What's the Difference Between Glucerna and Ensure?

If you have a poor appetite or feel that your diet is lacking, you may consider adding a nutritional supplement drink, such as Glucerna or Ensure, to your diet.

A diet lacking in nutrients may require a nutritional supplement drink.
Credit: IRA_EVVA/iStock/GettyImages

While both products contain a variety of the nutrients you need for good health, there are some differences in Glucerna vs Ensure. Knowing these differences can help you decide which supplement drink is the right one for you.

Who Needs It?

The most notable difference between Glucerna and Ensure, which are both made by the same company, is the intended user. Glucerna is meant to be used as a supplement by people who need better control over their blood sugar, specifically people with diabetes.

Ensure is more of a general nutritional supplement that's meant to provide calories, vitamins and minerals to those who have lost weight, have a poor appetite or are malnourished.

Read more: Ideal Weight Calorie Calculator

Calories, Carbs, Protein and Fat

Nutritionally, there are also differences between the two supplement drinks. Glucerna is lower in calories, with 200 calories per 8-ounce bottle, versus 220 calories in the same serving size of Ensure.

Glucerna is also higher in fat, protein and fiber, and lower in carbohydrates than Ensure. An 8-ounce serving of Glucerna contains 7 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein, while the same size serving of Ensure contains 6 grams of fat, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber and 9 grams of protein.

The higher fat and fiber content helps to delay stomach emptying, which helps with better blood sugar control, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Read more: Importance of Carbohydrates

Vitamins and Minerals

Both Glucerna and Ensure provide a number of essential vitamins and minerals, but some of them in different amounts. One bottle of Glucerna meets 100 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and 25 percent of the daily value for selenium, while the same serving of Ensure meets 50 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and 30 percent for selenium.

The additional vitamin C found in Glucerna is meant to boost its antioxidant content for immune system health. Comparatively, Ensure is a slightly better source of calcium, meeting 30 percent of the daily value versus 25 percent of the daily value in Glucerna.

Read more: List of Antioxidant Vitamins

Additional Ingredients

Both supplements include a number of nutrients that promote heart health, but different ones. Glucerna contains phytosterols, which are substances found in plants that help to lower blood cholesterol. Ensure contains omega-3 fatty acids, which also help to lower blood cholesterol levels and promote heart health by reducing inflammation.

In addition, Glucerna contains a special blend of carbohydrates, referred to as CARBSTEADY ULTRA, that produces a smaller rise in blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

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