THANKSGIVING FOOD MYTHS

• Does turkey really make you sleepy?

While turkey has tryptophan protein that increases serotonin levels, why would foods containing the same products like chicken and fish not linked to sleep induction? The high rate of post-meals malaise may be caused by eating high amounts of carbohydrates, including potatoes and sugary desserts. I always tell my clients to consider eating something before a thanksgiving meal to avoid the temptation of overeating, especially the carbs.

• Is canned pumpkin less nutritious than fresh?

Well, not really, because their nutritional value is almost similar. For instance, a single half cup of each one offers the recommended daily requirement of vitamin A. Both products can also give other valuables, including iron, potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. The only small difference is how fresh pumpkin seeds can be used to modify different dishes.

• Post-meal is the best time to take a Thanksgiving nap (we should take a walk instead)

No. Instead of a nap, why not take a walk? A nap can delay digestion and cause potential stomach issues. But I recommend walking to help enhance digestion and reduce blood sugar amounts. I always tell my clients that a simple 10-15 minutes’ walk is enough.

• Cranberries require a ton of added sugar to taste good

The short answer is no. Adding sugar is unnecessary to these great and colorful fruits. Added sugar may only ruin the healthful benefits brought by antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin C and fiber.

• Turkey dark meat is less healthy than breast meat

Whether dark or breast turkey, a thermometer should tell the doneness of the portion being served.  The USDA body recommends a temperature of 165 degrees. Therefore, avoid the thought that breast is healthier when heating is the main thing that brings color difference, but the contents are the same.

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Barbara is a freelance writer and a sex and relationships adviser at Dimepiece LA and Peaches and Screams. Barbara is involved in various educational initiatives aimed at making sex advice more accessible to everyone and breaking stigmas around sex across various cultural communities. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys trawling through vintage markets in Brick Lane, exploring new places, painting and reading.

MS, University of Tartu
Sleep specialist

Using the acquired academic and professional experience, I advise patients with various complaints about mental health - depressed mood, nervousness, lack of energy and interest, sleep disorders, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts and anxieties, difficulty concentrating, and stress. In my free time, I love to paint and go on long walks on the beach. One of my latest obsessions is sudoku – a wonderful activity to calm an unease mind.

MS, Durham University
GP

The work of a family doctor includes a wide range of clinical diversity, which requires extensive knowledge and erudition from a specialist. However, I believe that the most important thing for a family doctor is to be human because the cooperation and understanding between the doctor and the patient are crucial in ensuring successful health care. On my days off, I love being in nature. Since childhood, I have been passionate about playing chess and tennis. Whenever I have time off, I enjoy traveling around the world.

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