7-Day No-Sugar, High-Protein Meal Plan for High Blood Pressure, Created by a Dietitian


If you have high blood pressure, also called hypertension, you’ve probably been told to limit your sodium intake. While it’s a good idea to watch your intake if your numbers are elevated, it’s not the only tool to lower blood pressure levels. Increasing exercise, incorporating more fruits, vegetables and potassium-rich foods and de-stressing may all help as well. High blood pressure is fairly common, impacting nearly 50% of adults in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though that doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly. High blood pressure is often without symptoms but can wreak havoc on your health. Continued high blood pressure puts stress on the arteries, leading to heart damage and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, per the CDC. Focusing on a heart-healthy eating pattern, staying active and staying in touch with your medical provider for regular blood pressure checks are all beneficial steps to protect your heart.

In this seven-day high-protein meal plan, each day provides at least 80 grams of protein while focusing on nutrients and foods that help support a healthy heart. To promote healthy blood pressure, we incorporate the principles of the DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This healthy eating pattern emphasizes a high intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and healthy fats like nuts, unsaturated oils and fish, while limiting fatty meats, processed foods and sugar-sweetened foods. Because most of us eat more added sugars than we realize and they provide few nutritional benefits, we opted to skip them in this plan. We do include plenty of natural sugars found in fruits, vegetables and unsweetened dairy—all of which are staples in the DASH diet. 

According to the American Heart Association, weight loss may help reduce blood pressure. To promote weight loss, we set this plan at 1,500 calories a day, which is a level where many people will lose weight, and included modifications for 1,200 and 2,000 calories a day for those with other calorie needs. Though protein is the emphasis of this meal plan, we didn’t skimp on fiber. Each day provides at least 28 grams of this heart-healthy nutrient. Protein and fiber are two important nutrients for overall health, but also play an important role in weight loss because they help promote satiety. As with all meal plans, use this as a template for a healthy high-protein DASH eating plan but aim to eat to your hunger cues and make substitutions as desired. 

Can Protein Help Lower Blood Pressure?

Protein isn’t historically the focus of a healthy high blood pressure eating pattern, but research is showing that it may deserve more of our attention. A 2022 study published in Hypertension studied the food behaviors of over 12,000 Chinese adults and the onset of hypertension. The study found that the adults who ate four or more different protein sources each week were 66% less likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure compared to study participants who consumed two or fewer sources of protein each week. The study is a good reminder that our overall eating pattern is important for heart health. Eating a wide variety of DASH-friendly protein-rich foods, like fish, whole grains, poultry, legumes, nuts and low-fat dairy, and focusing on nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, cutting back on salt and cooking more meals at home are key pieces of the puzzle. 

Foods to Focus on for High Blood Pressure:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains (oats, bulgur, whole wheat, freekeh, quinoa, buckwheat, whole-grain rice and more)
  • Low-fat dairy (yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese)
  • Beans and lentils
  • Nuts and seeds, including natural nut butters
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Lean red meat
  • Fish
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Soy (including edamame and tofu)
  • Herbs and spices

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Make One-Pot Chicken & Rice Soup to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5. 
  2. Prepare Everything-Seasoned Almonds to have as a snack throughout the week.

Day 1

Breakfast (279 calories)

A.M. Snack (292 calories)

  • 1 medium apple
  • 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

Lunch (371 calories)

P.M. Snack (115 calories)

  • ½ cup low-fat plain strained Greek-style yogurt
  • ½ cup raspberries

Dinner (447 calories) 

Daily Totals: 1,503 calories, 69g fat, 103g protein, 118g carbohydrate, 28g fiber, 1,507mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit peanut butter at A.M. snack and omit yogurt at P.M. snack. 

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Pineapple Green Smoothie to breakfast and add ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack.

Day 2

Photographer: Brie Goldman, Food Stylist: Addelyn Evans, Prop Stylist: Gabriel Greco


Breakfast (367 calories)

A.M. Snack (131 calories)

Lunch (348 calories) 

P.M. Snack (163 calories)

  • ½ cup low-fat plain strained Greek-style yogurt
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped nuts, such as walnuts

Dinner (484 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,493 calories, 54g fat, 92g protein, 171g carbohydrate, 32g fiber, 1,581mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit yogurt and chopped nuts at P.M. snack and omit Greens with Parmesan Vinaigrette at dinner.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 slice sprouted-wheat toast with 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to breakfast, increase to 4 Tbsp. chopped nuts at P.M. snack and add 1 serving Apple with Cinnamon Almond Butter as an evening snack.

Day 3

Jason Donnelly

Breakfast (375 calories)

A.M. Snack (140 calories)

  • ½ cup no-salt-added low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 medium peach

Lunch (348 calories) 

P.M. Snack (204 calories)

  • ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Dinner (444 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,511 calories, 63g fat, 82g protein, 167g carbohydrate, 32g fiber, 1,320mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit cottage cheese at A.M. snack and orange at lunch plus change P.M. snack to 1 cup sliced strawberries.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Pineapple Green Smoothie to P.M. snack and add 1 serving Apple with Cinnamon Almond Butter as an evening snack.

Day 4

Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Ana Kelly, Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen

Breakfast (367 calories)

A.M. Snack (131 calories)

Lunch (348 calories) 

P.M. Snack (252 calories)

  • 1 medium apple
  • 1½ Tbsp. natural peanut butter

Dinner (416 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,514 calories, 57g fat, 85g protein, 175g carbohydrate, 33g fiber, 1,639mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Change A.M. snack to 1 clementine, omit orange at lunch and omit peanut butter at P.M. snack.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 slice sprouted-wheat toast with 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to breakfast, ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack and 1 medium banana as an evening snack.

Day 5

Breakfast (375 calories)

A.M. Snack (220 calories)

  • ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds
  • 1 plum

Lunch (348 calories) 

P.M. Snack (115 calories)

  • ½ cup low-fat plain strained Greek-style yogurt
  • ½ cup raspberries

Dinner (442 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Reserve 2 servings Chicken Parmesan Casserole to have for lunch on Days 6 and 7.

Daily Totals: 1,495 calories, 59g fat, 86g protein, 168g carbohydrate, 36g fiber, 1,278mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit almonds at A.M. snack and omit yogurt at P.M. snack.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 cup low-fat kefir to breakfast, add 1 serving Traditional Greek Salad to dinner and add 1 serving Apple with Cinnamon Almond Butter as an evening snack.

Day 6

Photography / Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling / Ruth Blackburn

Breakfast (375 calories)

A.M. Snack (140 calories)

  • ½ cup no-salt-added low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 medium peach

Lunch (442 calories)

P.M. Snack (200 calories)

  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 medium orange

Dinner (357 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,514 calories, 62g fat, 88g protein, 159g carbohydrate, 33g fiber, 1,257mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Change A.M. snack to 1 clementine and change P.M. snack to ¼ cup blueberries.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack and add 1 medium banana with 1½ Tbsp. natural peanut butter as an evening snack.

Day 7

Breakfast (340 calories)

A.M. Snack (131 calories)

Lunch (442 calories)

P.M. Snack (140 calories)

  • ½ cup no-salt-added low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 medium peach

Dinner (463 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,512 calories, 55g fat, 96g protein, 175g carbohydrate, 32g fiber, 1,489mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit orange at breakfast, change A.M. snack to ¼ cup blueberries and change P.M. snack to ½ cup sliced cucumber.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Pineapple Green Smoothie to breakfast and add ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack.



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