We examined responses to cooked and uncooked food in 32 outpatients with essential hypertension; 28 were also overweight. By varying cooked and uncooked food percentages and salt intake, patients acted as their own control subjects in this unblinded study. After a mean duration of 6.7 months, average intake of uncooked food comprised 62% of calories ingested. Mean weight loss was 3.8 kg and mean diastolic pressure reduction 17.8 mm Hg, both statistically significant (P less than .00001). Eighty percent of those who smoked or drank alcohol abstained spontaneously.