Diet has a prominent, if not predominant, role in the pathogenesis of elevated blood pressure (BP).1 Dietary factors that raise BP include suboptimal dietary pattern, excess sodium intake, insufficient potassium intake, excess weight, and high alcohol consumption.2,3 While diet studies have examined individual nutrients, foods, and overall dietary patterns (e.g., DASH, Mediterranean, and vegetarian patterns), other aspects of diet might be relevant to health, including type of preparation (e.g., fried, barbequed) and level of processing.4

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Food processing reflects both formulation (i.e., ingredients) and manufacturing steps (i.e., unit operations).5 Foods can range anywhere from simple formulations with minimal unit operations (e.g., a food like butter) to complex formulations with multiple unit operations (e.g., granola bars). Concerns about the formulation of processed foods arise from their current tendency to contain excess...

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