(NBC News) A new survey from the Cleveland Clinic finds many people are unclear about what kind of diet is best to combat the number one killer of Americans: heart disease.
Doctors say the best science to date links heart health to the Mediterranean Diet, rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and, most notably, heart-healthy fats found in fish and olive oil.
"Only 5% of people listed the Mediterranean diet as the most heart healthy," says the Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Steve Nissen.
It's not necessarily a low-fat diet, which is what more than a quarter of respondents thought was best for cardiovascular health.
Heart attack survivor David Tuttle credits the dietary changes for getting his cholesterol, diabetes and blood pressure under control.
"The diet has done a wonderful job of improving my whole physical health," he says.
Doctors say other easy ways to reduce your risk for heart disease is to cut down on sugar and watch out for trans fats.