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A huge new Cleveland Clinic survey has some interesting results.
When many of us go food shopping, we look for the best deals. And let’s be honest: sometimes the cost of organic options can be a bit steep. When faced with so many choices, why not choose the store brand for a few dollars less?
According to data from a Cleveland Clinic survey released on February 1, 2023, the main reason people aren’t eating a heart-healthy diet is due to the price—or perceived price—of healthy food.
Cost, and to a lesser extent time, are the biggest barriers Americans identify when they try to make healthier dietary choices. Almost half of Americans view healthy food as more expensive, and the major reason for not eating a healthier diet, Dr. Luke Laffin, MD, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, explains. To a certain extent, they are correct—it’s tough to find a cheaper and faster option than a 99-cent hamburger, for example.
While the cost of food may seem like a tough barrier to overcome it doesn’t have to be. There are actually a handful of great healthy foods out there that aren’t significantly more expensive than their junk food counterparts.
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Affordable Healthy Foods
Dr. Laffin recommends the following foods for healthy options that won’t break the bank:
Vegetables like broccoli and spinach
Broccoli and spinach contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, both high in vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, dietary fiber and potassium. And how you prepare your veggies matters: Research shows steamed broccoli can help lower cholesterol levels.
On average, a pound of broccoli costs between $1.50 and $5, while loose spinach costs between $3 and $5 per pound. It’s worth noting that the organic versions of these foods are typically more expensive and the frozen versions are cheaper.
You can buy a bag of Quaker old-fashioned rolled oats on Amazon for 21 cents an ounce.
This inexpensive fresh fruit is packed with nutrients, including potassium. A diet rich in potassium is linked to lower blood pressure and a lower risk of heart disease. You can buy bananas at Trader Joe’s for 19 cents each.
Berries are high in antioxidants and are a great source of fiber, which can help with weight management. They also have anti-inflammatory benefits. And since inflammation is one of the leading causes of heart disease, you may want to consider adding frozen berries to your grocery cart, as they’re significantly less expensive (but not less nutritious) than the fresh version. You can buy a 16-ounce bag of frozen mixed berries at Walmart for $3.98.
Black beans are not only inexpensive, but they contain fiber, folate and vitamin B6, all of which promote heart health. You can buy a four-pound bag of dried black beans on Amazon for $9.70.
High in fiber and antioxidants, apples support your overall health, including lowering the risk of developing heart disease. You can buy a three-pound bag of Fiji Apples for $4.44 at Walmart.