Frequently Asked Questions

Browse our Frequently Asked Questions to see what other consumers just like you are asking about nutrition.

If I previously used Ensure® Clinical Strength™, what other Ensure® Shake can help me reach my health goals?

If you were previously using Ensure Clinical Strength, you might want to try Ensure Complete™. Ensure Complete is one simple choice to get the right nutrients in the right amounts. In addition to balanced nutrition, each shake provides targeted nutrition support for muscle, heart, immune system, and bone.

If I previously used Ensure® Bone Health or Ensure® Immune Health, what other Ensure® Shake can help me reach my health goals?

If you were previously using either Ensure Bone Health or Ensure Immune Health, there are other varieties of Ensure you can use instead to help reach your health goals.

 

If you were using Ensure Bone Health, you might want to try Ensure or Ensure® High Protein instead. See the table below for a comparison of these products:

NutrientEnsure Bone HealthEnsureEnsure High Protein
Calories220250210
Protein, g10925
Carbohydrate, g314031
Total Fat, g666
Vitamin D, IU200100100
Calcium, mg500300300


If you were using Ensure Immune Health, you may want to try Ensure or Ensure Complete instead. See the table below for a comparison of these products:


Nutrient
Ensure Immune HealthEnsureEnsure Complete
Calories250250350
Protein, g9913
Carbohydrate, g424051
     Dietary Fiber, g303
Total Fat, g6611
Vitamin C, mg303036
Vitamin E, IU7.57.59
Selenium, mcg171721

What are the best food items to carry with me when out shopping and running errands?

It is important that your daily calorie intake be based on your usual activity level. If you are considerably more active on any given day or are away from home, plan ahead to eat appropriately to manage your food intake. It's best to prepare your own foods so you can control what goes into a meal and avoid hidden calories. On a busy day, carry along one medium apple and a bottle of great-tasting Ensure®.

What is folic acid?

This B vitamin is essential for keeping the body healthy. It benefits everything from the brain and nervous system to bone marrow and the intestinal tract. There’s also evidence that folic acid lowers an amino acid in the blood (homocysteine) that has been linked with increased risk for heart disease and Alzheimer’s. If you’re healthy, you need about 400 micrograms a day. Think foliage: Leafy greens are among the richest sources of folic acid. It’s also found in liver, legumes, oranges, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and whole grains.

Can vegetable juice be considered a vegetable serving?

Studies have shown that people who eat a large variety of vegetables may reduce their risk of cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Eating the whole vegetable is better, because the fiber is usually lost when the juice is extracted. What's more, the whole vegetable is more likely to fill you up. By comparison, processed juices are more calorie-dense and have more sodium. However, fresh and even canned or bottled 100% vegetable juices contain much of their vegetables' original vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, and so can occasionally be a good alternative.

Are fish sticks as healthy as fresh fish?

Most fish sticks are made from pollock, a firm white fish with far less of the heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids than are found in fattier fishes like tuna, salmon, and mackerel. Also, fish sticks often contain both saturated and trans fatty acids, both considered bad for your heart. When choosing frozen fish, look for fillets that aren't breaded. The freezer section offers a variety of choices that are healthier than fish sticks.

What is a hydroponically grown tomato?

Growing plants hydroponically is an alternative to growing them in soil. In this method, plants are suspended so that their roots can be submerged in a solution supplying all of their nutrients. With the nutrients highly available to the plant, it grows very well and produces a lot of fruits or vegetables.

I've heard fish oil has many positive health benefits. Should I buy canned tuna in oil for a bigger dose of Omega-3 fatty acids?

No. The oil that most canned tuna is packaged in is vegetable oil, which would give you more calories but not more Omega-3s. To get the most Omega-3 fatty acids from canned tuna, look for albacore tuna, which contains 1.5 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids per serving compared to unspecified tuna, which contains an average of 0.5 grams per serving.

Is soy sauce a good source for soy protein?

Although soy sauce is a product of the soybean (fermented soy) and tends to liven up many of our favorite dishes, it contains only 1 to 2 grams of soy protein per tablespoon and is high in sodium. If it's soy protein you're looking for, good sources include soy burgers, soymilk, and isolated soy protein powders.

