By Dr. Brian McDonoughSponsored By Independence Blue Cross

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Heart failure is one of the most serious health problems facing Americans in 2017.

If the heart failure is bad enough it can create what is called a “cardiac cripple.”

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This is someone who literally becomes short of breath after taking just a few steps.

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According to a new report from the American Heart Association, people whose dietary patterns include five or more fruit or vegetable portions a day are at a significantly reduced risk of heart failure compared to individuals who did not have plant-based foods in her diet.

The reduction in the development of heart failure was 28 percent for these people. These people ate five-to-seven servings of fruits and vegetables every day while avoiding processed foods.

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The most important information related to this study is the fact that we know this type of diet is helpful for a wide variety of health issues, with heart failure and its prevention being just the latest piece of information.