Meal replacement drinks – a good idea?

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Meal replacements claim to be high in easily assimilated nutrition, but are the claims true? Are these drinks healthy?

On occasion over the last few years, I’ve known people, usually elderly, that were told by their physicians to take “Ensure” or “Boost”, or some other meal replacement beverage, in order to be certain they are getting all the nutrients they need. And even when a plate of healthy, real food is offered, the dutiful patient follows the doctor’s advice and chooses the artificial drink instead, believing they will get better nutrition from the drink than from the food. Doctors are doing their very best, but please remember that most have had very little if any nutrition training at all. The weight-loss industry also frequently markets meal-replacement beverages as part of their weight-loss plans. Having looked at the ingredient list on these beverages, I don’t think they should be recommended to anyone!

Here is the ingredient list for “Ensure”: 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.

After water, the first three ingredients are all sugar, two made almost certainly from genetically modified corn, as the product is not organic. Sugar devastates the body, accelerating heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, cancer and most other diseases of civilization. Soon after on the list are three vegetable oils, which increase inflammation due to their high omega 6 content (canola and corn oil being worse than the high-oleic safflower) and the fact that the oils are almost certainly refined, meaning they are rancid and will cause free radical damage in the body. Then we have soy isolate on the list, an endocrine disruptor, and whey protein, which is also a highly processed product. After that for the most part is a list of synthetic vitamins, mixed in with flavourings, which entails another long list of chemicals that they do not have to put on the label. Do the synthetic vitamins redeem the product? I don’t think the isolated synthetic vitamins can overcome the fact that one has consumed a bottle/can of sugar and rancid vegetable oils, two of the most harmful ingredients one can have if one values one’s health. And of course, the poor liver has to detoxify all the chemical ingredients, of which there are many! Not a burden one wants to put on the liver if unhealthy!

The bottom line is to be healthy one needs to consume real food. What comes from a factory simply will never be as healthy as fresh foods that are picked, pulled out of the ground or chased after to obtain, or come from the ocean. The food needs to come from live sources, not made out of chemicals. Real food does not need to advertise that it is healthy. If a label is telling you it is healthy, it probably isn't.

I realize that these meal replacement beverages are a convenience, and sometimes when people are sick they need something liquid. There are so many healthier options than artificial meal-replacement beverages, if it is possible to take the time to make them. Soups made of bone broths, containing a variety of pureed vegetables, and possibly some pureed meat too. Smoothies with natural yogurt as a base, and filled with all kinds of wholesome, real food, including nuts, berries, coconut oil, an egg etc. Freshly made mixed vegetable juices with flax oil added. It takes some planning, but one would get all the nutrition needed without the problems, and it would taste better too!

What do you think? Am I being too harsh? I look forward to your comments!

Related tips
Sugar, the disease generator
GMO, crossing the species barrier
Essential fats: omega 3 to omega 6 ratio
Oils and fats – the good, the bad, and the ugly
The soy controversy
Artificial and natural flavours

Online Dietary Supplements Labels Database Ensure Plus Nutrition Drink

Copyright 2008 Vreni Gurd

To view post titles by topic, go to www.wellnesstips.ca

31 Comments

  1. Janis Herbison said,

    May 18, 2008 @ 8:56 am

    Hello, You are right about these Meal replacement drinks. My Dad had heart trouble and he used these drinks every night before bed and then had trouble sleeping… I told him the sugar or something was keeping him awake. But I was too far away to be of much help…You can’t beat just good old food like fresh fruit and veg’s…. Dad eventually died of a Stroke….He had HBP most of his life and let everything bother him, by making his own stress. I believe stress is number one for heart disease. And for other health problems….
    You must at all cost find what makes you happy and passionate about life. Don’t rely on Doctors too much, do your own research. Take your life into your own hands… And certainly don’t believe our Gov. cares about us, they don’t… Thanks

  2. Vreni said,

    May 18, 2008 @ 11:15 am

    Hi Janis,

    I’m sorry about your Dad …

    I think you are so right about the importance of finding what makes you happy and passionate about life. So vital to our health!

