18 Jan 2010
Liquid nutrition products like Ensure (tm) and Boost (tm) have been used almost exclusively in nursing homes and hoispitals, until recently. Lately we have seen nutritional companies marketing these drinks to people of all ages and all stages of health.
Liquid supplements are supposed to be the answer for busy moms running around with the kids, business people running out the door out without time for a sit-down breakfast, and older adults wanting to insure that they will be able to enjoy their grandchildren. But what do these liquid nutrion product really offer?
In general, these supplements are composed of water, sugar, milk and soy proteins, oils, vitamins, and minerals. An 8-ounce can generally has 250 calories, and the deluxe version may have as many as 355 calories. Most are lactose free, some have added fiber, and some are specifically designed for children or adults with certain health problems.
These companies ad campaigns are using fear tactics to make you worry that you are not getting proper nutrition from your ordinary meals. True, some people are consuming less than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for some nutrients, this doesn't mean they will develop a deficiency disease. If you truly feel you are not getting enough nutrients from your food, you should contact a registered dietitian or a KSU Extension Specialist in nutrition. They can help you determine your needs for additional supplements.
Liquid supplements may be a quick way to get vitamins, minerals and protein, but there is more needed for good health! Scientists continue to discover new ingredienets in foods that provide health benefits. Consider this; the canned supplements have a severe lack of fiber and other healthy components but are really high in sugars and calories. Although this was ideal for the original intent of the products, most healthy consumers don’t want or need all the extra calories that the supplement provides.
In summary, while there is a need for liquid nutritional supplements in some medical conditions, these products are unnecessary for the average, healthy person. In addition, one must consider the cost of an 8 once can of these liquid supplements to determine if they should be included in their dietary regimen.