Nutrition Questions & Answers | Ensure® Nutrition Facts

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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What ingredients are in Ensure drinks?
A variety of ingredients are used in Ensure shakes to support one’s nutrition needs. These nutrients are all safe for humans and have been used in various other foods. For example, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, and/or soy protein isolate are used to provide high quality protein; canola oil provides healthy fats; vitamins and minerals are included in Ensure drinks as well. Please check the Ingredients section on the label for the complete list.
Is Ensure sugar free?
No, Ensure is not sugar free. The “sugars” on the label for Ensure shakes include all mono- and di-saccharides in the product. Ensure High Protein contains the least amount of sugar (4 grams per serving). As a comparison, an 8 fl oz serving of orange juice contains 21 grams of sugar. A single glass of 1% or fat-free milk contains 11- 12 grams of sugar. Chocolate flavored skim milk contains 23 grams of sugar.
Does Ensure help with weight loss?
Ensure is a complete, balanced nutritional product that can be used as a delicious meal supplement, occasional meal replacement, or convenient between-meal snack. Ensure can benefit people who are on modified diets, at nutrition risk, experiencing involuntary weight loss, recovering from illness or surgery, or on low-residue diets. Although Ensure was not designed specifically for weight loss, it can be used as part of a balanced, calorie-reduced diet for weight loss as long as the total calories for the day stay within the weight loss calorie level recommended for you. We would encourage you to speak with your health care professional about an appropriate weight loss plan for you.
Is Ensure for diabetics?
Ensure products are designed for individuals without diabetes. Another Abbott Nutrition product line, Glucerna, is specifically designed for people with diabetes, which contains a blend of more slowly digested carbohydrates to help minimize blood sugar response.

Ensure products, on the other hand, can fit into the meal plan for a person with diabetes. It is important to account for the carbohydrates contributed by Ensure and measure blood sugar at least two hours after consuming to determine the effect on blood sugar levels so that necessary adjustments can be made. We recommend that an individual with diabetes consult with their healthcare provider regarding adult nutritional products or supplements.
Is Ensure lactose free?
All of the Ensure products contain some lactose and are suitable for lactose intolerance as they contain a small amount (<500 mg of lactose per serving) which does not represent a medical concern for individuals with lactose intolerance. None of the Ensure products are lactose free.
Does Ensure make you gain weight?
Different Ensure products are designed to meet different nutrition needs. Some Ensure Products (Ensure Original, Ensure Plus, and Ensure Enlive) are designed to provide complete, balanced nutrition to help people maintain or gain a healthy weight, particularly for patients who are at risk of malnutrition or are experiencing involuntary weight loss. On the other hand, Ensure High Protein, Ensure Light and Ensure Clear are designed to provide supplemental protein and other nutrients in fewer calories. Click here to find the right Ensure for you.
Does one 4 oz. Ensure Compact bottle have the same nutrition as one 8 oz. bottle of Ensure Original?
Yes. One bottle of Ensure Compact provides the same complete, balanced nutrition as one bottle of Ensure Original.
Why would I choose Ensure Compact over other Ensure products?
Ensure Compact is an easy to drink 4 fl oz product that provides complete, balanced nutrition to supplement an individual’s diet when they are unable to consume an 8 fl oz product. It provides 220 calories, 9g protein and 26 vitamins and minerals -- the same as Ensure Original.
How is Ensure Enlive different than the other Ensure products?
Ensure Enlive is our most advanced oral nutritional supplement in regards to nutritional content and scientific evidence. Ensure Enlive has 7 more grams of high-quality protein compared to Complete or Plus, 1.5 grams of CaHMB, and 120% DV of vitamin D per serving. Ensure Enlive was examined by the NOURISH study which was clinically shown to improve nutritional status, body weight, and vitamin D levels.
How many Ensure Enlive shakes are recommended per day? What is the maximum amount an individual can safely consume in a day?

