Holiday health myths

By Elizabeth Temple - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – Myths pass through generations often starting with, "mother always said…" Holiday myths like Thanksgiving turkeys make you sleepy and poinsettias are poisonous can become so common, they become believable.


Turkeys contain tryptophan which can cause drowsiness, but, there's more tryptophan in foods like pork, cheese and chicken so its not so much the tryptophan as it is that you're eating a huge meal," said Dr. Steve Springer, family physician at Lake Charles Medical and Surgical Clinic. The stuffing, green bean casserole and turkey all add up to a full tummy. Your body then releases insulin, lowering your blood sugar and making you feel tired.


Poinsettias are a classic holiday decoration, but many people are scared to touch or let their children near the plant. An American Association of Poison Control Centers study looked at over 20,000 cases of human poinsettia-ingestion. Not one person was poisoned and 96% of the poinsettia-eaters did not need to see a doctor.


Many people resign to gaining a little holiday weight each year, but in Louisiana we have more than just November and December to worry about. Mardi Gras extends our holiday season and the opportunity to gain more weight. Dr. Springer suggests trying to stay weight neutral and says if you can stay the same weight you have essentially lost pounds.

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