Nutrition Diagnosis & Treatment

Our nutrition experts help you manage health problems by providing up-to-date, practical information and nutritional counseling tailored for your individual needs.

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.

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

Our gastroenterologists diagnose IBD and other complex gastrointestinal diseases every day, and you benefit from the depth of experience we have as a high-volume center for digestive health. 

The first step—develop and maintain a healthy diet

Your food choices can reduce your risk of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, as well as help manage them if you’ve already been diagnosed. Healthful foods can even help regulate your mood and help you sleep better.

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.

How well are you eating?

This quiz from the USDA can help you identify healthier food choices.

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.