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What’s keeping Americans from eating a heart-healthy diet?


Photo: anilakkus/iStockphoto

High prices top the list of reasons Americans say they’re not eating foods that are good for their heart.

That’s according to the results of a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. adults commissioned by the Cleveland Clinic.

Nearly half of respondents (46%) view healthy food as expensive, while 23% said they don’t have time to prepare healthy meals. Another 20% admit they don’t know how to prepare healthy food.

Some of the respondents aren’t clear on which diets are the healthiest for their hearts. In fact, 10% chose a fast-food diet as the most heart-healthy. And many respondents believe low-fat (37%) and low-carb (35%) diets are the most heart-healthy. Research shows, however, that the Mediterranean diet – which consists mainly of fruit, vegetables, grains, olive oil, and nuts with some fish and poultry – is the best diet for your heart. 


Simply eating a rainbow of colors in fruits and vegetables will boost your heart health, said Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Leslie Cho. She adds that buying healthier foods, such as fruits and vegetables, doesn’t necessarily mean paying higher prices for organic produce.

“It’s really sad that in our economic times people feel that eating heart healthy is more expensive,” Cho said. “A heart-healthy diet is the cornerstone of how we lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

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