Durian Facts and Myths You Haven’t Heard About Before

My dad has the biggest love for Durians, especially Musang King. If having more than thousand pictures of different pantones of Durian in a phone is not love, then I don’t know what love is. In fact, his favourite birthday gift so far would be the three box of Durian I sent him earlier this month from my first paycheck. He never ever asks me for anything except to bring home some durians when it’s in season.

Kredit: utaranews.com

His love for durians doesn’t come without a challenge though – he has to go through a lengthy lecture from my sister telling him how the king of fruit is also the king of cholesterol. When that happens, my dad will spend time googling the Internet to build up his argument but somehow, he is always outnumbered. So instead, he turns into a little kid who sneaks out to the fridge to have his limited dose of the fruit.

To my dad and everyone out there who has to defend your argument just to have a bite of the fruit, this post is for you! No more wondering what’s true and what’s not. Butterkicap is going to spill the durians right here and now to tell you the truth behind the king of fruits.


Durian is an enemy to those who are watching their sugar

Fact. If you are on a strict diet trying to get that summer body or fit into that old dress of yours, then Durian is not your bestest of friends. The average one kilogram-sized durian has nearly 1,350 calories, which is 68% of the daily 2,000 calories recommendation for an average adult. It also contains high sugar content – sucrose, fructose, and glucose. That is also why durian is not recommended for people with diabetes. A little fun fact: do you know that even the seed of durian has calories in it? Although no one would eat the seed anyways, a 40-gram seed has approximately 54 calories.


Overindulging the “hot” fruit can cost you a cough and even fever

Depends. The answer depends on your medicinal practices. Long story short, in the traditional Chinese medicine, different temperatures, and flavours influence the body in specific ways. When one indulges too much of one type of food, it can create an imbalance in the body. In this case, durian can generate a heat imbalance in your body due to its warming nature.

For people whose body constitutions are predisposed to heat, overindulging durians may trigger a cough, sore throat, fever, and constipation. On the other hand, Western medicine deems that it is scientifically possible for durians to cause a slight increase in one’s body temperature, but it does not necessarily constitute to cough, fever or any respiratory functions. Instead, the rise in one’s body temperature is due to the metabolic and chemical processes that occur due to the digestion of the dense fruit.


Credit: kataoceanview.com

Durian and alcohol are lethal

Uhm, not exactly. The truth is, no scientific evidence has conclusively supported the deadly idea yet. Here’s the thing. Some people feast on durian and the next hour, and they suffer from indigestion, feeling bloated and general discomfort due to the high content of carbohydrate and fibre. Then comes their wrong decision of consuming alcohol which is an aggressive heat trigger.

One aggressive heat trigger times two is equal to an imbalance of the body’s yin and yang balance. Besides, your liver will be exhausted from processing the excessive amount of carbohydrate and fat. The imbalance will cause an unsettledness to the body accentuate existing medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and other severe health risks. So yes, it can get dangerous to the point you feel like dying, but it is not lethal.


Rumour has it that durian is rich in nutrients as much as it is in flavour

Fact. If you think durian is just rich in flavour and aroma, you are wrong. They are naturally rich in vitamin C, Vitamin B complex, iron and fibre. Thus, it is an excellent choice to improve muscle strength, blood pressure, skin health and bowel movements. The high dietary fibre content is known to reduce the risk of colon cancer. It also supports the nervous and immune system while enhancing the red blood formation concurrently.

If you have trouble sleeping in the night, durian may be the solution you need. Surprisingly, durian has an exceptionally high content of essential amino acid, tryptophan which produces melatonin, serotonin, and niacin which regulates sleep and radiate happiness feeling.


Credit: lukaret.com

Durians come in together with mangosteen

Myth. Whenever you visit a durian stall, they will always have mangosteen along with it. Rumour has it that durian and mangosteen goes hand in hand together because mangosteens reduce the heat of eating durians because of its cooling property. However, there is no scientific research to support the conventional Chinese wisdom.

A reasonable reason for the habit of eating durians and mangosteens together probably started based on the fact that they grow and harvest at about the same time. Of course, there is no harm in eating them together so you can continue to do that. Please do!


A surprising member of the aphrodisiac family

Myth. I know Valentine’s day is still months away, but in case you’ve thought of durian already for that day… well, too bad, so sad. The belief may all start from the old Javanese saying of “durian jatuh, sarong naik,” or literally “when the durians fall, the sarong goes up.”

Added to the research in India who found that male mice fed with durian over a 14-day period demonstrated an increase in their sperm count and mobility, the claim became viral. However, it isn’t so for humans. While the warm nature may cause a soar in the body temperature, it doesn’t qualify the fruit an aphrodisiac. At the end of the day, it is ultimately not a part of the aphrodisiac family.


Durian spikes your cholesterol level

Here goes to the question everyone has been waiting for. Drumroll, please. Well, this is actually a myth. So, hip hip hurray people! If anyone tells you durian is high in cholesterol, you can say now confidently say no! Tell them that they would not find a trace of cholesterol in durian.

Yes, zero. In fact, it actually contains heart-healthy mono-saturated fats which may help to lower your level of triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein, or what you probably know as “bad” cholesterol. However, there’s a but! Durian contains a small amount of harmful saturated fat which is closely linked to heart disease. So, always follow the rule of thumb to eat in moderation.



So, how many are too many? Although it is highly nutritious, like any other food intake, it is best to eat durian in moderation. Perhaps, two to three seeds will suffice for healthy individuals. For those with particular health problems, it’s best to consult with your doctor for advice and dietary suggestions.

But in any case, the next time someone tells you otherwise, flash them this post through your phone or better yet, share this post with all your social media and emails! There’s no one who can tell you “no” anymore!

Regina Wiriadinata

Hello there, pleasure to meat you.. oops, I mean meet. Hunger tends to get the best of me, which happens almost 24/7. You can probably find me at a gelateria, holding triple scoops of gelato in a cone. Please donut talk about my diet because I always end up with a slice of cake at the end of the day.

Love Malaysian food and culture? Find Malaysian recipes and stories on culture here in the Butterkicap community. Join us.

Sign up for Butterkicap

Tweet us 

Show the world just how amazing Malaysian food is.

Hashtag us at #butterkicap

Please check your feed, the data was entered incorrectly.