Home ยป RD Q&A


It’s that time again…Q&A! Enjoy!

Hilary: I noticed that Powerade has some B12 in it. Is it really in a form that’s available for absorption by our bodies (i.e., bioavailable and not degraded by the time we drink it after its been sitting on the shelf for a while)?

Prevention RD: Vitamin B12 is somewhat of a complicated vitamin because it requires a protein called intrinsic factor for absorption. B12 is primarily found in meat and seafood and is therefore deficient in many vegetarian and vegan diets. The vitamin is most bioavailable (best absorbed) from “heme” sources (heme meaning “blood” containing or animal). Also of consideration is the acid content of the stomach — if someone is taking acid blockers, this can also affect the absorption of B12. To answer your question, in short, the form of B12 found in Powerade is not the most bioavailable and should not be relied on as a “supplement” form of B12 or to meet the RDA.


Hilary: If one buys omega-3 fortified eggs but does not eat the yolk are they still getting omega-3′s from the eggs? If not, is purchasing these eggs worth the small additional cost of them?

Prevention RD: I’m really glad you asked this! Omega 3’s are fat which would locate them (nearly exclusively) in the yolk of the egg. Don’t eat the yolk? Don’t waste your money on the omega 3 fortified eggs!


Hilary: Any favorite homemade BBQ sauce recipes that can be used in place of store bough varieties that contain HFCS? I just noticed that most brands I’ve bought have HFCS as their primary ingredient……oy!

Prevention RD: To be honest, this is the only one I’ve made. And, it’s really, really good. Be sure to buy a ketchup that is free of HFCS (there’s quite a few out there). Delicious!


Megan from Libre Clothing: When trying to lose weight I know it’s good suggestion to count calories so you can see how much you’re actually taking in and how many you are burning. What formula would you recommend would be the best to use to estimate what your calorie intake should be? Also, do you recommend eating back (in a healthy way of course) most of your exercise calories?

Prevention RD: Hi Megan! 🙂 This might be long, sorry! My first step would be calculating both a person’s ideal body weight (IBW) based on gender and height (100 lbs + 5 lbs/inch over 5 ft for women and 106 lbs + 6 lbs/inch over 5 ft for men) and their percentage of ideal body weight (current body weight divided by IBW x 100). If the percentage ideal body weight is greater than 130%, the weight should be adjusted. When trying to achieve weight loss, you don’t “feed fat” the same as lean muscle mass or metabolic tissues and organs. The calculation for adjusted body weight is: (current weight – ideal weight) x 0.25 + ideal body weight. In essence, you are “feeding” 25% of the weight that is above the ideal body weight. At that point, you can use many different formulas. Most formulas use weight in kilogram (2.2 pounds per kilogram, so you divide a weight in pounds by 2.2 to get the weight in kilograms). I generally recommend 22-25 calories per kilogram to estimate calorie needs for weight loss. There are other equations out there, such as Harris-Benedict. Every equation has its strengths and weaknesses. As for eating back calories burned during exercise, I believe this to be wise. When I was losing weight, I was doing about 60 minutes of high-intensity cardio 5 days a week and would aim to “eat back” or replenish about half the number of calories expended. Exercise is such a valuable asset in weight loss because you can “play around” with those calories to help encourage weight loss during plateaus, etc. I always found it best to vary what I was doing with my intake (what I ate, in addition to some variation in the number of calories), and the same for exercise and energy burned. Some days, for instance, I would eat back all of my expended energy, other days half, and some days none at all (likely on a lighter workout day). I think you will hear a lot of different answers when you ask this question to nutrition professionals, but that’s my $0.02! Hope it helps!


Veronica from Veronica’s Cornucopia: Can you share any knowledge or wisdom you have about candida albicans and what effect the food we eat has on it? What is good to eat to balance our good and bad bacteria and what is bad? I know sugar is bad, and yogurt helps…any more you can share?

