Holiday Hazards: How Your Favorite Days Are Actually Killing You (maybe)


The symptoms listed above are only applicable if food is consumed in copious amounts. Most can enjoy their Thanksgiving and Christmas in a normal fashion. Just beware that this can and might happen to you if you do not spend your holidays safely.

Berit Harwood, Staff Writer

As soon as you walk outside you can feel the familiar change in the air. It’s become crisp, a certain twang in the air. The leaves have passed just showing their new colors; they are falling off, making the trees bare in the fall season. As fall steps aside for winter, we all have one thing on our mind, Christmas. But, that’s not what the main “issue” on the table is. It’s Thanksgiving time!

Thanksgiving. The holiday we all know and love. Or at least tolerate. The one day of the year where we can eat as much as we like, calories and calories added to our diets. Everyone is stuffed with the fat-filled mash potatoes, turkey, and quite literally, stuffing. But, what if I told you that Thanksgiving could be lethal.

One of the main “issues” on the table is the main “turkey” on the table. Turkey is rumored to make anyone who eats it become instantly fatigued. Well, this is where rumor becomes truth. Turkey contains a chemical called L-tryptophan. The chemical is commonly used to cure insomnia, sleep disorders, and ADHD. It is a natural depressant found in animal and plant proteins. Of course, when the night is over, everyone drives home. But, with turkey being a depressant like sleeping pills or alcohol, is it really safe to drive? Driving while under the influence of both of these depressants is illegal and causes accidents and even death on a regular basis. So how is turkey any better? In New Jersey, driving while sleepy is a criminal offence. People could make the bad decision to drive while sleepy and cause an accident and endanger any person in or near the vehicle. But the influence of turkey isn’t the only thing that brings danger to your Thanksgiving.

Cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy. What’s one thing all of these foods have in common? Calories, lots of calories. In a normal case, calories should be fine but, when consumed in copious amounts, the calories betray you. Not only is it unhealthy, it has side effects such as high cholesterol, you know, that thing your parents talk about, but you never understand. Well don’t worry your head off, consider this mystery solved! High cholesterol is when lots of fat builds up in the bloodstream leading to blood clots, especially in the arteries, leading to the heart.

And that takes us to the climax, clogged arteries can lead to heart attacks. A heart attack is when the heart suffers a stop of the blood flowing through it, making it beat. When the heart stops beating, the person dies of what is called heart failure. Back to Thanksgiving. If large amounts of cholesterol are added into the bloodstream from fatty foods, it could lead to heart failure or even worse. The worst part is that not even a month later, at Christmas, we do it all again!