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Registered dietitian takes on some Thanksgiving food myths

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(CNN) — On Thanksgiving, as folks gather around the table with friends and family members to enjoy the Thanksgiving feast, a registered dietitian offers some holiday food myths.

We hear ideas tossed around during the holidays — such as, turkey makes you sleepy, and desserts can lead to acne — but these are actual myths.

Turkey does contain a chemical called tryptophan, which can act like a natural sedative, but turkey doesn’t have any more than many other foods.

“Even if we overdo the turkey, we’re not eating that much tryptophan to really cause us to be sleepy,” Registered Dietitian Julie Schwartz said.

Consuming too many calories is what puts us in our post-meal slumber, not the tryptophan.

Another myth is that drinking alcohol will cure a hangover. Actually, dehydration after a heavy night of drinking is what usually causes a hangover.

“If you can eat something and drink a lot of water, that would be the ideal way to cure a hangover,” Schwartz said.

It is also a myth that ingredients in desserts can cause acne. Rather, it’s touching a greasy holiday treat and then touching your face that may lead to a flare-up.

It is a myth that eating stuffing can give you salmonella and make you sick? Well, that depends on how you cook it!

“When we stuff our turkey and we don’t get the temperature up to at least 165 to make sure that we’ve really killed off all that bacteria, then we can get salmonella,” Schwartz said.

The best advice is to cook all stuffing whether inside or outside the bird to 165 degrees.


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