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Nutrition Resources & FAQ

At Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, we know you may need tips on how to improve your diet and eat healthier. Or, you may be wondering whether you have a food allergy or intolerance and if so, what you need to avoid. Here are some resources that may help answer some of your questions.

Nutrition and digestive diseases resources

Nutrition FAQ

  • Should I take vitamin supplements?

    Getting the vitamins and minerals from food sources is generally the best way to get the vitamins and minerals you need. However, in some cases, your health care provider may recommend a dietary supplement.

  • Do I need a special diet if I have high blood pressure or heart disease?

    Generally, those with high blood pressure should restrict sodium (salt). The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends the DASH diet for healthy eating. Talk with your doctor about the diet that’s best for you.

  • Where can I find information on healthy eating?

    One good resource is the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which provides information on dietary guidelines and more. Our dietitians are also a valuable resource to provide more individualized recommendations. To make an appointment with a dietitian at any of our locations, or for nutrition-related questions, call 206-223-6729.

  • Are all fats bad for me?

    Your body needs a certain amount of fat to perform its many functions. Monosaturated fats (found in olive, canola and peanut oils as well as avocados and many nuts) and polyunsaturated fats (found in sunflower, corn and soybean oils as well as walnuts, pine nuts, and sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds) are generally considered healthy fats. You also need omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, such as salmon, herring and sardines.

    Limit saturated fats, like those found in red meats and whole milk dairy products. Just remember to eat fats in moderation.

  • How can I lose weight safely?

    Diet and exercise are key to losing weight. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health offers resources such as information about medical weight loss. You may also want to consult with a dietitian through our Nutrition Services.