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. Kam said,

    July 16, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

    i think you are being a lil harsh here….you are bashing the sugar content of this drink when it only has 54 grams of carb per can (ensure plus is what im talking about)…recommended amount per day is about 300 grams of carbohydrates so one can of this drink has only a fraction of daily carb (‘sugar’ as u put it) ….carbohydrates are absolutely essential in a daily diet as they are the fuel for many metabolic cycles in the body …a meal MUST have sugars…just not in excess amounts.

    on another note, there is no evidence showing iso whey is harmful, infact it is what is in many protein supplements that are recommended by many health professionals….as for synthetic vitamins….thats in every multivitamin tablet we take/should take every day as well…

    i definately agree that natural sources are much better since they are well…natural..but ‘synthetic’ doesn’t automatically mean bad.,,every drug in the world is synthetic and yet they are saving lives on a daily basis.

  4. H. Shane said,

    September 22, 2008 @ 3:36 pm

    Do any of the ingredients in “Ensure” aggrevate atrial fibrillation or interact with amiodarone?

  5. Diana said,

    October 21, 2008 @ 11:52 pm

    Today i came across some headlines concerning (BPA) which is a toxic chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) and that we should avoid the plastic containers that contain the numbers 3,6,7, because they may contain (BPA). (BPA) free would be number 1, because it is the easiest plastic to recycle.
    To get to my point, is that i had purchased about 3 dozens, ENSURE meal replacement, and i discovered i belief it to be a 7, for other, on the bottom of the bottle.

    The point is that a day or two before my monthly period, i had taking ENSURE just to taste it, and i must admit that i liked the taste, since it was strawberry flavour. I take once daily, multivitamin, because i don`t always eat healthy, i had also taken ENSURE, while having my period. And i was in so much pain, it was as if my stomach was in such INFLAMMATION, i was feeling so much SWELLING AND “UNSPEAKLE PAIN“ that i thought this is it. And i don`t take any type of medications or pills. I believe it was a reaction from the (two products). Now after reading your article, i think i will throw out all the ENSURE I BOUGHT!
    what do you think! Diana

  6. Vreni said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 12:49 am

    Hi Diana,

    I think that’s a good idea to throw out Ensure! Definitely not a health food. Easy to make your own far healthier smoothies following some of the ideas above, and I bet you’ll find they taste better too.

    Shane,

    I think the sugar in Ensure would excite the heart, since sugar is a stimulant. Whether it would aggravate atrial fibrillation I’m not sure, but it can’t improve the situation. And I’m afraid I don’t know about any interactions between the ingredients in Ensure and amiodarone.

  7. Wendy said,

    July 25, 2009 @ 12:17 am

    I sadly believe most of what I am reading above. However, I am 43, feel young but weight 240 pounds. My doctor suggested I consider the Ottawa Hospital health clinic at $2,000.00 cost to see about losing weight. I spoke to my boss and was told that her client had been with that clinic. She believes that the person lost over 100 pounds and lived on ensure meal replacement for about four to six weeks, no other foods. It apparently was to shrink the stomach and then learn how to eat smaller meals, portion control healthily and to also exercise. I decided to try it. Today is day twelve. I have lost so far 16 pounds. For the first time in my life I am not hungry (believe me I could eat junk food every hour on hour generally) I hesitate to listen because this is how I see it could work. I was further informed that there is no fibre and constipation would soon happen. It is starting to. I was always regular and now it has been about three days I think. I feel great though. I am so determined to lose weight and just do not want to quit. Don’t want to die or damage body worse though. Trying to get to speak to a doctor for advice but not for a bit yet. I keep trying the Hospital health clinic but just keep leaving messages. Just wanted to share this with everyone. Any suggestions. I am open. email me: tigertail999@hotmail.com

  8. Vreni said,

    July 25, 2009 @ 11:56 am

    Hi Wendy

    I bet the reason the meal replacements are working for you is they are forcing you to limit calories. Often it is easier to quit a bad habit cold turkey than to allow yourself a little, so by using meal replacements you are not eating the chips or whatever bad habits you have. Potentially the meal replacements are currently providing you with more nutrition than your previous diet had??

