Increased arterial pressure is known to be influenced by a variety of nutrients. Compliance with dietary recommendations for risk reduction is often limited by the complexity of their implementation. In addition, how improvements in total diet, rather than single nutrients, influence concomitant cardiovascular risk factors has not been thoroughly explored. We assessed the effects of a nutritionally complete prepared meal program, the Campbell's Center for Nutrition and Wellness plan (CCNW), compared with dietary therapy in which participants received a structured nutritional assessment and prescription and selected their own foods, in 101 women and men with mild-to-moderate hypertension. Outcome measures included blood pressure (BP), lipids and lipoproteins, glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)), insulin, homocysteine, nutrient intake, compliance, and quality of life. Both dietary interventions significantly lowered BP (P < .0001), while simultaneously improving the overall cardiovascular risk profile. Significantly greater benefits were observed with the CCNW plan as compared with the participant selected diet in cholesterol and LDL levels (both P < .0001), LDL: HDL (P < .001), HbA(1c) (P < .05), homocysteine (P < .001), total nutrient intake (P < .0001), compliance (P < .0001), and quality of life (P < .001). This study demonstrates that improving the total diet to include the full array of recommended dietary guidelines, rather than focusing on single nutrients, has significant benefits for the cardiovascular risk profile of hypertensive persons beyond BP control. Compared with typical dietary therapy, the comprehensive CCNW meal plan has significantly greater effects on multiple cardiovascular risk factors while yielding greater compliance and improved quality of life.