Glucerna, Enterex or Ensure – Which One is Best for Diabetes Nutrition
Glucerna, Enterex and Ensure are all touted as nutritious shakes packed with vitamins and minerals. They are also marketed as meal or snack replacements suitable for anyone who is concerned about meeting daily nutritional needs. Whether you are sick, have dietary restrictions or you just have a poor appetite, they can assist in meeting micro nutrient goals. To be honest these shakes come in quite handy if you are pressed for time or on the go.
While Glucerna and Ensure are produced by the same company, Abbott Nutrition, they serve a slightly different purpose. Glucerna is primarily designed for persons with diabetes while Ensure is marketed as a healthy meal replacement or supplement that can help you stay healthy, active, and energetic. Enterex is also created for persons with diabetes and can also be used as a meal replacement or nutritional supplement.
Glucerna claims that it has been clinically proven to help minimize blood sugar spikes. This is done by what they call CARBSTEADY which is basically low glycemic carbohydrates. The glycemic index (GI) rates carbohydrates according to how quickly they raise the glucose level of the blood.
The following snippet is taken from the Glucerna website.
“Glucerna shakes can be used as a meal or partial meal replacement, or snack, as part of a diabetes management plan. For example, Glucerna shakes can be used in place of a skipped meal or to replace an unhealthy food choice. Shakes have also been used to replace a meal to support a weight loss plan.
For individuals who need extra calories and protein, such as those with, or at risk of, malnutrition, Glucerna shakes can be used to supplement their diet with additional nutrition to help meet nutrient requirements.”
Enterex boasts about the no added sugar factor of their shake with the total sugar amounting to less than 1 gram. This snippet is taken from the Enterex website.
“Enterex® Diabetic is the only nutritional supplement for diabetics with no sugar added, no fructose, and no corn syrup, that offers an ideal balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats, as well as essential vitamins and minerals.
Enterex® Diabetic also provides Omega-3, which contributes to cardiovascular health, as well as fiber, which is known to slow the absorption of carbohydrates and helps control blood sugar. This delicious beverage meets the American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association guidelines for a healthy diet.
Following a healthy diet when you have diabetes can be a challenge. Enterex® Diabetic can help. Drink Enterex® Diabetic as a healthy snack in between meals or use it as a meal replacement when you don’t have the time or the urge for a healthy meal. You may also consume Enterex® Diabetic in addition to your regular meals if your doctor or dietitian has told you that you need extra nutrition and has recommended a nutritional supplement.”
Nutrition Facts Comparison of Ensure, Enterex and Glucerna
While all 3 shakes are a concentrated sources of nutrients, the calorie, carbohydrate, protein and fat content differ. Below is a comparison of for 8oz of each shake.
|Dietary Fiber (g)||3||<1||13|
As you can see from the table above, Glucerna has the least number of calories and carbohydrates. Ensure has the second highest number of calories and the highest number of carbohydrates and sugars. It nearly triples the sugar content of Glucerna. Enterex on the other hand has more calories than both Ensure and Glucerna. However, it is packed with more protein and more fiber with just under 1 gram of sugar. With its high fiber content, Enterex will definitely keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.
Micronutrient Makeup – Vitamins and Minerals
|Vitamin A (%)||25||25||25|
|Vitamin B6 (%)||25||25||25|
|Vitamin B12 (%)||25||25||25|
|Vitamin C (%)||100||50||100|
|Vitamin D (%)||80||50||25|
|Vitamin E (%)||25||25||25|
|Vitamin K (%)||25||25||25|
The table above shows the nutrition content for 8 oz of each shake. The percentage is based on a 2000 calorie diet. All 3 shakes contain the same percentages for most vitamins and minerals. However, Glucerna takes the lead over Ensure when it comes to Vitamin C, D and Chromium. It also ties with Enterex in having 100% Vitamin C. Ensure however has 5% more Calcium than its competitors. Chromium helps to move blood sugar from the bloodstream into the cells to be used as energy and this can definitely assist in diabetes management.
The Taste Test
For the purpose of this test I have used the vanilla flavor for all 3 shakes. In my opinion when it comes to taste, Ensure takes home the title. A close second is Glucerna followed by Enterex in third place. Ensure delivers that tasty, milky shake that you simply love. Glucerna is very similar in taste to Ensure, afterall, it is produced by the same company. When it comes to Enterex I simply do not fancy the taste. In my opinion, it does not resemble the tasty vanilla flavor that you would enjoy drinking. However, this is my personal preference and I would advise you to try it for yourself.
Carbohydrates in food affect blood sugar levels. Controlling the amount of carbohydrates with each meal is extremely important when it comes to managing diabetes. If you are trying to lose weight or are on a restricted calorie program then Glucerna may be the best choice for you. There is also the fact that Glucerna will not spike your blood sugar levels and the chromium in it will also assist in transporting glucose. Alternatively, if your diet allows for a couple more calories Enterex is also a good option. Of course there is also the option of making your own nutritious shakes if you have the time. Diabetic diet management is not the avoidance of sugar but the management of a total budget of carbohydrates and calories.