    That said, meal replacements will only take you so far. At some point, to achieve optimal health, you will need to eat real food, as the sugar and damaged fats in the drinks will take their toll. So, when you decide you are ready to go off them, you need to give yourself a different rule to follow, so you don’t get back into your old habits. The rule I would follow is to only eat food that existed 10,000 years ago. If it was invented in the last 100 years especially, don’t eat it. So that would give you a diet of fresh vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, poultry, wild game, legumes, whole dairy (low fat dairy is a modern invention). You would cook with butter, olive oil or coconut oil, but avoid other plant oils as they are a modern invention. No such thing as packaged cereals 10,000 years ago, but rolled oats existed. No packaged food existed at all. You get the idea. The other thing to watch is that the animals you eat were fed their natural diet too. Cows don’t naturally eat corn, yet most of the beef on the market is corn or grain fed. So, choose grass fed meats. Try to eat foods that are grown/raised locally and are in season. If you keep those rules, you will be able to achieve maximum health.

    If you find you get hungry, you may need to eat a bit more protein and fat (butter, cheese, fattier cuts of meat) at each meal to make you last longer between meals. These are very nutrient dense foods which fill you up, so you wind up eating less calories as you don’t need the snacks.

    I hope that helps.

  9. Anthony Triano said,

    September 13, 2009 @ 6:33 am

    Your not being harsh at all those drinks can slowly kill you if you have any health problems. whole natural foods are the way to go. After my quadruple bypass operation 3 years ago and having type 2 diabetes, it took me to long to figure out that doctor’s don’t know everything, I now found a doctor that listens and really talks about all the options that I can use to get me back to good health and feeling good again, and your own research and knowing your own body’s feelings is what is needed. Finding sites like yours and reading and studying everything I can has brought me to a place where I feel better than I have ever felt. Thank you for your great site keep up with the great work.
    Regard’s
    Anthony Triano

  10. Wendy said,

    September 13, 2009 @ 11:36 am

    Hi, Wendy again from Ottawa, Ontario. the last comment on blog was me I had forgotten about. I am still 43, and July 13th, 2009 I started the ensure three times a day and nothing else but water and tea with Splenda, everyone at my job critisized or comented how bad it was for me, etc., well I agree it probably is, however three of them are now trying it but still eating as well.

    I am happy to say, so far…. today is September 13th, 2009, just realized exactly two months to the day I started… thought it was longer actually.. and I have now lost a total of 36 pounds. Yes that is definitely too much, I do look much better was 240 pounds, now 204, what a difference. glad I kept some of my old clothes. I have been to the doctor, he congratulated me, said good that I found something that was working… and said I had to go back in two months (I think), have blood tests done again to check I am okay, and that my blood pressure is excellent… he did confirm that after another twenty pounds I had to get back into eating real food properly. He knows me and how I am so I respect his judgement.

    I so agree with all the concerns about ensure or any other diet magic idea. however, again, I was living on junk food, working all the time, coming home late and stopping at McDonalds or other junk food fast stops, get home late and fill up on ice cream or 4-5 toast with butter and lots of brown suger. Barely ever ever ate vegetables. Well considering that, not that I am proud to admit it, I could not possibly be eating any worse with Ensure. I confirm again though, that for the last two or three weeks, I have started eating lunch and no ensure and stuck to brown rice and red kidny beans, sometimes added celery, used beef spice for flavour, and trying really hard to add only a few little things when absolutely desperate. I still feel great, get compliments, still have a long way to go, but I am barely ever hungry, have unfortunately cut back on water intake which is bad, but .. anyway, just wanted to share my feelings of good news. Am eating lots of salads with really low cal dressing lots fresh veggies in them as well, trying really hard to be good, a couple of times I had a tiny piece of cheese, measured with weight watchers scale, this is the first time I have managed without the hunger. My biggest problem is other people eating the junk around me and my husband too. But in fairness he is not overweight and his body allows him to live a little more dangerously. I always says he feels bad that I cannot have anything I used to love to eat and feels guilty for eating in front of me. I tell him not to worry, I am smaller and being strong and have to pick one or other, I pick smaller. Thanks Vreni Gurd for your being there for me as well.

