LOVE it or hate it (though most Malaysians love it!) durians are a fact of life in our part of the world. Being such an integral part of the local culture, no visit from a foreign relative or friend is complete without dragging your hapless relation to a durian store to see where on the "acquired taste" spectrum they fall on. Once considered a seasonal fruit, nowadays the mighty durian is available all year around though some have wondered if this was actually a good thing. Some have even said that consuming too much of this odiferous fruit might lead you to folly. They've even gone as far to say that durians, among other things, can cause your cholesterol levels to spike so should be consumed infrequently.
Is it true that durians are high in cholesterol?
Thankfully, durians do not cause your cholesterol levels to spike.
Furthermore, some studies suggest that durians actually have significant cholesterol fighting properties.
Which makes sense as the fruit is reasonably high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats which help lower your bad LDL cholesterol levels.
One study in 2019 by researchers from Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin also found that Malaysian, Thai, and Indonesian durian varieties showed that durian possessed numerous good effects.
Study concluded that it's anti-hyperglycaemic meaning it lowers your blood sugar level. It's also anti-atherosclerotic (stops the thickening of your arteries) and has probiotic effects.
The study even suggested that durian was anti-proliferative, meaning that it could slow down the growth of malignant cells.
Aside from the 'super-food' sounding attributes, it is also high in various vitamins and minerals.
Aside from the cholesterol myth, another popular one is that eating durian and drinking beer at the same time may kill you.
There is no scientific evidence to show that this is a lethal combination nor has there been any recorded cases so this too, is just a myth.
What might be going on is that the combination might cause bloating and indigestion as your liver has to work extra hard to metabolise both the fats and sugars from the combination.
Another myth is that durian is a 'heaty' fruit. This might sound controversial, but heaty-ness is not an accepted medical condition known to modern to modern medicine so to each their own.
If anything, durians are a little bit too nutritious as they're also high in sugars and other carbohydrates. This seems at odds with its anti-hyperglycaemic qualities but there most likely is some mechanism involved that requires more study. Nevertheless, it is something to consider if sugar is a concern for you.
In conclusion, as with anything good in life, feel free to indulge but please do so in moderation. Also, if you happen to have any medical conditions please talk to your doctor first before making any decision that will impact your diet.