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Natural sunlight helps kill germs in your house, study shows

If you’re looking for easy, natural ways to combat cold and flu season, listen up. A study published in the journal Microbiome says that letting natural light pour into your home helps kill germs. You may remember Grandma claiming something of this nature. You may even have had an intuition. But there had not been much research to explain how or why this is the case inside, until now. Researchers at the University of Oregon set up a study of 11 dust-ridden, doll-sized rooms and observed what happened when indoor rooms were exposed to daylight through regular glass, UV light, or when the rooms were kept dark, NPR reports. Dust was collected from actual homes in Portland then the miniature room were let to collect dust from outside, all while researchers kept them at a normal room temperature. Dust can sit around your house for 90 days (even if you…

A poor diet is worse than smoking or high blood pressure, study shows

You don’t smoke, your blood pressure is in-check, and you’re not obese. So what if you don’t carefully watch your diet, right? Wrong! According to a recent study published in the Lancet, poor diet is the leading cause of death worldwide—contributing to more deaths than well-know risk factors like tobacco use and high blood pressure. Researchers analyzed dietary habits of adults aged 25 and older between 1990 and 2017 across 195 countries. They compared those findings with how it affected their chances of an early death. In 2017, they found that 11 million deaths (that’s 22 percent) of the deaths over that time frame were caused by poor diet. The breakdown? About 9.5 million deaths were due to cardiovascular disease. Another 900,000 were due to diet-related cancers. More than 330,000 deaths were from diabetes, and more than 136,000 deaths were caused by kidney diseases. Not only were there more dietary-related…

Each American throws out more than $50 a week in food, survey shows

If you think tossing those banana and spinach is of no real consequence to you, think again. According to new research, your wasteful food habits are costing you more than $50 a week. The new study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Bosch home appliances found that Americans have about $102 worth of food in their fridge at any given time. Based on survey results, the average American will end up tossing $53.81 worth of that. That amounts to $2,798 every year! In terms of pounds, each American tosses about 103 pounds of spoiled food every year, which adds up to 6,180 pounds in a lifetime. With numbers like those, it’s safe to say we should seriously reconsider our shopping habits, especially when it comes to fruit. Fruit was the most commonly wasted food overall. Specially bananas (55%), strawberries (50%), and apples (47%), which makes sense since these are some…

Big decision ahead? Eat a snack

You probably learned the hard way to never grocery shop on an empty stomach, that is, unless you want a cart full of pizza rolls and potato chips. But it turns out hunger doesn’t just lead to unhealthy decision making in the supermarket. Hunger can lead to poor long-term decision making in other areas, too. The study was recently published in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. Researchers set out to understand whether being hungry had an affect not just on decisions about food, but on money and music, too. Participants fasted for 10 hours prior to the study, then they were asked whether they would prefer food, money, or music now, or a greater amount of that item in the future. For anyone who has ever felt hungry, the results aren’t too surprising. Indeed, researchers found that being hungry led participants to make different choices, no matter the topic.…

Study reveals top reason why we waste food, what foods we waste most

We know food waste is a huge problem. As a nation, we end up wasting nearly $220 BILLION growing, transporting, and processing the 70 million tons of food that goes to waste. In an effort to better understand why we’re throwing away so much food, researchers at Ohio State University set out to uncover what’s really going on in our households. According to a recent study, our biggest problem is misunderstanding food labels. Consumers get stuck on the wording around expiration dates and end up throwing food away that is still, in fact, safe to eat. “People eat a lot less of their refrigerated food than they expect to, and they’re likely throwing out perfectly good food because they misunderstand labels,” said researcher Brian Roe. The study will be published online this month and will appear in the November issue of the Resources, Conservation & Recycling journal. The study found…

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…

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…

Your kitchen towel could be loaded with bacteria, study shows

We were already weary of kitchen sponges, but now we know to look out for kitchen towels, too. Kitchen towels do many duties from wiping to drying, holding hot things and cleaning surfaces. They’re ubiquitous in households around the world, but now we know, those pretty patterns might be hiding some dangerous secrets. A new study from the University of Mauritius reported by the American Society for Microbiology found that family size and type of diet factor into the growth rate of the bacteria on kitchen towels that can lead to food poisoning and other serious infections. Researchers took an up close look at 100 kitchen towels after one month of use and found that 49 percent of the towels contained high levels of bacterial growth. The bacteria count increased with the size of the family and also when children or extended families were present. In households where towels  had more than…

Sleeping with the television on can cause you to gain weight, research shows

If you thought sleeping with the television on was a harmless habit, think again. New research published by JAMA Internal Medicine says that snoozing with an artificial light on nearby can cause you to pack on the pounds. Here’s how it works: The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) surveyed 43,722 women ages 35-74 on whether they slept with a television on, a light outside the room, a small nightlight, or no light present. The participants were not shift workers, daytime sleepers, or pregnant at the time of the study. The women were ask to report changes in weight, height, BMI, waist and hip measurement to the researchers for five years. Researchers then analyzed the data, and the findings are unsettling. Researchers found that those who slept with a television on were by far worse off than their darkness dozing peers. Television sleepers were 17% more likely to gain weight…

People prefer eating on the couch, not at the table, survey says

Eating at the dinner table is apparently, becoming a thing of the past. While you may have had no choice as a kid, now that you’re an adult, a newly released survey shows that you’re more likely to eat elsewhere. More than 1,000 people participated in the first Cooking at Home Report, conducted by June, the appliance company credited with pioneered the intelligent convection oven. While 72% of respondents said they grew up eating dinner at the table, only 48% said they still do so today. Of course, this can mean many things. Perhaps some participants live in the city, where apartments may be too small for a dining table. So where do people eat? The couch is a popular place to dine, with 30% of respondents claiming that was their surface of preference. Seventeen percent of people say they prefer to eat in bed. The report didn’t ask questions…