewed 27 June 2021
⁹ gutCare 2020, Myth or fact: the effects of heaty and cooling foods, viewed 6 July 2021
¹⁰ HealthHub 2018, What do ‘heaty’ and cooling’ really mean?, Ministry of Health Singapore, viewed 8 July 2021
¹¹Love Grace 2015, Mangosteen: the ‘coolest’ fruit on Earth, viewed 27 June 2021
¹² Yeoh, J 2013, Eating mangosteens after durians will cool your body down, Says, viewed 28 June 2021

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