What is a tree nut allergy?

A person who has a tree nut allergy is allergic to nuts grown on trees, like pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, and cashews. Tree nut allergies are more common in adults than children. Typical allergic reactions are hives, wheezing, throat tightness, vomiting, or diarrhea. There is no cure for this allergy; avoidance of the food is necessary. Quick administration of epinephrine, the medication of choice for managing a severe reaction, is critical. Check the ingredient statement on the labels of foods that may contain nuts.

Does refrigerating white potatoes turn the starch into sugar?

A refrigerator's cool temperatures do encourage the starch in potatoes to become sugar. While this process makes potatoes darken and brown more easily during cooking, it doesn't have a big impact on the vegetable's nutritional value. It's a good idea to store fresh potatoes away from sunlight in a cool (about 45°F to 50°F), dry spot.

Is the saturated fat in chocolate bad for you?

The saturated fats in chocolate are stearic and palmitic acids and come from cocoa butter. While eating too much saturated fat is often linked to cardiovascular disease, stearic acid may have a neutral effect on LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol") levels. In one study of subjects with normal cholesterol levels who followed a balanced, healthy diet, eating one chocolate bar a day had no effect on LDL cholesterol levels. As with most foods, consuming chocolate in moderate amounts can be part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Which is healthier for cooking: butter or margarine?

Surprise — neither. Yes, it may be a trick question, but because nearly 100% of their calories are derived from fat, neither butter nor margarine is the best choice for cooking. Butter contains saturated fats and cholesterol, while most margarines contain both saturated fats and trans fats. If you do decide to use margarine, choose tub or liquid styles over stick forms, and choose margarines with liquid vegetable oil as their first ingredient. Your best bet: Use olive, soybean, or canola oil in their place, and make sure to limit your portion sizes.

Where do I find food allergy information on a food label?

Food labels must include major food allergens immediately after or adjacent to the list of ingredients on the label. Because there is no cure for food allergies, you must avoid the food if you are allergic. Fortunately, the labeling may help. Eight major foods or food groups account for 90% of food allergies. The major food allergens are:

  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, and cod)
  • Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, and shrimp)
  • Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, and walnuts)
  • Wheat
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans

What are the key differences between Ensure Clear and traditional Ensure Shakes?

Ensure Clear is a clear liquid nutritional drink that is fat-free, a good source of protein (9 grams per serving), and provides 21 essential vitamins and minerals. Ensure is a creamy shake that provides a source of complete, balanced nutrition with 24 essential vitamins and minerals. Ensure Clear is the clear liquid alternative to creamy shakes like Ensure. 

The main nutrient differences between Ensure Clear and Ensure are shown in the table below:

  Ensure Clear Ensure
Serving Size 10-fl-oz 8-fl-oz
Calories 180 250
Protein, g 9 9
Total Carbohydrate, g 35 40
Total Fat, g 0 6
Essential Vitamins and Minerals 21 24

Is Ensure Clear suitable for lactose intolerance?

Yes, Ensure Clear is suitable for use by those with lactose intolerance. However, it should not be used by people with galactosemia.

Is Ensure Clear gluten-free?

Yes, Ensure Clear is gluten-free.

Is Ensure Clear complete, balanced nutrition like the other Ensure products? If no, why not?

Ensure Clear is not a source of complete, balanced nutrition due to the lack of fat in the product. However, Ensure Clear provides 180 calories, 9 grams of protein, and 21 essential vitamins and minerals per serving.

Can Ensure Clear be used as a meal replacement or a snack?

Yes, Ensure Clear can be used as a snack and as an occasional meal replacement. 

How much sugar is in Ensure Clear?

Ensure Clear has 18 grams of sugars per serving. The amount of sugars includes all inherent and added sugars in the product. As a comparison, an 8-fl-oz serving of orange juice contains a similar quantity of sugars (21 grams).

Can Ensure Clear be tube-fed as a supplement if needed?

