Thanksgiving is just days away and for most families, that means a turkey dinner with all of the trimmings. We want to help put two of the biggest turkey myths to rest.
1) Does our favorite Thanksgiving bird really make us sleepy?
2) Is white meat healthier than dark?
So…let’s talk turkey!
White vs. Dark meat –
Question: Do you prefer white meat or dark meat? And, other than personal taste, do you know the difference between the two?
Here’s the scoop:
Dark meat is darker in color because it contains more myoglobin (proteins) that are responsible for making sure that oxygen gets to a turkey’s muscle cells during exercise. For that reason, the thigh and leg muscles are darker in color. Turkey muscles that are used less often and contain little myoglobin are lighter in color.
So which is healthier?
Regardless of your personal preference for white or dark meat, both have a good source of protein. Dark meat has some nutritional advantages over white; as it contains more vitamins and minerals, particularly Vitamin B, iron and zinc. However, white meat tends contains less saturated fat.
So we think it is a draw. As long as you remove the skin either part of your turkey dinner is something to “gobble up”.
Does turkey make you sleepy?
Question: We have often heard that the turkey can make you pretty sleepy, why is this?
Here is the scoop:
L-tryptophan (a chemical found in turkey), is often to blame for those after dinner naps. However, many experts tend to disagree with that theory. As it turns out, turkey contains no more tryptophan than any other kind of poultry. In fact, turkey contains slightly less tryptophan than chicken.
Proteins like turkey, chicken and fish, are high in tryptophan, and actually require the assistance of foods high in carbohydrates to affect serotonin levels, ultimately making you tired. This is because carbohydrates serve as tryptophan's ticket to entering the brain quickly. So turkey plus mash potatoes can easily force you to an early bedtime.
Also, don’t discount the very full stomach that goes hand in hand with Thanksgiving. When you overeat, it takes a lot of energy to digest your food. Making it a bit more difficult to use your energy to clean the dishes and have a long chat with your relatives.
Hope this helps give your dinner table a bit more conversation when carving your turkey on Thanksgiving. Make sure to send us any other questions you may have about those traditional holiday health myths!
We at BODIES want to wish you a wonderful day filled with love, laughter and lots of turkey.