A Low-Sugar Option to Ensure or Boost (A better alternative!)
Too much sugar in Ensure? We're not So Sure about Ensure
Ensure, advertised as the "number one doctor recommended" brand in the dense-nutrition liquid / supplement shakes space, is simply put, a bad choice for nutrition supplementation. Today, you'll see Ensure being doled out regularly at hospitals, clinics and the like, used as supplementation to post-surgery patients or those who have trouble swallowing / have a loss in appetite. Its (little) sister brand, PediaSure is served to children as a nutritional supplement (typically as an alternative to milk). Now, why is Ensure not the best option for either of these cases?
Let's take a look at their nutrition label:
The first thing that comes to attention is the amount of sugar in each one of these drinks! Ensure is chock-full of sugar. In fact, one of their reviewers said it best:
“As a doctor I would not recommend to any of my patients. To obtain 100% of some of the vitamins and minerals in the product you would have to drink four bottles which would mean ingesting 60gms of SUGAR!”
The same goes for PediaSure, a product supposedly great for children. The macronutrient profiles of all of these products appear to do more harm than good. One might as well take vitamin tablets with sugar water - you'd pretty much achieve the same effect. Again, keeping in mind that many of those that depend on Ensure / PediaSure are either very young, older, or recovering from sugery - does it make sense to give these individuals products with so. much. sugar?
U.S Micronutrition Deficiencies and Imbalances.
(click to enlarge)
Quoted from the DietDoctor.com, "WHO recommends no more than 10% of energy in the diet to come from sugar, ideally below 5%. The sugar in this drink makes up a full 25 % of the energy. Five times more than the maximum recommendation." Alarming.
In their ingredient profile, Sugar is listed third; Even the Ensure Powder Mix products contain 11 g of sugar (with Corn Syrup as its number one listed ingredient). These products are advertised as providing 'complete balanced nutrition' , though one most likely cannot recall hearing in their Elementary School nutrition class that Sugar was part of that balance - if anything, based on Ensure's ingredient profiles, the balance is clearly swayed in the wrong direction.
What Should You Be Getting?
So, what benefits should users be garnering from a quality nutrition supplement / meal-replacement product? Natural whole food supplementation is going to be the best avenue for individuals to truly get the optimal nutrients; however, we understand circumstances may disallow this, either due to suppressed appetite, inability to chew, or simply just less access to these foods. Thus, we strongly feel that a nutrition supplement shake should be giving its consumers the following:
1. Quality whey protein to support lean muscle growth and maintenance. Given many use these products either in recovery, to help maintain their bodies as they age, or for growing children, adequate protein is a must. For those seeking to manage weight, whey protein offers a way to feel fuller for longer.
2. Fiber to support digestive function. Those suffering from a loss in appetite, may not necessarily be able to get their fiber from food and diet alone.
3. Low Potassium & Low Sodium. For those who are going through dialysis treatment, this requirement is critically important.
4. High in Calcium. For children and adults, calcium is a crucial building block for maintenance of strong bones as well as growth. Those taking these products as an alternative to milk (due to a lactose intolerance) may not be receiving the adequate calcium they require.
5. No added sugars. We covered this already, but it's worth mentioning again. The addition of sugars to the formula only serves to create energy spikes, potentially exacerbate inflammation, and provide a risk to diabetics.
The Better Alternative
SureMeal™ nutrition was created as its founders were convinced that there must be additional ways we can better equip our bodies to be able to stave off life-threatening disease such as cancer or other chronic illness such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. After launching several successful premium meal-replacement nutrition shake mix products, he set his sights on the sugar-laden profiles of Ensure, Boost, and Pediasure, working closely with nutritionists and doctors to create a better formula - one that met the above criteria.
Take a look below how Ensure, Boost, and Glucerna measure up to SureMeal's product lines.
You can easily see the difference. Not to mention, the vitamin and ingredient profile of SureMeal™ Classic contains more Calcium and the addition of White Chia Seeds for additional fiber and micronutrients. Listed first on the ingredient profile is Whey Protein (as should be for a quality meal-replacement shake), with 0 cholesterol, and less sodium and potassium for dialysis patients. Safer for children, safer for diabetics, and a better option when compared to Ensure. The numbers don't lie.
So, next time your doctor recommends Ensure or other sugar-laden drinks, you should ask them back.. Why not SureMeal™?