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Love or Hate the King of Fruits, Durian

LifeCare Diagnostic

August 4, 2021

The durian season is here again! Have you satisfied your craving and get the king of fruit amidst Covid 19 pandemic?

 

In celebration of the durian season, here are some fun nutrition facts about durians:

  1. Durian is a nutritional powerhouse
    In terms of nutrient contents, the durian flesh is rich in vitamin B, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Durian may seemingly appear to be a good source of nutrient, but as most known, it is also high in calories and carbohydrate. A small durian weighing about 602 grams has approximately 885 calories which is equivalent to 44 per cent of the daily value based on a 2000 calories diet [1]. Because of this reason, one should not overindulge this energy dense to prevent excessive daily energy intake, which may lead to unintentional weight gain. Additionally, this king of fruit also offers great source of dietary fiber. In fact, the fibrous texture is almost similar to sweet potatoes. Therefore, it aids in digestive system.
  1. People with diabetes need to limit their durian intake
    Durian is notoriously known for its high sugar content, such as fructose and glucose [2]. If people with diabetes consume it excessively, they may experience a rise in their blood sugar level. This might cause symptoms such as blurry vision and nausea. Hence, it is advisable for diabetic patients consume durian in moderation, and should always keep track and monitor the amount of carbohydrates consumed each time. As a general guide, people with diabetes should limit their durian consumption up to 2 seeds per day.
  1. Durian is not the main factor that cause one’s blood cholesterol levels to spike
    Durian has a bad reputation of being fattening. There is misconception that durian can increase cholesterol levels. Contrary to belief, durian contains no cholesterol. In fact, it is a rich source of monounsaturated fats (MUFA) which may help to lower an individual’s LDL (bad) cholesterol, which in turn, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke [2]. In other words, if
    one wish to lower their total and LDL cholesterol levels, it will be best to focus on other dietary
    component like saturated fat and trans-fat.
  1. Durian helps to improve mood and sleep quality
    Durian contains essential amino acid, tryptophan which serves some crucial functions in our body. During the process of digestion, tryptophan gets converted to serotonin which may induce feelings of relaxation and improved mood. Tryptophan is also converted to melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep cycle and may help people to fall asleep easier. Therefore, by eating durian in moderation, it may even help to increase sleep quality.
  1. Durian may cause unwanted temporary health effects when eaten with alcohol
    Durians contain a sulphur compound which can slow down the alcohol metabolism in our body. It is strongly not recommended to consume durians and alcoholic beverages on the same time as it may lead to bloating, ingestion, and a worse-than-usual hangover [1]. In addition, the liver also has to work extra hard to process the sugar and fats in the durians.
  1. A myth of saying mangosteen must be eaten together with durian
    Traditionally, durians are eaten alongside with mangosteen, also known as the Queen of Fruit. These two fruits are often paired as people believe mangosteens are a “cooling” fruit that counters the “heatiness” of the durian. There is no scientific research proven, but mangosteens and durians share a harvesting season which explains why they are often sold together.

In a nutshell, durian is considerably a highly nutritious fruit despite of its extraordinary look and unique aroma. It is always advisable to consume in moderation. To get the most benefits out of durians, the recommended intake of durian is about 2 to 3 durian seeds per day for an
average person. For those who are durian lovers with health problems, it is best to consult your doctor and dietitian for dietary advice and suggestions.

Durian Nutrition Facts*

(Based on a serving of 100 grams (g) of durian, or about three seeds)

Nutrient Amount per 100g
Energy 147kcal

Energy

147kcal

Protein

1.47g

Total lipid (fat)

5.33g

Carbohydrate

27.09g

Total dietary fibre

3.8g

Minerals

Calcium

6mg

Iron

0.43mg

Magnesium

30mg

Phosphorus

39mg

Potassium

436mg

Sodium

2mg

Zinc

0.28mg

Vitamins

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid

19.7mg

Thiamin

0.374mg

Riboflavin

0.2mg

Niacin

1.074mg

Vitamin B-6

0.316mg

Vitamin A, RAE

2µg

Vitamin A, IU

44IU

Lipids

Fatty acids, total trans

0g

Cholesterol

0mg

References
[1] Durian: How Good (Or Bad) Is It For You? [Internet]. Raffles Health. 2021 [cited 29 July 2021].
Available from: https://www.raffleshealth.com/health-articles/durians-good-bad/
[2] A Aziz N, Mhd Jalil A. Bioactive Compounds, Nutritional Value, and Potential Health Benefits of Indigenous Durian (Durio Zibethinus Murr.): A Review. Foods. 2019;8(3):96.