Are there foods that you should never eat with durian, because they will make you sick… or even worse, kill you?!
Take a look at these viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : These Are Foods You Should Never Eat With Durian!
Durian has long been popular in South East Asia, and yet, there are so many myths and misinformation about this King of Fruits.
Many of these myths and misinformation have been circulating on social media, and spread on websites.
Even TikTok influencers, like a certain Malaysian Dato, are trying to ride on the durian gravy train to Internet stardom.
Here is a list of foods these “Internet gurus / experts” claim you should never eat with durian, because they will make you sick… or worse, kill you!
- White wine / alcohol
- Crabs / seafood
- Beef / mutton
- Brinjal / Eggplant / Aubergine
- Mangosteen / Lychee
I will add more, as and when I find new foods that people believe are dangerous to eat with durian.
Truth : You Can Eat These Foods With Durian!
The truth is – these claims are made up by self-professed Internet gurus / experts who have absolutely NO IDEA what the heck they are talking about, and here are the reasons why…
Note : Some of these claims are based on Chinese traditional medicine “beliefs”. I can only tell you what has been scientifically proven or known.
Fact #1 : You Can Drink Coca-Cola While Eating Durian
There is no scientific basis for the claim that Coca-Cola or other soft drinks are dangerous to drink while eating durian.
Coca-Cola and other soft drinks are nothing more than flavoured carbonated water with a lot of sugar in them. They do not interact with durian to produce anything toxic.
However, it is not advisable to imbibe in durian and soft drinks often, as they are both very high in calories.
Fact #2 : You Can Drink Coffee While Eating Durian
There is no scientific basis for the claim that drinking coffee while eating durian can increase your blood pressure and cause a heart attack!
In fact, there are many companies selling durian coffee – basically coffee with durian extracts. Such drinks would have caused many deaths if this claim was true.
It is possible that this false claim originated from a 2018 case in Penang, Malaysia; where two Nepali men were hospitalised after drinking durian coffee that had been tampered with an unknown drug.
The coffee mixture also contains a foreign green substance which is not available in the original packaging. There is a marked difference in weightage, contents and packaging.
The instant durian coffee mixture is laced with a kind of drug, which has yet to be identified, based on the symptoms shown by the two men.
Besides, heart attacks are caused by blockage of your heart’s arteries, by blood clots and arteriosclerosis that develop over years. The mixing of durian and coffee cannot produce instant arteriosclerosis or blood clots.
Read more : Can Coffee Compounds Cure / Prevent COVID-19?
Fact #3 : You Can Drink Milk While Eating Durian
The claim that drinking milk after eating durian is lethal, because it will increase your blood pressure and cause a heart attack, is nonsense.
It is also not logical. Heart attacks are caused by blockage of your heart’s arteries, by blood clots and arteriosclerosis that develop over years. The mixing of milk and durian cannot produce instant arteriosclerosis or blood clots.
Fact #4 : You Can Drink Some Alcohol While Eating Durian
It is claimed that drinking alcohol while eating durian can cause severe indigestion, heartburn and even death. Allegedly, the high sulphur content in durian helps to break down the alcohol in your body… killing you?
As you can tell, even the premise behind this claim is ridiculous – how does the higher metabolism of alcohol injure or kill you? If the high sulphur content in durian increases metabolism of alcohol, it would allow you to better sustain higher levels of drinking!
It is really the other way around – durian have disulphide (disulfide) compounds that may have a disulfiram effect.
Popularly known as Antabuse, disulfiram is a drug that prevents our body from properly metabolising alcohol, causing unpleasant side effects like headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, chest pain, hyperventilation, vertigo, etc. – what you would experience with an alcohol hangover.
A single 2009 laboratory study showed that the raw durian fruit has disulphide compounds that inhibit up to 70% of the acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzyme, potentially producing the disulfiram effect. However, this has not yet been confirmed in actual human or animal studies.
There is, therefore, no actual scientific basis for the claim that drinking alcohol while eating durian is dangerous. Even if the disulphide compounds in durian do produce a disulfiram effect, it will only cause hangover-like effects that are unpleasant but won’t kill you.
However, out of an abundance of caution, it would be a good idea to limit your alcohol intake while eating durian, while monitoring for the disulfiram effect. If you do experience it while eating durian, you should stop consuming alcohol.
Read more : Timah Whiskey Brand Sold + Moving To China?
Fact #5 : You Can Eat Crabs / Seafood While Eating Durian
This myth is based on TCM belief that crabs / seafood are “cooling” while durian is “warming” or “heaty”.
Apparently, they believe that it is not good for “cooling” and “warming” foods to mix in your stomach, because it “confuses” the digestive system and causes the stomach to be “upset”.
This belief is not backed by any scientific evidence. It isn’t even consistent – TCM practitioners also advise against mixing alcohol and durian because they are both “warming” foods.
There is no reason or evidence that eating crabs or any kind of seafood with durian, or after eating durian, is bad or dangerous in any way.
Fact #6 : You Can Eat Beef / Mutton While Eating Durian
This myth is based on TCM belief that beef and mutton are “warming” or “heaty” foods. Apparently, they believe that eating two “warming” foods together increases the “heatiness” of your body, and cause inflammation.
There is simply no scientific evidence that any of that mumbo-jumbo is true, never mind any actual evidence eating beef or mutton with durian causes any harm.
These false claims are not even consistent. In Fact #5, I shared how TCM believes the opposite is also true – that mixing “cooling” and “warming” foods is bad.
Read more : Can You Eat Durian Before / After COVID-19 Vaccination?
Fact #7 : You Can Eat Brinjal / Eggplant With Durian
This myth is based on TCM belief that brinjal / eggplant and durian are both “warming” foods, and that eating them together will make you sick by increasing the “heatiness” and inflammation of your body.
Again, this is utter nonsense that has no scientific evidence or basis whatsoever.
Fact #8 : You Can Eat Mangosteen / Lychee With Durian
Now, this is a real test in logic. TCM practitioners say that mangosteen and lychee should not be consumed with durian because… get this – they are “cooling” and “warming” foods respectively!
Mangosteen + durian is apparently bad because mixing “cooling” and “warming” foods confuses the digestive system, leading to an upset stomach.
Lychee + durian is apparently bad because mixing two “warming” foods increases your body’s “heatiness” and causes inflammation.
Twisted yourself into a pretzel trying to figure this nonsense out? Don’t bother.
There is simply no scientific evidence or basis whatsoever that it is dangerous or bad to eat mangosteen or lychee with durian.
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Warning : Please avoid creating TikTok videos after eating durian, because it apparently makes you Tok Kok (talk cock)!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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