No, Ensure Clear was formulated to be used as an oral product only. Ensure Clear is not a complete nutritional product because it does not contain fat and is not designed to be used as a tube-feeding or sole-source feeding product.

Is there any caffeine in Ensure Clear?

No, there is no caffeine in Ensure Clear.

Can Ensure Clear be warmed or frozen?

Yes, Ensure Clear can be warmed before use and can be frozen if desired.

Once opened, how long can Ensure Clear be kept out at room temperature? In the refrigerator?

Once a bottle of Ensure Clear has been opened, it should be used or refrigerated within four hours. The remaining product should be used or discarded after 48 hours.

Why did you change from a six-pack to a four-pack?

This gives you the ability to mix and match products and flavors across our new benefit-oriented products. Additionally, this allows us to offer our new products at a lower price.

You can still find Ensure and Ensure Plus in six-packs. Ensure Clear, Ensure High Protein, Ensure Muscle Health, and Ensure Complete are available in four-packs.

Will the new products be sold individually?

No, we will be discontinuing all single bottle sales.

Was Ensure reformulated?

Yes. The only change made to Ensure was the removal of dietary fiber.

Can Ensure Powder be mixed with fruit? What impact does this have on the nutritional value?

Yes, different fruits can be added to Ensure Powder to make a smoothie or a shake. Fruits tend to be high in certain essential vitamins and can contain a moderate amount of calories depending on the amount used. Adding fruit can increase the vitamin and total calorie content of the finished product.

What changes were made to Ensure Plus®?

We removed dietary fiber from Ensure Plus and increased vitamin D from 25% DV to 40% DV per serving.

What levels of Immune Balance have been shown to be effective?

Immune Balance consists of prebiotic fiber (scFOS*) for digestive tract health and antioxidants (vitamins C & E and Selenium) to help support the immune system. About 1 gram of prebiotics fiber (scFOS) a day for as little as two weeks has been shown to increase "good" bacteria (bifidobacteria) counts in the digestive tract.

*scFOS is not a trademark of Abbott Laboratories.

How much Immune Balance is in a serving of Ensure Complete?

Ensure Complete has Immune Balance with the following amounts of prebiotic fiber (scFOS*) and antioxidants (vitamins C & E and Selenium):

        Ensure Complete         
(per 8-fl-oz serving)
Prebiotic Fiber 3 g
Vitamin C 60% DV
Vitamin E 30% DV
Selenium 30% DV

*scFOS is not a trademark of Abbott Laboratories.

How many Ensure High Protein Shakes can one safely consume in a day?

Due to the high amount of protein and vitamin and mineral fortification in Ensure High Protein Shakes (14 fl oz), one to two servings per day would be reasonable. We do not recommend exceeding three to four servings of this product per day.

Do Ensure High Protein Shakes contain omega-3s?

Ensure High Protein Shakes (14 fl oz) are lowfat (2.5 grams per serving), so the omega-3 level in the product would be very low.

What are the protein sources in Ensure High Protein Shakes?

The protein sources in Ensure High Protein Shakes (14 fl oz) are all high-quality protein sources — milk protein concentrate, calcium caseinate, and soy protein isolate.

What plastic is used to make the carriers?

Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), #4 plastic is used to make the Hi-Cone carriers.

Six-pack rings have been shown to choke birds, why would you switch to using rings?

Abbott Nutrition is continually looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact. Switching to Hi-Cone carriers will save approximately 247,000 lbs of plastic every year.* And, Hi-Cone packaging will result in a 13% reduction in plastic materials for the six-pack and a 10% reduction in plastic material in the four-pack.*

Additionally, Hi-Cone rings will degrade when exposed to direct sunlight within 36 hours.

*Compared to our current bundle wrap

Should the rings be cut before they're disposed of?

Hi-Cone rings will degrade when exposed to direct sunlight within 36 hours. So, cutting the rings is not necessary. However, cutting Hi-Cone carriers is always a proactive measure that you can take.

Also, there is a small tab located on the front of the package that allows you to open up the package one ring at a time. This makes storage and the removal of bottles easier, eliminating the need to cut the rings after use.