  11. Paul said,

    September 13, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

    I’m a wellness coach working for a Chiropractor in New England – the challenge remains how to get people to move towards healthier alternatives and convenience is necessary for some or it simply won’t work. I use drinks sometimes but don’t buy them already made and I’m astonished to see what is in Ensure! As for a previous post about sugar – you’re NOT harsh – (processed) sugar is, in my opinion, as addicitve and dangerous as heroin. Sugar in processed forms is different than the sugar in fresh food – fruits, vegetables, etc. I like the 10,000 years ago concept also mentioned in a previous post. Research has showed that we have not evolved as a species to digest and use carbohydrates yet – that’s what helps contribute towards the obesity we see now. Well, enough of my two cents worth. . . once anyone really takes time to do some research, learn and “digest” the information thats widely available (including this website and it’s tips) will see that how many people eat is just not good for us.

  12. Barry said,

    December 7, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

    Hi Vreni:

    You have a most unusual name. Is it an abbreviation? Just wondering. But this was not my reason for writing this comment. I just came back from the store and for the second time in about 3 months I bought a pack of Ensure. The last time I bought it I had planned on looking up meal replacement drinks and checking out what the evidence behind it is. Unfortunately I never got around to it. But since I bought the Ensure this afternoon and about $ 14 later, I thought I would check it out. And I am appalled to learn what you wrote. In fact I thought that perhaps Ensure may changed the ingredients as described by you above. I did a halfway comparison between what you wrote and what the bottle says. And your listing of the ingredients continues to be accurate. Thank you for your making the issue so explicit in your blog.

    I took note what you wrote about Canola Oil. And for the last about three decades I have always read that Canola is about the best oil there is relative to any other oil. In fact what convinced about the health benefits of Canola oil (or rapeseed oil as it is also called) was what I read in Consumer Reports (a highly non-partisan publication) which sang the praises of Canola. But you write in your blog, “Soon after on the list are three vegetable oils, which increase inflammation due to their high omega 6 content (canola and corn oil being worse than the high-oleic safflower) and the fact that the oils are almost certainly refined, meaning they are rancid and will cause free radical damage in the body.”

    Could you please elaborate on what exactly is the issue with Canola. I ask because I use Canola for all my cooking. And in fact even Becel margarine is made from Canola. Elsewhere above you also stated that cooking with butter is fine. Can you please share your perspective on these cooking mediums. And what do you recommend as the most healthy and/or healthier cooking medium in lieu of Canola.

    A lot of people I know tout and even brag that they only cook with extra virgin Olive oil. But I know for a fact that Olive has a very low heatpoint so one cooks with it all its nutritional advantages are burnt out of the oil and what remains is the Extra Virgin Olive oils high fat content.

    It is possible I am wrong. But I would deeply appreciate if you can clarify the above because I would like to act accordngly.

    Thanks in advance, and thanks for a great and enlightening website.

  13. Vreni said,

    December 8, 2009 @ 12:44 am

    Hi Barry,

    Vreni is a Swiss name, short for Verena.

    I realize that most “conventional” nutrition info out there touts canola oil as a very healthy oil to use, but I disagree. Canola oil along with all plant oils other than olive, coconut and palm, are primarily made up of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which by definition, means they are very delicate and should not heated as heating will make them oxidize and go rancid. All polyunsaturated molecules by definition are highly unstable if you remember high school chemistry.

    How do you imagine they get the oil out of rape seed? They heat it (which oxidizes the sensitive fatty acids), they use solvents, then they deodorize it and bleach it, and sell it to us as healthy. But the oil is highly refined and rancid on the store shelves.

