Ah, durians. One of the most popular fruits in Singapore, and for good reason. It tastes great, whether you cut it open yourself or buy the pre-packaged ones.
Aside from the taste, this fruit is also known for its supposedly overwhelming disgusting smell. While I thoroughly disagree with that assessment, enough people think so that it has been banned from public transportation in Singapore.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the signs on the MRT that show what you can’t do on the train. Unfortunately, the durian has been lumped in with offences such as eating, drinking, smoking and carrying flammable goods.
Despite the popularity of the durian, there are still several misconceptions about the delicious “King of Fruits”. As Singaporeans, we have an unofficial duty to put a stop to these durian myths.
So, we’ve done the research and will confirm the validity of 5 durian myths that you may have heard of.
Durian Myth 1: Durian Is Fattening
First, let’s look at the durian calories from different parts of the world.
Malaysian durian is 41g and contains 32.14 calories. It contains 0.56g of fat, with 0.17g of that being saturated fat and comes with 6.25g of carbs.
Meanwhile, a Thailand durian seed (which is fully edible) is 27g and contains 44.55 calories. It contains 1.11g of fat, with 0.3g of that being saturated fat and comes with 7.99g of carbs.
While many eat the durian raw, there are some who end up putting durian in many different pastries and delicacies. Here’s the nutritional information for those foods.
An average durian chendol is 398g and contains 408.75 calories. It contains 19.22g of fat, with 16.64g of that being saturated fat and comes with 53.25g of carbs.
An average durian mooncake is 25g and contains 102.35 calories. It contains 5.28g of fat, with 2.03g of that being saturated fat and comes with 12.44g of carbs.
An average durian cake is 90g and contains 196.2 calories. It contains 14.22g of fat, with 9.36g of that being saturated fat and comes with 13.14g of carbs.
An average durian pancake is 50g and contains 83 calories. It contains 2.49g of fat, with 1.5g of that being saturated fat and comes with 13g of carbs.
An average durian puff is 30g and contains 76.5 calories. It contains 4.83g of fat, with 2.9g of that being saturated fat and comes with 6.87g of carbs.
An average durian ice kacang is 450g and contains 274.5 calories. It contains 5.4g of fat, with 2.52g of that being saturated fat and comes with 49.95g of carbs.
According to the HPB, here are your recommended dietary allowances.
Age 18-29: 2721 calories, 90.7g fat, 30.2g saturated fat, 408.2g carbs
Age 30-39: 2606 calories, 86.9g fat, 29.0g saturated fat, 390.9g carbs
Age 40-49: 2606 calories, 86.9g fat, 29.0g saturated fat, 390.9g carbs
Age 50-59: 2606 calories, 86.9g fat, 29.0g saturated fat, 390.9g carbs
Age 60-69: 2249 calories, 75.0g fat, 25.0g saturated fat, 337.3g carbs
While that seems like a lot, do remember that everything you eat usually has a little bit (or a lot!) of each. However, most of these don’t seem too bad, aside from the durian chendol, durian cake and durian ice kacang. Just be sure to eat it moderation. If you are craving the King of Fruits, maybe the raw ones are the way to go.
Verdict: Mostly Wrong
Durian Myth 2: Durian Has A Lot Of Cholesterol
This one is definitively wrong. Durian by itself does not contain any cholesterol at all, regardless of which part of the world it came from. According to HPB, among all the different durian pastries and foods discussed earlier have a grand total of 0 cholesterol. Well, aside from the durian puff, durian chendol and durian cake.
These foods either contain cholesterol (although not a lot), or contain saturated fat, which increases your level of bad (LDL) cholesterol. So, if you find that your cholesterol level is spiking, it might be best to go raw instead of eating durian pastries. It’s for your own good!
Verdict: Somewhat Wrong
Durian Myth 3: Drinking Alcohol With Durian Will Kill You!
It sounds pretty outlandish, doesn’t it? Of course it does, it’s not true. While this myth may have been prevalent since your grandparents were young, research disproving this exact topic has been around for just as long.
According to a report in the Singapore Medical Journal in 1969, this myth is just that, a myth. A test was done on mice with no results. However, this myth is not completely wrong and has probably just been exaggerated for decades.
In the same report, it mentions how durian is not easily digested due to the high amount of sugar and starch. This, coupled with alcohol, could cause a disturbance in your digestion.
The durian given to the mice was also excessive in relation to its size. Coupled with the alcohol, the mice were said to be “unsteady in gait”. So, it is possible that excessive consumption of both could be problematic for digestion. However, durians and alcohol are definitely not a pair of unseen killers.
Verdict: Completely Wrong (& Somewhat Exaggerated)
Durian Myth 4: Durian Is Nutritious
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the durian is actually fairly rich in nutrients. It contains many vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium & potassium. If you want to be healthier in general, such as having lower blood pressure, better skin and stronger muscles, chow down of some of the spiky fruit.
Durian Myth 5: Durian Is An Aphrodisiac
There’s been a lot of myths about how the durian can boost your libido, but sadly no scientific research has proven this. Yet. The Government of Malaysia has shown interest in investigating the matter.
However, it might take a while for anything to be proven. If you’re hoping that the King of Fruits can spice up your sex life, then be on the lookout!
By Muhd Farhan