Although it might not feel like it this year, we are heading into the festive season. At Bourke Accounting, some of us are already avoiding fast food and introducing healthier habits into our lives. You might be doing the same thing right now – we all want to look nice in our Halloween costumes, holiday photos and socially distanced family gatherings. However, even with the best of intentions, there is danger lurking just around the corner! Danger, I tell you!
While it is certainly cliché, the old adage about “too much of a good thing” being bad serves as a fair warning. For those of you about to get off the couch, beware that, if you’re not careful, the practices you are embarking upon can end up hurting you:
1) Black Licorice. People attempting to lose weight will often turn to black licorice: it’s fat free, it tastes good, it freshens your breath and helps with digestion. But. It also contains glycyrrhizic acid, a harmless chemical in small quantities that can lead to death in heavier doses. Recently, a 54-year-old Massachusetts man lost his life as a direct result of licorice. Perhaps in the interest of healthier living, the man switched from eating several packages of fruit-flavored candy to several packages of licorice a day. Sadly, he passed out in a restaurant and died the next day. The glycyrrhizic acid in his “healthier” licorice is known to cause a “drop in potassium levels… high blood pressure…abnormal heart rhythms and even heart failure” (CNN.com). While most people don’t eat this much licorice a day, just two ounces of black licorice every day can cause heart issues, especially for people over 40 (Livescience.com).
2) Water. We all know you gotta stay hydrated. Drinking water flushes out toxins, leads to better skin and keeps our brains good and wet. Too much water can also lead to death. In 2007, a California radio station ran a contest, “Hold Your Wee for a Wii.” Contestants were asked to drink large quantities of water and the last person to use the bathroom was named the winner of the video game system. 28-year-old Jennifer Strange didn’t win the Wii, but she did win hyponatremia and, tragically, death (Theregister.com). When humans drink too much water, the kidneys can’t process it quickly enough and water builds up in the bloodstream. With nowhere to go, the water then moves into the cells, which can prove deadly when it flows into the brain and causes swelling (Dripdrop.com and Scientificamerican.com). While water intoxication isn’t that common, it pays to watch what you drink.
3) Nutmeg. Speaking of watching what you drink, be careful around eggnog. Like almost everything in moderation, the nutmeg in eggnog won’t hurt you in normal doses. However, it only take about 2-3 teaspoons for nutmeg to change from a nice warm, spice into a bad trip. Nutmeg contains a chemical called myristicin which, in large doses, causes hallucinations, grogginess, heart palpitations and, in extreme cases, organ failure (Healthline.com). While fatal nutmeg intoxication is rare, if your little Johnny keeps asking you for tins of nutmeg, you might want to question what happened to all of his “baking” experiments.
It’s hard to keep track of what’s healthy now; one day something is good for us, the next, it’s the Devil incarnate. The main thing to remember is that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, in huge quantities that is ever good for us. Eat clean, healthy food, but don’t say “no” to a doughnut here and there.
Bourke Accounting tax preparers and bookkeepers make sensible choices both with their bodies and with your paperwork. For example, Bourke Accounting pros know that your two dependents are good for a credit, but your 23 dependents are good for an IRS audit. Bourke Accounting will always let you know when you’re trying to have too much of a good thing.
Written by Sue H.