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The 10 Dumbest Diet Myths


9. Don’t Eat Turkey and Drive!

The way most people talk, you’d think the holiday turkey was made of dark meat, light meat, and Ambien. Others, supposedly more knowledgeable, believe turkey makes you sleepy because it contains the amino acid tryptophan, which is a precursor to the relaxation, feel-good hormone, serotonin.

Yes, turkey contains tryptophan, but so do all complete protein sources. Besides, tryptophan is a large, clumsy amino acid that has a hard time squeezing its molecular frame through the doggie-doors of the blood brain barrier.

When tryptophan is ingested as part of a complete protein, some of the other smaller, more nimble amino acids get to the blood brain barrier first and block tryptophan’s clumsy attempts to get through.

Now, if you were to ingest tryptophan on its own, it’d be a different story. With no competition, it might manage to squeeze through the barrier in large numbers and do its serotonin thing. But the notion that turkey makes you sleepy is horseshit, or rather turkey shit.

What’s likely making you pass out into the leftover puddle of gravy on your plate is the enormous, fat and carb-laden, 3,000 calorie meal you just ate as an homage to gluttony, not to mention grandpa’s special holiday drink, which is just shots of Wild Turkey whiskey.

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