I've noticed that Ensure has been mentioned a few times on this board. I haven't paid too much attention, since I don't use it and never saw it for sale here in Taiwan - until recently.
I can understand it's value to a patient in the hospital recovering from a bowel resection and thus unable to stand any solid food. But as a nutrition supplement - well, read the ingredient label: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, 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
Nothing wrong with the first ingredient (water), but look at the next three which make up the bulk of this product: sugar, corn syrup and maltodextrin. Basically, it's coffee creamer. It's only when we get down to the 5th ingredient, calcium caseinate (milk protein) that we're talking about
something with nutritional value. However, you can buy milk protein powder for far less money than Ensure, and not get all the sugar and corn starch junk. There are a few vitamins in Ensure, but much less than you'll get from taking just one multi-vitamin pill per day.
In short, I would say that if you're looking to supplement your diet, you'd be better off with milk protein powder (note: this is not whey protein power, which really tastes terrible), or maybe soy protein powder if you prefer its taste, plus a vitamin pill. Unlike Ensure, protein powder by itself isn't sweet, so you'd have to either add sugar or an artificial sweetener (or stevia, which is what I use) to give it flavor. I do add protein powder to my oatmeal (along with stevia and cinnamon) to give it more nutrition. I cannot drink milk, since I'm very lactose intolerant (pure milk protein does not have lactose, and soy protein definitely doesn't either).
Of course, if you drink coffee, you could use Ensure as an expensive and slightly more nutritious alternative to coffee creamer. Otherwise, I'd give it a miss.
Just my opinion.
Crohn's since 1988
Post Edited (ozonehole) : 8/26/2009 12:09:05 AM (GMT-6)