Today’s Headlines: Why You Can Eat Butter in Moderation, The Benefits of Eating on a Schedule, and Why You Shouldn’t Worry Too Much About Subway Germs

Having butter in your diet may not be as harmful as previously thought. In a new study, researchers claim that while butter is in no way considered a health food, it’s acceptable to eat in moderation. “[They] found no clear evidence that butter does any harm or good by itself. People who ate the most butter were slightly more likely to die during the various study periods than were people who ate little or none, but the risk was very slight, the team reported in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.” The researchers noted that the foods you eat with butter – i.e bagels, pasta, etc. – may be more concerning than butter itself. (NBC)

Irregular eating may affect your health. Two studies found that issues like obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes were more prevalent among those who didn’t eat on regular schedules. “One of the reviews examined international eating patterns and found a possible link between obesity and eating more calories in the evening. The other paper concluded that people who consistently ate six meals a day had better cholesterol and insulin levels than those who ate meals with variable frequency—in this case, anywhere from three to nine meals a day.” Researchers are still trying to explain and understand the link between metabolism and circadian rhythms. (Time)

Germs in the subway shouldn’t concern you. Subway poles are commonly viewed as bacteria-ridden and dirty but a new Harvard study shows that the germs on these surfaces aren’t necessarily harmful. “All the surfaces were contaminated with generally innocuous human skin bacteria, including various strains of propionibacterium, corynebacterium, staphylococcus and streptococcus, among others. Some strains of these bacteria can cause disease under certain circumstances, but all are carried by healthy people and usually cause no problems.” The team concluded that these microbes were equivalent to the germs you would receive if shaking another individual’s hands. (NYT)