The recommended intake of Ensure Enlive is 2 servings per day to provide 3 grams of CaHMB.  It is recommended not to exceed 4 servings of Ensure Enlive per day, which would provide 6 grams of CaHMB, which is the self-affirmed generally recognized as safe (GRAS) level per day.

What is the benefit of HMB, a key ingredient in Ensure Enlive?
HMB (beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate) works with protein to help protect and preserve muscle. It comes from a building block of protein and is found in small amounts in some foods. It is difficult to get enough HMB from your diet, therefore supplemental HMB can be beneficial. HMB has been studied for over 20 years in various patient populations showing beneficial outcomes.
Is Ensure Complete being discontinued? What is a good alternative?
Yes, Ensure Complete is being discontinued. You may still be able to find Ensure Complete available at some local retailers until they sell through their remaining inventory. To find retailers in your area that may have the product, please click on the “Buy Now” button at the top of the page.

We recommend trying Ensure Enlive, our most advanced nutrition shake with the unique ingredient HMB plus 20 grams of protein to help rebuild muscle. Ensure Enlive has an all-in-one blend of nutrients to help support your heart, bone, immune, muscle, and digestive tract health.
Was there any formulation change that occurred when the Ensure labels changed?
No, there weren’t any formulation changes. It was strictly a packaging change.
Was Ensure Active Heart Health/Ensure Active High Protein Powder discontinued? It’s no longer listed on the website.
Ensure Active Heart Health/Ensure Active High Protein Powder is being discontinued. You may still be able to find Ensure Active Heart Health/Ensure Active High Protein Powder available at some local retailers until they sell through their remaining inventory. To find retailers in your area that may have the product, please click on the “Buy Now” button at the top of the page.
Are Ensure products gluten-free?
Yes, Ensure ready-to-drink shakes and drinks are gluten-free.
Can Ensure products be used as a meal replacement or a snack?
Yes, Ensure ready-to-drink shakes and drinks can be used as a snack and as an occasional meal replacement.
Can Ensure products be warmed or frozen?
Yes, Ensure ready-to-drink shakes and drinks can be warmed before use and can be frozen if desired.
Once opened, how long can Ensure products be kept out at room temperature? In the refrigerator?
Once a bottle of Ensure ready-to-drink shakes and drinks have been opened, it should be used or refrigerated within four hours. The remaining product should be used or discarded after 48 hours.
Can Ensure products be mixed with fruit? What impact does this have on the nutritional value?
Yes, different fruits can be added to Ensure ready-to-drink shakes and drinks 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 plastic is used to make the carriers?
Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), #4 plastic is used to make the Hi-Cone carriers.
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.
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.
Is Ensure Clear complete, balanced nutrition like the other Ensure products? If not, 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 17 essential vitamins and minerals per serving.
How much sugar is in Ensure Clear?
Ensure Clear Protein 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).
What is the nutrition profile of Ensure High Protein?
Key nutrients in one serving of Ensure High Protein include:
  • 160 calories
  • 16 grams of protein
  • 2 grams fat
  • 19 grams carbohydrate
  • 4 grams sugars
  • 23 vitamins and minerals
How many bottles of Ensure High Protein are recommended daily?
Ensure High Protein is designed as an oral nutritional supplement to be used in addition to a healthy diet. The maximum amount of Ensure High Protein for Muscle Health that someone can consume per day is 3 servings. This level will not exceed the Upper Tolerable Intake Levels (ULs) for any vitamins and minerals.
How does Ensure Light compare to Ensure Original?
Ensure Light is lower in calories, fat, carbohydrate, and sugars and higher in protein than Ensure Original (retail).  See the chart below for the details.

Ensure Light Vanilla                 

Ensure Original (Retail Vanilla)                  
Serving Size 8 fl oz 8 fl oz
Calories 70 220
Carbohydrate, g 1 32
Sugars, g 0 15
Protein, g 12 9
Fat, g 2 6
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