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Survey finds 4 in 5 Americans take vitamins, but it could be causing them more harm than good

More than 86 percent of Americans take some form of over-the-counter vitamin or supplement in attempt to improve their health. After all, it can’t hurt — right? Unfortunately, no. Taking vitamins does come at a cost. According to a recent survey on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association, only about a quarter of people (24 percent) actually received test results indicating a nutritional deficiency. “Numerous investigations show the alleged benefits are unproven and in the worst cases, vitamins and supplements can be harmful,” said Mike Varshavski, DO, an osteopathic family physician. People with documented nutritional deficiencies can most often and most effectively correct the problem with a change in diet. Since supplements don’t work as well as most people assume, taking vitamins can distract or deter people from taking other steps to treat their ailments, like improving nutrition or moderate exercise. As the multibillion dollar vitamin industry grows, Dr. Varshavski says…

6 healthy pasta alternatives you need to try

You don’t have to be a dietician to know that eating a ton of pasta isn’t the healthiest move you can make. It’s typically loaded with refined and bleached flour, and pretty low on anything resembling a vitamin, mineral, or protein. It sure is tasty, but too much of the good stuff, and you’ll probably pack on a few pounds.  (Or will it?) But what if I told you there is a way you can enjoy your favorite pasta dishes without piling on the carbs. Try these 6 delicious pasta alternatives when you’re really craving Italian — for the third time this week. 1. Pasta with added veggies If you want to start stepping away from traditional pasta, pasta with added veggies can be your first baby step. It’s typically a traditional pasta recipe, but it has dehydrated veggie paste — such as spinach, tomatoes, or mushrooms — mixed right in.…

7 reasons you should eat more cherries

When you eat cherries, you can enjoy so much more than just their delicious sweet taste. Yes, they’re the perfect quick snack — just rinse and go — but those tiny cherries are loaded with big health benefits too. Here are 7 good reasons to start snacking on this superfood today: 1. They’re a low-sugar sweet tooth fix Sweet cherries are delicious and sweet, but unlike that double scoop ice cream cone, they have zero added sugar. What’s more, they’re low on the glycemic index (22) compared to other fruits [grapes (46), peaches (42), plums (39)], which means their natural sugars will be released into your bloodstream more slowly, and you won’t feel that spike and crash of high-sugar snacks. All this makes them a go-to for folks with diabetes. 2. They’ll bring you better sleep If you’re tossing and turning all night long, try drinking cherry juice — or…

Otter Pops releases icy pop without artificial dyes

Ice pops make sweltering summer days a little more manageable. But this summer, you may notice a change in one of the most popular brands of the frozen juice treat. Otter Pops is trading in its rainbow collection of blue, green, red, and orange pops in favor of a new “colorless” version. But ridding its product of artificial colors and dyes isn’t the only step Otter Pops is taking to create a healthier summer treat. The new-and-improved Pops are made with 100 percent fruit juice, so while they might not be as pretty, they’re much better for you. If you’re someone who swears by blue raspberry there’s no need to sweat! The Pops might have been stripped of their iconic colors, but the flavors remain the same. Choose from Louie-Bloo Raspberry, Sir Isaac Lime, Alexander the Grape, Poncho Punch, Strawberry Short Kook, and Little Orphan Orange. Imagine. Enjoying an icy…

These 10 U.S. cities have the most ice cream shops per capita

If you love ice cream — and who doesn’t? — maybe you should consider moving to the Northeast. While the weather may not scream for ice cream, the people sure do! According to a recent analysis, many of the U.S. cities with the highest number of ice cream shops per capita, hail from colder cities in the Eastern Time Zone, heavily skewing toward the Northeast. The data to determine the “Top Ten U.S. Cities for Ice Cream” was compiled by Infogroup. They looked at over 15 million business records in metropolitan areas of more than 500,000 people to see which had the greatest concentration of ice cream parlors — both chain shops like Dairy Queen and Baskin Robbins and locally-owned shops. The results showed a clear geographical pattern, and it’s not in the warm, touristy locations with think of. This means that locals are more likely to take an ice cream…

