Ask the Dietitian – Black Friday Edition: Your Nutrition and Supplement Questions Answered

Written by: Ryah Nabielski, MS, RDN

In this Black Friday 2022 edition of Ask the Dietitian, I will tackle some of your most-asked questions about nutrition, health, and supplements. 

Let’s jump right in! 

Q: Can I eat eggs or use collagen-egg protein if I have high cholesterol? 

A: The short answer is yes. Here is the longer answer: 

Your body makes most of the cholesterol circling in your bloodstream. In fact, dietary cholesterol has very little influence on blood levels of cholesterol for most people. Updated US Dietary Guidelines have finally acknowledged this fact and removed the guideline to limit cholesterol in the diet. A small percentage of people will do better on a lower cholesterol diet due to genetic reasons, but this is rare. 

Reasons for high cholesterol may include nutrition and lifestyle factors that signal the liver to increase cholesterol production. While working with your doctor and dietitian are important for personalized guidance, at a foundational level, here are some lifestyle tools for cholesterol balance:

  • Eat a whole food diet that is high in fiber (plant foods), protein, and healthy fats to support metabolic health (Including eggs and collagen-egg protein may help you meet your protein goals)
  • Exercise regularly
  • Sleep well
  • Manage stress
  • Reduce toxin exposures 

Q: My stomach usually hurts when I use whey protein. Why is that, and what can I do? 

A: There are a few possible reasons you may experience stomach pain, cramping, or other digestive symptoms with whey protein. 

First, dairy is one of the most common foods contributing to food allergies and sensitivities. Whey and casein are the dominant proteins in dairy products, that can cause an immune response in some people. It’s possible that a dairy sensitivity looks like stomach aches, constipation, acne, inflammation, or a host of other symptoms. 

If you have a true dairy allergy, please avoid whey protein. If you might be sensitive to dairy, work with a dietitian for guidance. Collagen-egg protein and vegan protein are alternatives to whey protein and, like whey, can help you meet your protein needs and build lean body mass. 

Second, whey protein contains small amounts of lactose. Lactose is the natural sugar (carbohydrate) found in milk. Lactose intolerance is when someone doesn’t have the enzyme (lactase) or enough of the enzyme required to digest lactose, resulting in gas, bloating, stomach pain, or other digestive symptoms. 

Twenty2 Nutrition’s Grass Fed Whey protein has added lactase to digest lactose, and protease enzyme to support protein digestion. Many customers who have difficulty digesting whey protein powder do better with Twenty2 Nutrition’s whey because of the added enzymes. 

And finally, it’s important to mention not just what we eat that may cause symptoms but how we eat. Your digestive system works optimally in a relaxed state. Suppose you regularly consume whey protein under stress or gulp it down without much thought. In this case, you might experience GI symptoms simply because your digestive system isn’t online. 

The simple act of slowing down and being mindful around food (and protein drinks) is a powerful tool for improving digestion. Try drinking whey protein more slowly (or using a spoon to help you slow down), paying attention while ingesting, and taking a few deep breaths. 

Q: What’s the difference between a multivitamin and a prenatal vitamin?

A: A woman’s multivitamin and a prenatal vitamin are very similar. The main difference is that a prenatal vitamin usually contains iron because of the increased need for iron during pregnancy. It also includes more folate, which is needed for proper fetal development and to prevent neural tube defects. 

Since too much iron can be inflammatory, it’s crucial to not take supplemental iron if you don’t need it. You’ll see that multivitamins designed for men or for women over 50 (who no longer have their period), do not contain iron. 

Twenty2 Nutrition’s formula doubles as a multivitamin for women during the years they are cycling. Some women will require additional iron during pregnancy, specifically in the second and third trimesters. Be sure to discuss this with your healthcare provider or dietitian.

In addition, I want to add that a prenatal vitamin isn’t just for during pregnancy. I recommend beginning a quality prenatal at least three months before trying to conceive and continuing it for three to six months after you finish nursing. A prenatal is supports recovering from delivery and breastfeeding. 

Q: What can I do to alleviate the knee pain I experience during exercise? 

A: For those experiencing pain during or after strength or cardio exercise, it can be hard to get motivated to continue an exercise routine. Whether it’s your knees, ankles, back, or another joint that’s causing you pain and distress, here are some ideas for exercising more comfortably. 

