Nutrition Services

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health’s Nutrition Services provides the highest quality care for people with a wide variety of complex nutritional concerns. Our nutrition experts help you manage health problems by providing up-to-date, practical information and nutritional counseling tailored for your individual needs.

The team at the Virginia Mason Franciscan Health Nutrition Services can help explore any nutritional disorders or issues with you.

The first step—develop and maintain a healthy diet

Good nutrition not only can help keep you healthy, it plays an important role in the treatment of a number of medical conditions. Whether you’re trying to control diabetes or high blood pressure, recovering from an extended illness or surgery and need to regain strength or simply trying to eat healthier, our staff of specially trained nutrition professionals (registered dietitians) is available to provide medical nutrition therapy for you.

Promoting good nutrition

We understand that nutritional care across the spectrum of digestive diseases, from pancreatic cancer to inflammatory bowel disease to obesity, is critical. Digestive diseases can interfere with digestion and other organ functions in a number of ways causing dehydration, poor absorption of nutrients, headaches, weakness, blocked blood flow and other issues.

We are focused on helping you achieve a healthier state by identifying issues that may be related to your eating habits or digestive conditions and providing resources  to help address those issues.

Maintaining a healthy weight

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends regular obesity screening for all adults as well as lifestyle behavior change programs for people struggling with weight loss. In keeping with these recommendations, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health’s Center for Weight Management engages and supports individuals wherever they are in their weight loss journey.

How well are you eating?

This quiz from the USDA can help you identify healthier food choices. Here are some general guidelines for healthful eating. Be sure to discuss your plans with your health care provider before changing your diet, especially if you have a health condition that affects your digestive tract.

  • Drink at least 8 cups of water daily. 
  • Choose smaller portions rather than deny yourself your favorite foods.
  • Listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full.
  • Choose whole grains, like whole wheat bread and brown rice, over white bread and white rice.
  • Enjoy healthy fats, such as canola oil, peanut oil and olive oil, as well as fat-rich foods such as avocados, nuts and seeds. (But remember—don’t overdo!)
  • Eat more omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines
  • Eat less saturated fat, found primarily in animal sources such as red meat and whole milk dairy products.
  • Limit sugars and sweets.
  • Cut down on salt (sodium). Read the labels. Processed foods such as canned soups or frozen dinners often contain far too much sodium. 
  • Slow down and enjoy your meals. 
  • Avoid alcohol or drink only in moderation.
  • Avoid skipping meals.

Make an appointment

Our nutrition experts provide up-to-date, practical information and nutritional counseling tailored for your individual needs. To make an appointment with a dietitian at any of our locations, or for nutrition-related questions, call 206-223-6729.