High quality calories are needed for optimal health. When medical conditions or changes in appetite limit the amount of food you’re taking in—possibly putting you at risk for malnutrition—nutrition drinks, supplements and snacks can provide missing protein, vitamins and minerals.
There are different categories of nutritionals depending on your needs:
Enteral nutrition products are for those getting nutrients through a feeding tube. An example of high-calorie liquid nutrition is Nutren 1.5 It’s nutritionally balanced for increased energy requirements and restricted fluid volume for short- or long-term tube feeding. Some home enteral nutrition products can also be taken orally.
Meal Or Protein Replacement Foods
These nutritionals provide the high quality nutrients in a variety of ways, depending on your preferences. You can sip nutritional drinks, blend powders into thick, frothy breakfast beverages and have puddings that double as dessert, like Boost pudding with 7 grams of protein in a 5-ounce serving, available in vanilla, chocolate or butterscotch flavors.
These high calorie, high protein supplement are often also fortified with vitamins and minerals. They’re meant to help you with weight gain, avoid malnutrition or involuntary weight loss, promote wound healing and overcome stressed conditions and fluid restricted diets. If you simply have no appetite, you can get protein in very concentrated, flavored liquids that can be taken almost like a shot of cough syrup—in just one gulp. For instance, Pro-Stat 101 High Protein & Calorie Liquid delivers 15 grams of protein and 101 calories in only one ounce, with no mixing required. It comes in flavors like cherry and butter pecan. Another choice, Active Liquid Protein, also has 15 grams of protein per serving and comes in flavors like Citrus Berry Punch and Orange Cream.
Vitamin And Mineral Supplements
At times it’s hard to be sure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need, even from a varied diet. Some good-health essentials, like omega-3 fish oils and vision-boosting combinations may be easier to get, at least in part, through a supplement. Whether in pill, gel or liquid form, these nutritional supplements can help you meet your daily requirements.
Food Thickeners And Purees
Some medical conditions make it difficult to swallow. If thin liquids give you problems, try one of the many thickening agents that are added to fluids or ready-to-eat thickened purees in many popular flavors—from French toast to creamed corn—that will enable you to better enjoy food. One choice, Resource Vanilla Dairy Thick, is creamy and smooth, thickened vanilla flavored 2% reduced-fat milk available in either nectar consistency or honey consistency.
Most nutritional products are available to meet special diets. Check descriptions carefully to find lactose-free choices for people who have difficulty digesting dairy and diabetic food options for those restricting sugar, for instance. Note that some supplements are meant to be taken with medication as part of an overall treatment plan. Always have your doctor advise you on appropriate products that won’t cause any negative interactions with your drug regimen.