    Polyunsaturated oils should all be treated like flax oil is – it should be kept in the fridge in a dark bottle so the oil won’t spoil. But because oils like canola are already ruined, they are kept in clear glass bottles at room temperature. Nothing left to protect.

    You are right about olive oil – it can only tolerate low heat. It is a monounsaturated oil, so it is more stable than polyunsaturated oils are, but it still has room for one electron (mono means one), so it can still oxidize.

    Furthermore, in general we are eating far too much omega 6 to omega 3. We should be eating a max ratio of 4 to 1 omega 6 to 3, and instead we are eating a ratio of 20 to 1. One of our biggest sources of omega 6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated vegetable oils like canola, safflower, corn, soy, etc. So much omega 6 is very inflammatory to the body, and for this reason as well, we should not, in my opinion, eat more omega 6 oils.

    If you need a fat to cook, use butter, ghee (clarified butter), beef tallow, lard or coconut oil, as these are mostly saturated fatty acids and can therefore tolerate heat without oxidizing. Olive oil is fine for low temperature cooking.

    If you want more info on this, read more here.

    Hope that helps,

    Vreni

  14. sophia campbell said,

    January 28, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

    Hi Vreni. what about BOOTS energy drink? is it any better?
    sophia

  15. Vreni said,

    January 28, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

    Hi Sophia,

    I can’t find a list of ingredients for BOOTS, but personally I doubt it is good enough. It is clearly highly processed, has flavouring and probably a fair bit of sugar. No matter how good the packaging says it is, I would trust real food and clean water more. If the sugar in it is high fructose corn syrup, it should be avoided at all costs, as that stuff is pretty much as bad for one’s health as trans-fats in my opinion.

    Processed food manufacturers will got to great lengths to make you think their product is better than unrefined, unprocessed food, but that simply is not the case.

    Hope that helps,

  16. Laurie said,

    May 20, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

    The plastic bottle is a number FIVE not a seven. The lady above may have wrote BOOTS but I am sure she meant BOOST.
    Now, from what I figure, Ensure is NOT meant to be a meal replacement FOR LIFE… it was made to be a SUPPLEMENT to ensure (where the name came from) that an individual is getting the required nutrients for the body when food is not possible.
    Case in point is in nursing homes. Some of the elderly do not eat their meals, either they refuse to, due to illness of the mind or due to lack of appetite. They are given an ensure drink and a high fiber cookie at a snack time.
    If it was not for products like Ensure… the elderly in these homes would be force fed or given intravenous nutrients. This product was not made for someone to diet on nor was it made for the healthy. This is why this product is in existence and those in nursing homes with lack of eating skills or appetite can get nutrition for the body… many of the people with those issues are not obese and do not have heart problems.
    I personally use Ensure for a breakfast replacement when I am sick and it does wonders for me. In fact, if I have had one for breakfast three days in a row I tend to feel stronger, healthier, more active, and happier.
    I do not expect you to respond to this post as you refused to respond to the other person that posted something that goes against what you believe.
    It is up to the individual to know what a product is for and use accordingly. It is not the products fault if people are stupid.

  17. Laurie said,

    May 20, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

    The first three ingredients are NOT sugar.
    Water (not sugar)
    Sugar (it is sugar)
    Sodium and Calcium casinate (I am pretty sure this is not sugar)
    Corn maltodextrin (sugar)
    corn oil
    ect

  18. Vreni said,

    May 20, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

    Hi Laurie,

    I can’t believe I didn’t realize that BOOTS was a typo! I must have been really asleep when I replied to that!

    I do think it is possible to make good quality liquid nutrition that does not include sugar and vegetable oils, perhaps using bone broths as a base and adding pureed veggies or something. I think it is possible to create something that is very complete nutritionally made with real food rather than chemicals. I do realize there is a need that needs to be filled in nursing homes etc, but I don’t think loading someone up with sugar and inflammatory omega 6 oils is an ideal option. Surely we can do better than that.

