What Blood Pressure is Hypertension: Plus recipe for Cucumber and Peach Salad with Pepitas Pesto

August 17, 2019

Is your blood pressure reading considered high

by Registered Dietitian, Kay MacInnis

Click here for a printable version.

In May 2018, a task force of the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology released the guidelines for the prevention, detection, evaluation, and management of high blood pressure in adults. The guidelines presented significant changes in the way blood pressure is identified and treated. What was formally considered to be pre-hypertension is now considered elevated or stage one hypertension, depending on the blood pressure reading.

With the guideline changes, more people are meeting the criteria for hypertension and needing some lifestyle changes.

Blood Pressure Readings

Normal: 120/<80
Elevated: 120-129/<80
Hypertension stage 1: 130–39 or 80
Hypertension stage 2: >140 or > 90

Be sure to pay attention to your blood pressure and if you see it creeping up you will need to see your doctor. If you know you have blood pressure issues ( and even if you don’t and just want to have a healthy lifestyle) you might want to consider lifestyle changes to eat healthy and exercise regularly. 

Try this salad recipe! It’s a great Segway to a healthier plate. Lots of color and easy addition to your salad options.

To learn more about cooking with high blood pressure, sign up for September's Providence Cooks! cooking class, featuring Tailgating Tips for Hypertension

Cucumber and Peach Salad with Pepitas Pesto


  • 1/2 cup unsalted pepitasCucumber Peach Salad for Hypertension
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp coarsely chopped, seeded jalapeño pepper (Note, the photo uses a sprinkle of chili powder but we recommend fresh jalapeño instead)
  • 1 med clove garlic, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ English cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 2 peaches, quartered and sliced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar


Place pepitas in a food processor: pulse until coarsely chopped, about 10 pulses. Add cilantro, parsley, lime juice, jalapeño, garlic and salt; pulse until minced, about 20 pulses. With the processor running, stream in olive oil until just combined but still chunky. Gently toss cucumbers, peaches and scallions in a large bowl with the pesto mixture and vinegar until combined.

Nutrition information: 128 cal, 8 g of fat, 13 g carbohydrate, 4 g of protein, 201 mg sodium

Recipe source: Diabetic Living, Summer 2019.

Join Kay MacInnis, Registered Dietitian, for her monthly award-winning Providence Cooks! cooking classes in which she tackles various dietary hurdles by creating, with her team of chefs, a multi-course gourmet meal that promotes health and fits within dietary restrictions. All guests enjoy the healthy sit-down meal with live Q&A from Kay, the chefs, and other special health expert guests. It's a must-try for people interested in healthy eating without losing the flavor and joy of eating. 

Call 800.424.DOCS (3627) to learn about the next Providence Cooks! class. 

Click here to call Providence Health now.