Pros: Helps maintain or increase weight (as per a doctor's orders)
Cons: Slight "canned" flavor.
If you look at my Epinions profile photo (which is now 6 years old and in need of an update) you'll notice how thin I am. My maternal grandfather Enrique and my first cousin Luis Enrique and I share the same rail-thin body build and metabolism, though as my 42nd year begins, I have noticed a slight bit of thickening around my middle. I have never weighed more than 125 pounds, which makes me moderately underweight, but not dangerously so for a man in his early 40s and of average height.
As I have grown inevitably older, my appetite (which was once prodigious) has somewhat slackened. Gone are the days of big breakfasts or chowing down on pizzas and tacos. My daily breakfast normally consists of three to four slices of toasted bread and two mugs of coffee (milk, two sugars). I often skip lunch; my breakfast hour is late in the morning so at noon I am not hungry. When I travel -- which is not easy for me because of financial and other constraints -- I do eat and quite a bit. But at home I get by on a minimal breakfast, one big complete evening meal, a fruit snack after watching Jeopardy, and a salty snack while watching a movie or TV show before 10 PM Eastern Time.
My eating habits have had a mixture of effects. On the plus side, my cholesterol levels are satisfactory and I am nowhere close to being overweight or obese. On the minus side, I am always a few pounds short of my doctor's suggestion for weight gain.
In order to compensate for my eating habits' weak points, I have been trying out both regular Ensure and Ensure Plus to improve my intake of nutrients and to gain or maintain weight.
Ensure Plus is not too different from regular Ensure in most respects. It comes in various flavors (information below is for Vanilla) and in 8 oz. cans. (My sister brought me a 24-can case.)
What I Like: As in my comments about Ensure, I like the fact that Ensure Plus is a pleasant-tasting and easy to take nutritional supplement. Its convenient 8 oz. size makes it perfect for grabbing a quick nutritional fix without cooking anything. It doesn't leave me feeling "too full" yet takes the edge off hunger or low energy. I also like knowing I am not just ingesting empty calories but loads of nutrients and minerals.
What I Don't Like: Canned drinks sometimes have a metallic aftertaste. Sometimes it's very faint and barely noticeable, but Ensure Plus has a noticeable aftertaste at first sip.
Ensure Plus is a great source of concentrated calories and is high in protein to help patients gain or maintain healthy weight. It is a complete and balanced oral nutritional supplement that can be used with or between meals or, in appropriate amounts, as a meal replacement.
For people who need to gain or maintain healthy weight
For those who have fluid restrictions or require volume-limited feedings
Rich, creamy taste
Excellent source of 24 essential vitamins and minerals
Excellent source of calories and protein
Meets American Heart Association guidelines1 for fatty acid profile < 30% of calories from total fat, < 10% of calories from saturated fat, and < 10% of calories from polyunsaturated fat
Lactose- and gluten-free
Available in six flavors
Note: Nutrition and ingredient information is given for vanilla flavor. Minor differences exist in other flavors. For details, consult the product label.
Nutrient Profile per 8 fl oz: Calories 360, Protein (% Cal) 14.6, Total Fat (% Cal) 29, Carbohydrate (% Cal) 56.4
Ingredients (for Vanilla flavor)
Vanilla: -D Water, corn syrup, maltodextrin (corn), sodium and calcium caseinates, sugar (sucrose), canola oil, corn oil, high-oleic safflower oil, soy protein isolate, magnesium chloride, potassium citrate, calcium phosphate tribasic, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, potassium chloride, sodium citrate, magnesium phosphate dibasic, choline chloride, ascorbic acid, carrageenan, ferrous sulfate, alpha-tocopheryl acetate, zinc 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.
Chocolate flavor contains 3.1 mg of caffeine per 8-fl-oz serving. Coffee flavor contains a trace amount of caffeine.