    Ensure is advertised as a meal replacement, and its advertising is directed at the general public, not the sick as you seem to be suggesting. In my neck in the woods Ensure is advertised on TV in prime time.

    As for not responding, I admit I don’t always respond but that is usually due to a lack of time than a lack of desire. Sorry if I offended you – thanks for posting.

  19. Vreni said,

    May 20, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

    Hi Laurie,

    I said “AFTER water” the first three ingredients are sugar. Sugar, corn syrup, and corn maltodextrin. That was on the label that I looked at. Perhaps they have changed their formula since I wrote the post.

  20. Andrea said,

    June 7, 2010 @ 8:58 pm

    You mention ensure and boost, but none of the other meal replacements. what about EAS? The ‘carb control’ version has only 2g total carbs and no sugar. the first 3 ingredients are : soy protien isolate-whey protien concentrate-calcium, sunflower oil and mineral blend. Are you familiar with this and is it any good for you?

    what about the adkins meal replacement, or muscle milk light?

    Excited about your response…

    Thanks!!

  21. Nisha said,

    July 14, 2010 @ 8:39 am

    i work for a seniors residence as a receptionist, most of our residents drink ensure on a daily basis, and i always get great feebbacks and compliments about this product.

    So after 2 yrs and many observations later, i bought 2 cases of ensure(low protein) last night from walmart, choc and strawberry flavoured, had one this morning and i feel like i have attracted all the energy in the world towards me. Two reasons why i decided to try ensure 1. i needed more energy and 2. i need to loose weight
    (i weigh 245 libs) so let’s see what happens

    i also think you are being a bit harsh; even a 3 month old woudl understand that real food is always and will always remain better than food in containers with an expiry date on them. But let us be honest for once; do we all follow the rules? NO..do we have time to prepare healthy meals every week after a 9 hr shift at work? NO , i certainly don’t so a bottled meal every now then is the way to go and its not as bad as you all think it is,. If docs have no problem with it, i don’t see any problems.
    I still have a question though..my bottle does not say what kind of plastic container it is though..how can i find out?

    nish

  22. Vreni said,

    July 18, 2010 @ 11:24 am

    Hi Nisha,

    I agree that eating right all the time is very difficult to do in our busy lives, but in a pinch I am more likely to grab a nice piece of cheese and a tomato – very quick, and contains no artificial ingredients, yet gives a good round sum of nutrients. And I stay away from the vegetable oils, which are so inflammatory and harmful.

    I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. As for the type of plastic, you would probably need to contact the company and find out that way.

    Good luck!

  23. EnsureTaker said,

    September 19, 2010 @ 12:55 am

    I hope people who really need Ensure would consider consulting with the professional like registered dietitian, she was the one who I consulted with on a regular basis. I do drink it, not because I like it, but because without it I can not digest regular food, so I have no choice, it helps me to gain weight and it helps me to have energy that I don’t have otherwise at all.

  24. Martina said,

    October 28, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

    I’m 20 years old, August of 2008 i was 296lbs. I have since lost a drastic amount of weight without trying, health conditions are getting the best of me. I thought my weight had steadied at 145lbs, then more problems arose. I am now 129lbs after only 3 weeks. I cannot keep food down, if I do manage to consume anything, it is out of me within an hour. I have no energy, and no explanation for the current situation. Yogurt is the only food I am able to manage and at that I still get extreme pain. I’m trying to hold off going to emergency as I see the Gastro specialist in just 2 weeks. May not seem like much to a healthy individual but to me, it’s forever. I can’t stand for more than 10 minutes without needing to sit down, I can’t walk up a flight of stairs without needing to sleep.
    My mom is concerned, and wants me to try Ensure plus, or clinical strength, but I don’t like what I’ve read about them. I don’t really care if I gain back a bit of weight, as I am now underweight, I just want some energy so I can enjoy my life again. Do I try this temporarily or is there another homemade nutritional shake I can have someone make thats easy and potentially, less damaging? I do also have 2nd degree AV block. Just looking for advice outside of doctors and parents. Anything helps.

