Pros: Excellent source of 24 essential vitamins and minerals, protein and carbohydrates.
Cons: Lack of dietary fiber; many people don't care for the taste.
On the Medical-Surgical floor where I work as an RN, we often supplement our patient's diets with a product called Ensure. We frequently have many elderly patients (many who reside at nursing homes) whose nutritional status is far from adequate, be it from lack of appetite or any number of other health reasons. So, to provide such patients with extra calories and as a dietary supplement, Ensure between meals is often ordered by our physicians. A bit more infrequently, we also have patients on tube feedings where Ensure becomes their primary source of nutrition. So even though I don't use this product on a regular basis myself, I feel that my nursing background and experience with serving Ensure to my patients allows me to be qualified enough to recommend this drink to any person that may require added nutrition and calories to his or her diet. Seniors especially may benefit greatly as a result.
Ensure is a lactose-free supplemental drink that provides complete and balanced nutrition for those that consume it. Advertised as an excellent source of 24 essential vitamins and minerals that provides protein and extra calories as well, Ensure is often used as a part of a patient's medical therapy. Used with medical supervision, this artificially flavored drink is also kosher, gluten-free, and appropriate for those on a low cholesterol diet. People that have difficulty eating well-balanced meals because of a lack of appetite (or anorexia) and other reasons or those that frequently skip meals can greatly benefit from supplementing their diets with Ensure supplements. Use this #1 doctor recommended drink as a snack, with a meal, or even occasionally as a meal all by itself.
While researching the Ensure website, I found that a case of 24 eight ounce cans of Ensure in 5 different flavors may be purchased for $33.00 (including standard shipping) and delivered right to your door if desired. That breaks down to $1.38 for each 8 ounce (237 ml) can. Using Ensure Home Delivery is a convenient way to have these supplemental nutritional drinks delivered to your address without having to drive to the store and purchase them instead. Although I haven't checked myself to be sure of this, I have a feeling that this product can also be purchased at most drug stores/pharmacies for a bit less. Greater convenience usually comes at a higher price, in my experience.
FLAVORS AND TASTE
At the hospital where I work, we offer Ensure in three "delicious" flavors: vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate. However, I learned while researching their online site that two additional flavors are available as well: butter pecan and coffee, the latter of which is available only through Ensure Home Delivery. Advertised to now have a "richer, creamier taste", in all honestly, for most people Ensure is usually an acquired taste. Even though many of our patients drink this supplement without complaint, we have many others that need some coaxing or flat out refuse to drink Ensure altogether. So how does it REALLY taste? To me, it's drinkable, but is truly much too sweet for my taste buds to consume on a regular basis. On those evenings when we are too busy to stop and take a lunch break, I'll grab a can of vanilla flavored Ensure out of the refrigerator and drink it down to keep me going until I can stop later for something else. Otherwise, I'll most likely pass.
DIRECTIONS FOR USE
Always use Ensure by the expiration date on the bottom of the can for best results. Shake well before serving. While some people prefer it at room temperature, serve Ensure chilled for better taste. Pour contents into another container first or insert a straw into the "pop-top" opening and drink directly from the can. It's always best to consult your physician before drinking Ensure on a regular basis. Diabetics should NOT consume this product without medical supervision. A different special supplement called Glucerna is usually more appropriate for those with such blood glucose problems. Drink Ensure as an occasional in-between meal supplement or to help your body meet it's nutritional requirements when skipped meals or a lack of appetite are a concern. While it is lacking in crucial dietary fiber and gets most of it's calories from sugar, Ensure provides many of the vitamins and minerals we need every day.
NUTRIENT FACTS (1 can/8 ounces/237ml)
Cholesterol.....less than 5mg
***Vitamin A 1250 IU***Vitamin C 30 mg***Calcium 300 mg***Iron 4.5 mg***Vitamin D 100 IU***Vitamin E 7.5 IU***Vitamin K 20 mcg***Thiamin 0.38 mg***Riboflavin 0.43 mg***Niacin 5 mg***Choline 100 mg***Vitamin B6 0.5 mg***Folate 100 mcg***Vitamin B12 1.5 mcg***Biotin 75 mcg***Pantothenic Acid 2.5 mg***Chloride 310 mg***Phosphorus 300 mg***Iodine 38 mcg***Magnesium 100 mg***Zinc 3.8 mcg***Selenium 18 mcg***Copper 0.5 mg***Manganese 1.3 mg***Chromium 30 mcg***Molybdenum 38 mcg***
U-D water, sugar (sucrose), corn syrup, maltodextrin (corn), calcium caseinate, high-oleic safflower oil, canola oil, soy protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, corn oil, calcium phosphate tribasic, potassium citrate, magnesium phosphate dibasic, natural and artificial flavor, soy lecithin, sodium citrate, magnesium chloride, salt (sodium chloride), carrageenan, choline chloride, potassium chloride, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), ferrous sulfate (iron), alpha-tocopheryl acetate, zine sulfate, niacinamide, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, cupric sulfate, vitamin A palmitate, thiamine chloride hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, folic acid, chromium chloride, biotin, sodium molybdate, sodium selenate, potassium iodide, phylloquinone, vitamin D3 and cyanocobalamin.
Seniors especially may benefit from the nutritional benefits that drinking Ensure as recommended by a health care professional provides. Consumed as an occasional meal replacement or an in-between-meals supplement, especially when lack of appetite or skipped meals is a concern, rest a little bit easier knowing that each 8 ounce can of Ensure is packed full of the protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals our bodies need every day to function at it's greatest capacity. So discuss the benefits of drinking Ensure with your doctor today. Here's to your health!
For more information on Ensure and other similar dietary supplements, as well as to request your FREE 8 ounce can of vanilla flavored Ensure, check out their website online at:
Questions or comments?
Ensure Home Delivery
PO BOX 29139
Shawnee Mission, KS 66201
ROSS PRODUCTS DIVISION
Columbus, OH 43215-1724 USA