If you have a poor appetite or feel your diet is lacking, you may consider adding nutritional supplement drinks such as Glucerna or Ensure to your diet. While both contain a variety of nutrients you need for good health, there are some differences between the two products. Knowing these differences can help you decide which supplement is right for you.
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Who Needs It
The most noted difference between Glucerna and Ensure, which are both made by the same company, is their intended user. Glucerna is meant to be used as a supplement for people who need better control over their blood sugar, specifically people with diabetes. Ensure is more of a general nutritional supplement meant to provide calories, vitamins and minerals for those who have lost weight, have a poor appetite or are malnourished.
Calories, Carbs, Protein and Fat
Nutritionally, there are also differences between the two drinks. Glucerna is lower in calories with 200 calories per 8-ounce bottle, versus 250 calories in the same serving size of Ensure. Glucerna is also higher in fat, protein and fiber, and lower in carbohydrates than Enure. An 8-ounce serving of Glucerna contains 7 grams of fat, 27 grams of carb, 3 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein, while the same serving of Ensure contains 6 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber and 9 grams of protein. The higher fat and fiber content helps delay stomach emptying, which helps with better blood sugar control, according to Nutrition411.
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 30 percent for selenium, while the same serving of Ensure meets 50 percent of your daily value for vitamin C and 25 percent for selenium. The additional vitamin C and selenium found in the Glucerna is meant to boost its antioxidant content for immune health. Comparatively, Ensure is a slightly better source of calcium, meeting 30 percent of the daily value versus 25 percent in the Glucerna.
Both supplements include nutrients that promote heart health, but different ones. Glucerna contains phytosterols, which are substances found in plants that help lower blood cholesterol. Ensure contains omega-3 fatty acids, which also help lower blood cholesterol levels. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids also promote heart health by reducing inflammation. Additionally, Glucerna contains a special blend of carbohydrates, referred to as CARBSTEADY ULTRA, that produces a smaller rise in blood sugar in people with diabetes.