Despite its foul odor, durian boasts a record number of enthusiastic defenders, not to mention several noteworthy health benefits. Nevertheless, gobbling down too much of it may also have some undesirable, yet harmless side effects ranging from indigestion and belching to mild weight gain. Whether you are an avid durian eater or simply cannot stand its vivid odor, you know it is never a good idea to eat too much of it at once.
While it may supply important nutrients, not to mention powerful antioxidant compounds, durian can prove to be a problematic food as well as it can disrupt normal digestion, raise blood sugar levels, interfere with liver activity and even cause mild weight fluctuations. Such undesirable effects are often the result of eating too much durian at once, but are never too serious or permanent.
This means they will most likely disappear in a few hours, as soon as your body manages to digest the generous amounts of the fruit you indulged in. But in no way will pairing durian with alcohol, milk, soda or eggplants have life-threatening effects. And there is research to prove it. However, side effects may occur and can be unpleasant enough to warrant moderation when eating durian. Find out below what are the main 5 reasons why you shouldn’t eat too much durian.
List of side effects
1) Belching. Whether you enjoy a generous serving of durian or a not so generous one, it is fairly common to experience eructation afterwards. While this is only temporary and no reason for serious concern, your burps will smell just like the fruit you ate which might or might not bother you. Choosing varieties with a less powerful odor might help a little.
2) Bloating and stomach discomfort. You might feel a little stomach discomfort if you eat too much durian at once, mainly because of its dietary fiber content which tends to bloat more sensitive people. However, pairing durian with alcoholic beverages might result in more unpleasant abdominal cramps because the fruit inhibits a certain liver enzyme needed for the proper disposal of toxins in alcoholic beverages.
3) Indigestion. As mentioned above, pairing durian with alcohol was found to cause mild to severe indigestion, the severity depending on how much durian and how much alcohol have been consumed. Research suggests that the sulfur compounds in the fruit inhibit the activity of a liver enzyme that breaks down alcohol, resulting in longer digestion time and toxin elimination. Durian is already a calorie-rich food, so adding alcohol will make things more difficult for the stomach and liver, hence the indigestion.
4) Rise in blood sugar levels. Durian fruit are rich in natural sugars and eating large amounts will cause blood glucose levels to rise. This is why diabetes sufferers either have to avoid the fruit altogether, or eat it sparsely and in low quantities, depending on their doctor’s recommendations.
5) Weight gain. Last but not least, durian can cause weight gain when consumed in large amounts with regularity. This happens because the fruit is rich in calories (147 kcal/100 g) and natural sugars that are often partially deposited as fats by the body for future use. Having an overall balanced diet and exercising regularly should prevent such undesirable side effects.
Debunking durian myths
There are many awful stories surrounding the durian fruit, but, luckily, the truth is already out there, allowing for the durian name to be cleared of all fiction. This being said, remember what science has to say about these top durian myths:
1) Pairing durian and alcoholic beverages is not life-threatening, just unpleasant as your stomach and liver have to work harder to digest the sugars and fats in the fruit, along with alcohol, according to a 2009 article from New Scientist magazine. But drinking too much alcohol, with or without anything else, might lead to a serious intoxication that can potentially be life-threatening. Similarly, durian and soda drinks or coffee may not be an ideal combination.
2) Eating durian and drinking milk will not cause a heart attack. There is no scientific basis to prove such a claim. Moreover, durian fruit lack cholesterol and saturated fats and are a good source of magnesium, potassium and dietary fiber, which makes them quite heart-friendly. Not to mention that durian ice cream is one of the most popular desserts among durian enthusiasts.
3) Combining durian and eggplants has to do with taste preferences and was shown to have no relevant impact on one’s health. However, some people may be allergic to eggplants which means that they should avoid the vegetable altogether.
4) Eating mangosteen after durian. The urging to eat mangosteen after eating durian (apparently for health-related reasons) is a myth that probably has to do with the two fruit ripening and becoming available at the same time. Yes, durian is rich in calories (147/100 g of fruit) and eating calorie-rich foods may cause your body temperature to rise slightly, but this is only the result of normal digestion processes, so there is no need to indulge in mangosteen as well after a generous serving of durian. Be kind to your stomach and eat smaller servings. See benefits of durian.
Overall, durian is a great fruit and an excellent source of essential nutrients such as vitamin C, B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper and zinc. It is rich in antioxidants and boasts many wonderful health benefits, as long as you eat it in moderation. If the taste is to your liking and you believe it can redeem the fruit as a whole, then it can only make a great addition to your diet.