10 Signs you need to drink more water

There are few things more refreshing than an ice cold glass of water. Despite this, many of us still fail to drink enough water on a daily basis.  By regularly coming up short, we can cause our organs serious damage, but our bodies want us to drink enough water, so they give us plenty of warning signs. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, a simple glass of H20 could improve your situation. 1. Your skin is dry Dry skin is one of the earliest signs of dehydration. Your skin is an organ, so if it feels dry, your other organs could be in trouble, too. Test your skin by pinching a small area on your hand or cheek. If you see it stay or linger in the pinched shape rather than bouncing back quickly, you need some water. 2. You feel like you need a drink Okay, this one…

Can you guess the 10 oldest restaurant chains in America?

Travel back in time in America 60, 80, 100 years. You already know you would have to give up your laptop, your cell phone, and your Starbucks, but could you count on anything being the same? It turns out, yes. Believe it or not. Some of America’s biggest fast food mega-empires were built starting as early as 1919! Of course, they were much smaller scale, but some menu items even remain the same. So which of our fast food favs could we eat at on our trip to the past? Here are the 10 oldest fast food restaurants in the county: 10. McDonald’s Year founded: 1955 Cracking the top 10 list, is the most successful fast food chain of them all. McDonald’s got its start in 1955 when Ray Kroc saw the potential of a small California burger shop where the owners, Dick and Mac MacDonald, had developed some unique…

This is why vodka doesn’t freeze

Vodka drinkers often like to keep their favorite alcohol chilled in the freezer. It gets nice and frosty, yet it never freezes solid. So what gives? Will vodka ever freeze? The short answer: Yes it freezes, but it’s not something you have to worry about in your home freezer. It all has to do with the scientific phenomenon known as the freezing point, or the temperature at which a substance freezes. This temperature varies depending on the make up of the substance. A bottle of vodka is made up of primarily water and grain alcohol, or ethanol. Water freezes at  32ºF or 0ºC, but pure ethanol has a freezing point much lower, –173ºF or -114ºC. Because vodka is a blend of these two substances, each which comes with its own freezing point, vodka doesn’t freeze at the same temperature as either water or ethanol, but rather somewhere in the middle.…

The Most Affordable U.S. cities for grilling

If your budget says ‘bowl full of ramen’ but your tastes say ‘grilled ribeye’, consider that moving to a different zip code may mean you can indulge your carnivorous cravings more often. It turns out that grilling in certain United States cities is far less expensive than it is in others. ApartmentGuide.com recently crunched some numbers to figure out the most affordable cities to grill in, based on the average prices of popular grilling goods such as steak, sausage, and beer, along with the cost of living for a one bedroom apartment. The website ranked a total of 257 U.S. cities. Each of four food categories (steak, ground beef, sausage, and beer), received a score from 1-257 (1 being most affordable) based on the average price of that food in that city. The four scores were then tallied and average to determine a Grilling Affordability Score (GRS). The results? If…

Why you should photograph your stove dials before a trip

After weeks of planning, days of packing and hours of travel, you’re finally relaxing on vacation — swearing you’re not going to worry about life back home. But inevitably, one thought creeps into your mind: “Did I leave the stove on?” Maybe it’s the hair straightener, or leaving the garage door open, or even locking the front door. Whatever plagues your peacefulness, Lifehacker shares this genius tip: Use your smartphone to snap a shot of your stove dials (or whatever it is you worry about most) before you head out the door. Make it a part of your usual pre-travel routine. That’s it. It’s so simple, but such a small step can save you from feeling stressed ever again when you’re away from home. If you’re lounging on the beach and anxiety about the little things back home start to pop up, whip out your smart phone and put your mind at…