  25. Eunice said,

    March 13, 2012 @ 6:28 am

    I may have missed this very important point in your statement. I have Crohn’s disease and have a bowl stricture narrowing to 2mm. MY DOCTOR perscribed ensure to stop my obstructions while I waited for my meds to click in. Surgery cannot be done at this time as I have and already had too much of my bowel remove. I lost my sister to crohn’s for the same reason at 19. I have been drinking ensure for 2 months. I survived by drinking ensure as this could have life threatening if I attempted to eat food during this waiting peoplle. Please explain to your readers that even though ensure it not the greatest, if monitored it does service it purpose(all my blood test turned out well. I am back on solid food and enjoying every bit.
    I LIVE TO TELL MY STORY!!!

  26. Vreni said,

    March 13, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    Hi Eunice,

    I hear you, and am so happy you are back on solid food. I understand the need for a liquid diet, but surely other healthier options can be considered. For example, strained bone broths are extremely nourishing, raw milk from grass-fed cows is almost a complete food, purees can be made of cooked vegetables and thinned with bone broth, fresh fruit can be juiced – all this can provide excellent nutrition in a liquid form without the sugar, omega 6 vegetable oils and all the chemicals.

    Of course that takes thought, shopping and prep time, but the result would be a very well nourished body without the need for the body to detoxify the chemicals, take down the inflammation from the omega 6, and fight blood sugar issues.

    Probably doctors are suckered into the propaganda given to them for these drinks, as they have very little nutrition training in school. They see a list of vitamins and minerals on the box and think it is healthy.

    Also, some of their patients are not willing to do the work, so drinks like ensure are the easy albeit unhealthy way out.

    Anyway, my 2 cents …

  27. Ruth said,

    January 12, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

    My mother is in the latter stages of Vascular Dementia, she won’t eat solid food as she spits it out or pouches it not swallowing so small amounts of pureed food is all I can get down her this means she has dropped over 5 stone in the last 2 years, I give her Fortisip and Ensure also pureed meals that are made up to look like a real meal. She only eats a quarter of a pureed meal but she will drink 3 to 4 Ensure or Fortisips a day which has now stopped her loosing any more weight. As she is now 83 and nearing the end of her life I don’t think im going to be worrying to much about sugar and oils in her diet. I don’t have the time to prepare food the way you mention as I barely have time to feed myself working all day and looking after my mom all night. So even though it might not be the best choice really its my only choice. I have been waiting for the last 6 weeks for a hospital Dietitian to visit at home so I can at least get some better advice but hey shes old so I don’t think they have much of a rush on that’s the NHS for you, if they leave it long enough they won’t need to visit.

  28. steph said,

    April 3, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

    Currently have a throat ulcer so I can’t eat most foods as it irritates my ulcer. I’m not looking to lose weight or anything like that – I’m using Boost+ and Ensure with extra calories as an effort to maintain weight until this thing goes away and jello or non-fruit filled yogurt only goes so far. (The acidity of most fruits does irritate it as does the saltiness of soup stock and swallowing pills is really tough to do so I’m trying to figure out how to get the most vitamins, calories etc in the least harmful way…but I’m really missing my apples right now)

    Are there any long-term effects for using this stuff until I get better?

  29. http://www.youtube.com/ said,

    March 20, 2014 @ 2:38 am

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about meal+replacements.
    Regards

  30. Kevin said,

    March 22, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

    I see one person making comments about how the sugars/carbs aren’t so bad. But Boost seems to have way too much from what I can see, a lot more than Ensure with its 54g per can.

    I have a 237 ml (8 oz) bottle of Boost and it says it has 13.9 g/100 mL, or 33g in the 237 mL bottle. That works out to 139 grams per litre, which seems a lot when you consider that 2% milk has only 48 grams per litre. So there’s almost 3 times as much carb in Boost as there is in milk. I’d say if you need a bit more carb, just have a glass of milk, and skip the high-sugar Boost.

  31. Slimgenix Review said,

    March 22, 2015 @ 7:56 am

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