Debunking Common Thanksgiving Food Fallacies

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It’s the season for friends, family, and of course EATING! I feel safe to say that most people put their diet on the back burner on Thanksgiving. Let’s debunk some Thanksgiving fallacies which are often misinterpreted as true.

  1. Eating turkey makes you more tired.

The real reason we feel tired after eating turkey is due to the amino acid called, tryptophan. When eaten, tryptophan converts into serotonin then ultimately ends up in the body as melatonin. We’ve all heard of buying melatonin over the counter to help relieve restless nights. Melatonin is natural hormone found in our bodies to regulate our internal clocks for when we fall asleep and when we wake up. The more tryptophan you eat, the more tired you will feel.

2. Cranberry sauce is the healthiest food item on the Thanksgiving table.

The truth is that cranberries itself are one of the healthiest superfoods due to its high amounts of antioxidants. When sugar is added to make the cranberry sauce to form a gel and enhance the naturally tart taste, the more empty calories are added.

3. Dark meat is not good for you.

Dark meat is a good source of iron and zinc when compared to white meat. Eat dark meat without the skin to lower the amount of saturated fat. Just watch the portion size. For reference, a size of a deck of cards is the recommended portion size.

4. Wheat rolls are healthier than white.

A common misconception of wheat bread or rolls for that matter are healthier than the white counterpart. Typically molasses is used to obtain the brown coloring in wheat bread or rolls. If you want to serve a healthier roll at your Thanksgiving table look for the term “whole grain” instead of “wheat.”

5. Sweet potatoes are healthier for you than regular white potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are a better source of Vitamin A, whereas regular white potatoes are a better source of potassium and Vitamin C. Each of these potatoes have good nutritional value but when topped marshmallows, brown sugar, and/or butter they tend to be calorie dense.

 

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