Mother and daughter gardening together

Nutritional Services

Food is one of the great pleasures in life, and it's at the center of many of our celebrations with friends and family. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for your body, as it reduces your chances of developing heart disease, cancer obesity, osteoporosis, stroke, anemia, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It also gives you the energy to do the things you enjoy.

The Nutrition Therapy Department located at UnityPoint Health – Grinnell Regional Medical Center offers a variety of services and programs from registered dietitian nutritionists to keep you healthy.

We have dietitians who offer the experience and expertise that will help you build a healthy lifestyle. In addition to focusing on our inpatient population, the dietitians also offer a variety of outpatient services.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

5 Tips for Staying Active at Home

  • Get a step tracker and see how many steps you can get throughout the day. This can be helpful if you are not interested in setting aside a block of time to exercise. Are there ways ou can increase your steps throughout the day?

  • Look for exercise videos that you can purchase or stream online

  • Develop a yoga or stretching routine.

  • Walk outside when weather cooperates. Is it a little rainy? Grab a jacket and an umbrella! Is it colder than you'd like? Bundle up with a coat, scarf, hat and gloves. Find a path that is safe, well-lit and generally clear, and be cautious of the snow and ice.

  • Lift weights at home to maintain and build muscle. No weights available? Find heavier items at home you can safely lift, such as heavy books or canned goods.

If you are planning to start a new exercise routine, talk to your health care provider (link to primary care page) to see if you are at risk for developing low blood sugar with activity. If you check your blood sugar at home, checking it before starting physical activity can prevent low blood sugar.

Creating Healthy Eating Habits at Home

While family history plays a strong role in whether someone develops diabetes, healthy habits at home may help prevent prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes and may help lower blood sugar numbers for people already diagnosed with diabetes. The coronavirus pandemic has caused many to spend more time at home than usual and has upended many people's usual routines and daily habits this year.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) the plate method is one way to balance meals for diabetes. Start with a plate that is nine inches across. This will help people to better manage portion sizes.

  • Fill ¼ of the plate with protein foods, such as chicken, beef, pork, fish, eggs, cheese, beans, tofu or other plant-based meat substitutes.

  • Fill ¼ of the plate with carbohydrate foods, such as brown rice, whole grain products (bread, pasta, tortillas), starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn, peas, butternut squash), fruit or dairy products (milk, yogurt or milk substitutes)

  • Fill ½ of the plate with non-starchy vegetables (green beans, carrots, lettuce, spinach, peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms and more. 


Individual Nutrition Counseling

The Nutrition Therapy Department offers one-on-one nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian. Physician referrals are required and can be faxed to the dietitians at (641) 236-2044.

Educational Classes

When it comes to chronic disease, the Nutrition Therapy Department understands the health care needs and challenges that you face on a daily basis. Our registered dietitians offer educational opportunities to learn more about how you can help manage your health with your overall eating pattern.

  • Eating with Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes Classes: Free two-hour program that covers basic information about carbohydrates and a healthy eating pattern for diabetes. Great for someone who is newly diagnosed with pre-diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes, or anyone who is looking for a refresher on carbohydrate counting.

  • Diabetes Support Group: The group meets the second Monday night of the odd months of the year. It is free and open to the public. Each meeting covers a different diabetes-related topic. 

  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Nutrition Class: This class is offered to all patients who participate in our Cardiac Rehabilitation program. This class covers topics to help you find ways to incorporate heart-healthy eating into your lifestyle.

  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation Nutrition Class: This class is offered to all patients who participate in our Pulmonary Rehabilitation program. This class covers topics related to healthy eating in the setting of pulmonary disease.

  • Community/Worksite Wellness Presentations: The dietitian can prepare nutrition-related presentations or booths for your community event or health fair. Please contact dietitians to inquire about availability.