First, go slow. It’s tempting to jump into a new program quickly but listen to your body and go slowly. If you haven’t exercised in a while, start with bodyweight exercises or walking instead of heavy weights and intense cardio. Work with a physical therapist or knowledgeable trainer to guide recovery from pain and injury. 

Second, consider your diet and lifestyle habits. Include colorful plant foods, wild fish, and quality protein to reduce inflammation and provide the nutrients for healthy bones and joints. Read more about nutrition for bone and joint health here

Finally, consider targeted supplements. Curcumin is the active constituent found in turmeric, the yellow spice used in Indian cooking. This spice has a long history of traditional use, andmodern research confirms its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. In some cases, curcumin reduces pain more effectively than NSAID medications. 

Boswellia (containing the active ingredient boswellic acid) is another herb with scientific support for reducing inflammation and improving joint pain. In addition, consider supplementing with collagen. Collagen protein supports the natural repair and regeneration of body structure, including the bones, joints, skin, and connective tissue. Type 2 collagen is specifically supportive of the cartilage found in joints. 

Twenty2 Nutrition Joint Pill contains curcumin, Boswellia, and undenatured type 2 collagen (UC-II) to reduce pain and improve mobility and joint health. Please discuss this supplement with your doctor for guidance. 

Q: I frequently experience dizziness and headaches toward the end of a challenging workout. How can I prevent this and perform better? 

A: The first thing that comes to mind is hydration! When you exercise, especially strenuously, you lose water and electrolytes. Low electrolytes and dehydration might show up as dizziness, dizziness with standing, headaches, muscle cramps, thirst, fatigue, and dark-colored urine. 

Consider your day and what you drink before, during, and after your workouts. It’s helpful to drink water throughout the day. If you live in a dry climate or sweat a lot with exercise, you might need a higher baseline level of water intake than you think. 

As you lose electrolytes with sweating, be sure to replace them by eating mineral rich foods (like veggies, fruit, and nuts). In addition, consider an electrolyte supplement. You can take it first thing in the morning to boost hydration for the day or take it before, during, or after exercise for support. 

Twenty2 Nutrition Electrolytes comes in several flavors and contains electrolyte minerals, caffeine, ginger, and a fruit and veggie blend. Twenty2 Nutrition Stimulant-Free Electrolytes are caffeine free. Electrolytes mixed in water are all you need but check out these electrolyte popsicles and other fun recipes

When you improve hydration, notice how your workouts shift. If you are pregnant or nursing, hydration is extra important to pay attention to. Improved hydration helps reduce muscle cramping, false labor symptoms, brain fog, dizziness, and other symptoms.  

Always consult with your healthcare provider regarding new supplements, especially if you take any medication, have a medical condition, or are pregnant or nursing. 

Q: How can I get the benefits of supplements without the cost?

A: It’s no secret that supplements can add up, especially when you are choosing your well-being by supporting companies that offer quality and don’t cut corners. Here are some ideas for getting the most out of your supplement investment:

  • Remember that supplements are supplemental to a nourishing diet. Prioritize eating whole, unprocessed food, cooking more meals at home, and choosing organic, local, and other high-quality foods as they are available to you. 
  • Look at your budget and prioritize what you need for self-care. 
  • Subscribe and save. Create a recurring order for the supplements you use regularly. You’ll save money and never be without your favorite supplements.
  • Buy supplements on sale. Take advantage of the Twenty2 Nutrition Black Friday Sale happening from November 23rd to November 29th. All supplements (and apparel) will be 30% off. 

I hope this edition of Ask the Dietitian was informative and helpful. If you have a question that wasn’t answered here, feel free to reach out to the Twenty2 Nutrition customer care team for help. Who knows, your question may just show up in the next edition of Ask the Dietitian. 

The contents of post are for educational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions regarding supplements and your health. 

Ryah Nabielski, MS, RDN is a Registered Dietitian, functional nutritionist, writer, and recipe creator. Ryah helps clients use a natural, food-as-medicine approach to improve fertility, pregnancy, hormone balance, autoimmunity, and discover a healthy relationship with food and body. Learn more about Ryah and her private practice at