Five Thanksgiving Myths Gobbled Up

Thanksgiving can fill us up with many things: turkey, pumpkin pie, those canned cranberries, but if you’re not too careful, it can fill your brain up with silly little myths. Thankfully (please excuse the pun), we nailed down the top five Thanksgiving myths and told them to hush up and pass the salt.

Myth #1

There will be a food coma.

This is a bit true, but it’s important to understand why and how it can affect your health. The ANS (Autonomic Nervous System) acts as a control system below the conscious level. It is divided into two sections: the SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System) and the PNS (Parasympathetic Nervous System). When you eat turkey, simple carbs, and sugars, they rush through the body faster, causing the body to release a massive flow of insulin. In healthy bodies, this is okay because the insulin cleans the blood. The cleaning creates that lethargic feeling. The larger the meal, the more the body has to work. But you are risking more than just a longer naptime. The cells involved in this process are weakened, increasing the risk of ruptured blood vessels, and increasing cholesterol and high triglyceride levels, ultimately leading to heart attacks and strokes. To avoid the Thanksgiving conundrum, don’t fast the morning of, stay hydrated and for goodness sake, pace yourself!

Myth #2

Thanksgiving originated in the United States.

Thanksgiving is about giving thanks to those around you and the harvest you are about to indulgently consume. Thanking the earth for its bountifulness is not new, hence the abundance of harvest festivals during the autumn season. However, in 1621, the first recorded gathering of the Wampanoag Tribe and the Plymouth colonists is often considered the “first” Thanksgiving. It was only a couple of centuries later that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday

Myth #3

Turkey is the meat of choice.

While a turkey may be the only other thing your hand resembles, it is not necessarily the only meat option for your November feast. In fact, it may not have been the only option for the first Thanksgiving participants. While birds like turkeys were economically easier than say ham, venison, aka deer, was usually a more sound option.  Turkey is still considered a holiday essential though in the United States, just check out the annual numbers from census.gov:

For every year,

4 million turkeys are raised.

13.8 pounds of turkey are consumed.

$1.33 is the retail cost per pound.

Myth #4

Everyone watches the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

While it certainly is a crime to miss the parade, it was not always a must- have for the bird-day feast. The Macy’s parade began only in 1924, but several other cities like Detroit and Philadelphia held massive holiday parades right before their harvest feasts. The Macy’s parade has quickly gained prominence. Maybe it’s those Radio City Rockette legs, maybe it’s the Broadway musical previews, or maybe it’s even Mr. Kris Kringle himself. Whatever it is, about 3 million people line the streets every year, and about another 50 million people turn on the tube to watch it at home.

Myth #5

Black Friday is the best day for holiday gift deals.

Black Friday boasts of one time discount deals, but this is simply not true. The holiday season is a long one, and according to the Wall Street Journal, vendors need to seriously compete, so they’ll be offering great deals throughout the ho-ho season. Black Friday is not even the biggest shopping day (while it remains in the top five); think about the day before Christmas. The moral of the story: there is no need to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to get a good deal on a pair of reindeer themed cozy socks.