Myths and truths about your Thanksgiving feast revealed - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Myths and truths about your Thanksgiving feast revealed

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

All the Thanksgiving goodies like turkey, stuffing, potatoes, rolls and mac and cheese could add up to about 4,000 calories consumed this holiday. And, after most people eat, they are ready for sleep. So, is it really the turkey's fault or did you just overeat into a coma?

"It's really a huge amount of calories and the hormones levels in our body that makes us feel so tired and so sleepy," Dr. Mona Khanna explains. "We also get sluggish because the blood now is going to our digestive system to help us digest that enormous meal we just had."

The turkey might be dry, but experts say it's not going to put you to sleep. While the bird has a lot of tryptophan, an ingredient that makes us tired, it's really from all of the fat and protein the eggs, cheese and milk that can make us all yawn.

"Don't blame it on the turkey---blame it on the fact that we've been pigging out," says Dr. Khanna.

Now, how about those sides? Do you like mashed potatoes or the sweet ones? They're good and both have health benefits. White potatoes loaded with butter are filled with calories, while sweet potatoes can be a healthier choice.

"They contribute to Vitamin A," says Dr. Khanna. "A is great for vision, also important for healthy skin, healthy eyes, healthy teeth. Mashed potatoes on the other hand give us Vitamin C which ward off colds."

The average American will gain anywhere from one to three pounds on Thanksgiving Day. It's not just the main plate that gets us; it's the seconds and even thirds…and of course, the booze.

Dr. Mona says pace yourself between martinis and meals, drink lots of water, and make sure you don't stuff the turkey too soon.

"The problem is if you stuff the turkey and you leave it sitting out, it's an opportunity for bacteria to get in there," she explains.

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