What happens to these carriers when littered in lakes, streams, or oceans?

This type of carrier is not commonly littered. However, the carrier floats in water and degrades when exposed to sunlight within 36 hours.

Are the carriers biodegradable?

No, Hi-Cone carriers are not biodegradable. Biodegradation only occurs in composting facilities, which is not the most-likely end-of-life scenario for Hi-Cone carriers. Biodegradation does not occur in landfills.

What happens to the Hi-Cone carriers in a landfill?

Like any other material, very little happens to Hi-Cone carriers in a landfill. Landfills are constructed so materials do not degrade, contaminate groundwater, or produce harmful by-products.

Are the rings recyclable?

Hi-cone carriers can be included in recycling bins wherever #4 LDPE or mixed plastics are accepted. Visit Earth911® to find a recycling center near you.

Why would you switch from bundles to Hi-Cone carriers?

First and foremost, we've listened to our consumers who asked for a package that is easier to carry and more environmentally friendly. Our new packaging clearly communicates the benefits of Ensure while reducing our environmental impact.

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You've indicated you're most interested in general nutrition.
Ensure Nutrition Stength
Ensure®
Nutrition Shake
To help get strong on the inside
Ensure Nutrition Shakes have:
  • Omega-3s* to support heart health
  • 24 essential vitamins and minerals
*320 mg plant-based Omega-3 fatty acid ALA (20% of 1.6 g DV)
You've indicated you're most interested in gaining or maintaining a healthy weight.
Ensure Plus For Healthy Weight
Ensure
Plus®
To help gain or maintain a healthy weight
Ensure Plus Shakes have:
  • 350 nutrient-rich calories
  • 13 grams of protein
  • 24 essential vitamins and minerals
  • Omega—3s* to support heart health
*650 mg plant-based Omega-3 fatty acid ALA (40% of 1.6 g DV)
You've indicated you're most interested in rebuilding or maintaining muscle.
Ensure Muscle Health
Ensure®
Muscle Health
To help rebuild muscle and strength naturally lost over time
Ensure Muscle Health Shakes have:
  • Revigor®, combined with protein, to help rebuild muscle and strength naturally lost over time
  • 13 grams of protein (an excellent source) to support muscle health
  • 24 essential vitamins and minerals
 
You've indicated you have multiple health goals.
Ensure Complete
Ensure
Complete
The right nutrients in the right amounts
Ensure Complete Shakes have four targeted health benefits:
  • Muscle—13g of protein and Revigor® to protect, preserve and promote muscle health
  • Heart—Omega-3s (650mg ALA*) to help support heart health
  • Immune—Prebiotics** and antioxidants (vitamins C, E, & Selenium) to support the immune system
  • Bone—Calcium and vitamin D to support bone health
*610 mg ALA for chocolate, 650 mg ALA for vanilla
**To help promote digestive tract health
You’ve indicated you’re most interested in supporting your immune system.
Ensure Complete
Ensure
Complete
The right nutrients in the right amounts
Ensure Complete Shakes have four targeted health benefits:
  • Muscle—13g of protein and Revigor® to protect, preserve and promote muscle health
  • Heart—Omega-3s (650mg ALA*) to help support heart health
  • Immune—Prebiotics** and antioxidants (vitamins C, E, & Selenium) to support the immune system
  • Bone—Calcium and vitamin D to support bone health
*610 mg ALA for chocolate, 650 mg ALA for vanilla
**To help promote digestive tract health
You've indicated you’re most interested in getting more protein.
Ensure High Protein
Ensure®
High Protein
Targeted, specialized nutrition to help stay active and strong
Ensure High Protein Shakes have:
  • 25 grams of high-quality protein (50% of your daily value)
  • Low fat
  • 5 grams of sugars
  • 3 grams of prebiotic fiber
You've indicated you’re most interested in fat-free nutrition.
Ensure Clear
Ensure
Clear™
To help fill your nutritional gaps
Ensure Clear Drinks have:
  • 9 grams of protein
  • 21 essential vitamins and minerals, including A, D, E and K
  • Zero fat
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