SINGAPORE: People — yes, we’re looking at you, Westerners — may be wary of the so-called “King of Fruits,” but the durian is well-beloved in Asia and has enduring popularity among many, including, it seems, Madam Ho Ching, the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Mdm Ho extolls the virtues of the durian in her most recent, and true to form, lengthy pinned social media post. Calling the spiky, aromatic fruit “highly nutritious and energy dense,” she noted that “All in, durians are a good way to counter the typical loss of nutrients in the simplified diets of the elderly who may find chewing of food difficult, and so gradually lose interest in eating.”

Fun fact: the calorie count for 100gm of durian pulp durians may differ depending on  country of origin, “84 for Indonesia Hejo to 185 for Thai Kradum durian,” she added.

And durians have no cholesterol and are rich in antioxidants, vitamins C and B, and fibre.

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And some good news for diabetics, “Although there is sugar, it has low glycemic index, and can be eaten in moderation by diabetic patients, compared to other sugary fruits like watermelon.  The glycemic index of less than 50 is considered low and hence does not cause a sugar spike.”

Mdm Ho explained that this is because durians have “good” fat that helps counter “bad” LDL cholesterol and added that “animal studies have shown that durians help to beneficially reduce blood glucose sugar as well as cholesterol.”

However, like everything, durians should also be consumed in moderation.

She also noted that one of the “major downsides” of the fruit is that it’s potassium-rich, and people with kidney problems may be unable to pass the excess potassium efficiently.

Mdm Ho added that durians also contain protein, similar to guavas and even more than jackfruit.

Plus, they promote bone health because durians are high in potassium and magnesium.

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Durians are also rich in folate, vitamin C, various vitamin B, as well as trace element nutrients like zinc, copper, and manganese,” she added.

She ended her post by summarizing the durian’s nutrition facts:

One cup (243 grams) of pulp provides (from 1 study):

  • Calories: 357
  • Fat: 13 grams (monounsaturated)
  • Carbs: 66 grams
  • Fiber: 9 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Vitamin C: 80% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Thiamine (B1): 61% of the DV
  • Manganese: 39% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 38% of the DV
  • Potassium: 30% of the DV
  • Riboflavin (B2): 29% of the DV
  • Copper: 25% of the DV
  • Folate (B9): 22% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 18% of the DV
  • Niacin (B3): 13% of the DV


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