Healthy vs. Unhealthy Diet

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Story Updated: Dec 9, 2013

50 more per day than a diet filled with processed foods, study finds.

Does switching to a healthier diet really break the bank? That's a question researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health wanted to answer since expense is often a reason people give for not being able change some of their eating habits. The team analyzed 27 studies from 10 countries that included price data for individual foods and for healthier versus less healthy diets. They compared food prices several ways

Per serving

Per 200 calories

Per day

And per 2,000 calories, which is the recommended average daily intake for adults.

The results showed that on average, the healthiest diets which are rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts -- cost about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy diets which include more processed foods, meats and refined grains. Over a year, that would add up to about $550 per person, which according to the lead researcher could be a real burden for some families. On the other hand, he says the price difference is small compared to the costs of diet-related chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.

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