OBJECTIVE Prospective data are scarce on the relation of red meat, seafood, and poultry consumption with hypertension risk. Although red and processed meats are generally considered to have adverse cardiovascular consequences, seafood is believed to be protective and poultry's effect is controversial. METHODS We prospectively examined the independent association of long-term intake of animal flesh with incident hypertension in three longitudinal cohort studies of nonhypertensive individuals: Nurses' Health Study (NHS, n = 62 273 women), Nurses' Health Study II (NHS II, n = 88 831 women), and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS, n = 37 414 men). We used multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression to study the associations of different types of animal flesh with the risk of developing hypertension while controlling for other hypertension risk factors. We then used fixed-effects meta-analysis to derive pooled estimates of effect. RESULTS Compared with participants whose consumption was less than 1 serving/month, the pooled hazard ratios among those whose intake was at least 1 serving/day were 1.30 (95% confidence interval 1.23-1.39) for total meat (a combination of processed and unprocessed red meat), 1.22 (1.12-1.34) for poultry, and 1.05 (0.98-1.13) for seafood. Seafood was associated with an increased risk of hypertension in HPFS and NHS II, but not NHS. Consumption of any animal flesh at least 1 serving/day was associated with an increased hypertension risk [pooled hazard ratio = 1.30 (1.16-1.47)]. CONCLUSION Long-term intake of meat and poultry were associated with increased risk of hypertension. In contrast to our hypothesis, we found a weak but significant trend toward an increased risk of hypertension with increasing seafood consumption.