Participants are relieved of pains from grocery shopping and cooking for two weeks!

The separate diets will be distributed randomly. Some will start on the low-salt diet first and others will start on the high-salt diet first. All meals will be specially prepped by the UVA kitchen. Each meal plan is designed to be isocaloric ( based on the BMI of each individual participating or designed by calorie intake requests.

How to get your food:

Food pickup will occur three times a week. A total of seven visits is required – three visits a week for the duration of the two week diet that each last between 15-90 minutes and a post-study visit for genetic result pick-up. The first six study visits are used for food pickup as well as follow-up visits for vitals assessment.


Please note that each visit must occur at the same time of day (i.e. Participant A comes in every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9:00 a.m. for the duration of the two-week diet). Blood pressure varies throughout the day, and this procedure is used to limit inconsistencies in blood pressure measurement to eliminate bias.


All visits will be done at the UVa Clinical Research Unit (CRU) in Barringer Wing. For further directions, see Directions. For follow up visits, the CRU operates Monday-Friday, 7 a.m-2:30 p.m. However, for food pick up, the CRU operates Monday-Friday, 7 a.m-6 p.m.

Your role in the study:

Participants that are willing to join the two week diet must understand the requirements and seriousness of the procedure. The study focuses solely on sodium intake and its effect on blood pressure; therefore, it is important that individuals that choose to participate in the study stick religiously to the specially prepped diet provided. Participants cannot stray away from the food and diet requirements given to them and must fully complete each meal provided. If you cannot eat the amount of food we give you, we ask that you return the leftover portions.

For the duration of the two week diet, participants cannot smoke or drink alcohol and caffeine. They are allowed to drink the drinks provided and water (excluding mineral water). Those that cannot imagine themselves giving up any of the following are free to drop out of the study if they please.

A total of three 24-hour urine samples will be collected – one at visit 1 to use as a baseline, one at visit 4, and one at visit 7. Participants will be given jars to take home and collect samples to bring in to the next visit. Instructions on collecting will be thoroughly covered during the first visit. We will check these samples to make sure the amount of salt we give you is the amount of salt you consumed.

The two week diet consists of one week of a low-salt diet and one week of a high-salt diet. Each day, you will be provided three meals a day with snacks for the duration two weeks. In no way are we trying to induce high blood pressure on you, we are simply trying to see how your body reacts to different levels of sodium intake.