Prevention RD: Great question! You are correct. Simple sugars should be limited to help control candida growth. I would also encourage a lower carbohydrate diet for the treatment of candida (not low-carb, but 40% of calorie intake). Yogurt with live and active cultures, especially lactobacillus, can help treat, as well. Be sure to buy a yogurt that is low in sugar and carbohydrate that has a high count of live and active cultures (Kefir would be a great option for a drinkable yogurt). Outside of these recommendations, hydrate well with caffeine-free beverages and eat a balanced diet that is plentiful in fruits and vegetables. I wish there were a magic answer, but nothing else is scientifically sound!


Have a question you’d love to ask? Please feel free to leave it as a comment, in an email (preventionrd at gmail dot com), on Facebook, or on Twitter! Thanks 🙂

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. May 31, 2012 / 6:50 am

    Great job Nicole! And even I learned some things here!!
    Can’t wait to see you Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. May 31, 2012 / 8:53 am

    I’m surprised that I have never heard of that ideal body weight calculation before in my many, many attempts to lose weight over the years. It’s interesting that my body weight is less than 130% of my ideal body weight but my BMI puts me in the overweight category.

    I used to have B vitamin absorption issues but I took some probiotics to clear that all up. I still supplement with B complex pills though because my diet doesn’t have a whole lot of animal in it.

  3. May 31, 2012 / 8:57 am

    I enjoyed this, too. As an RD-to-be, it’s so fun hearing the pros in action.

  4. May 31, 2012 / 9:53 am

    I never really thought of powerade as housing any nutritional qualities. Who knew it even had vitamins!

  5. May 31, 2012 / 12:08 pm

    Can you suggest some of the best yogurts with highest culture counts? I tried Google, but didn’t really get any straight answers… Thanks!

  6. Katie
    May 31, 2012 / 1:10 pm

    Love these questions and answers, Nicole! Also wanted to point out that B12 stores for really long periods of time in the body and can take years to actually deplete. Just finished a presentation about B12 for biochem and learned a whole lot about it! Although vegetarians and vegans don’t get as much, unless they have been strict vegans their whole lives it takes forever to actually deplete and show symptoms. FYI!

  7. Hilary
    May 31, 2012 / 1:43 pm

    Thanks so much for answering the questions I asked. I knew I shouldn’t get my hopes up regarding relying on Poweraid to give me some B12, but as a pretty-much-vegetarian I was still hoping a little. Too bad. Anyway, thank you, Nicole!

  8. cwaltz
    May 31, 2012 / 8:10 pm

    Thanks for this 2 of the answers were extremely helpful and relevant.

    I have become interested in b-12 following an abnormal lab suggesting my RBCs are larger than normal( they were testing for appendicitis and it ended up being large fibroids) and am scheduling some follow up lab work.

    Do you have any suggestions besides the b vitamins (and iron) being tested?

  9. June 1, 2012 / 6:21 am

    I love Q&A ๐Ÿ™‚ – good questions!

  10. June 1, 2012 / 11:10 am

    This is an awesome feature, Nicole! I have a question for the next round… what differences, if any, are there between grocery store-bought eggs and ones I’d get at a local farmer’s market or farm? Do organic or natural eggs actually have any added benefits?

  11. June 2, 2012 / 2:27 am

    Cool, thanks for answering! Wasn’t sure if RD’s knew much about that. It’s something I’ve had trouble with in the past but finally balanced with heavy probiotics (currently taking Threelac, but also had success with Swanson’s Ultimate probiotic formula). I took too much antibiotics that I got in Mexico without a prescription and it messed me up for years! It’s such a relief to be back “in kilter” now. Thanks for your advice, I really need to cut back or cut out sugar-that makes the battle harder!

  12. June 4, 2012 / 8:10 pm

    So now I’m curious if I should be concerned about my B12 levels since I’ve been on Prilosec for 2 years now! I’m tired A LOT, but I figured it had to do with the 3 crazy kids I have running around!

    • Nicole, RD
      June 4, 2012 / 8:30 pm

      Hey Kim! It’s possible! Only way to tell is to get it checked, but B12 deficiency is a form of anemia and that can certainly cause fatigue ๐Ÿ™

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  14. July 4, 2012 / 5:19 pm

    I love your Q&A posts! Thanks for all of the time and effort you put into answering our questions! ๐Ÿ™‚

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