From Science Daily:

“Food coma” is a term that comes to mind for many when it comes to celebrating Thanksgiving. But with mindful eating, the harvest holiday doesn’t have to be the husky holiday.

“Turkey doesn’t make you sleepy; eating very large quantities of turkey, stuffing, potatoes and pie makes you sleepy,” says Kim Sasso, a registered and licensed dietitian at Loyola University Health System. “Turkey does contain tryptophan, but so do yogurt, eggs, fish, cheese and other meats.”

Soybeans, she says, actually contain more tryptophan than turkey. “Because of transport and breakdown, not enough tryptophan will reach the brain to cause sleepiness after a holiday meal,” says Sasso of the popular myth. “Likely, the stressful hustle and bustle of the holiday, travel schedules, alcohol indulgence and cooking tasks will contribute more to fatigue than a few slices of turkey.”

L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid, a protein building block. The body does not produce amino acids, and therefore it is obtained from food.

Sasso regularly breaks down the effects of certain foods as she counsels clinically obese patients in the Chicago area. The Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care is designated a Level 1 facility under the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). To achieve this accreditation, Loyola had to meet a number of rigorous institutional performance measures.

Here are Sasso’s top tips for navigating the bounty of food at Thanksgiving:

• Don’t skip meals. “Eat breakfast and lunch so you avoid…

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