Glucerna vs Nutren Diabetes vs Ensure: What's the Difference?

Glucerna Milk and Nutren liquid for diabetics

If you suffer from elevated blood sugar and find it complicated to eat, then Glucerna and Nutren liquid for diabetics may be recommended by your doctor as meal replacement or supplements. These formulations were developed for diabetics by Abbott and Nestle Health Science. 

Please consult your medical doctor and dietician for proper advice. 

Glucerna, Diabetes Nutritional Shake, With 10g of Protein, To Help Manage Blood Sugar, Homemade Vanilla, 8 fl oz

Glucerna vs Nutren key differences

  • Glucerna is gluten-free and designed for gluten intolerance.
  • Glucerna has a higher osmolarity (300mOsm/L) hence the body is able to tolerate this better.
  • Nutren has more fibres and is 100% soluble.
  • Nutren has 31 vitamins and minerals, Glucerna has 28 vitamins and minerals.
  • Nutren can be used where diabetes is not established yet (pre-diabetes)

Both Glucerna and Nutren are well designed with ideal carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and vitamins and minerals – which is ideal for you depends on your condition. Please consult your doctor. 

1) Nutren Diabetes and Glucerna Osmolarity

Glucerna liquid for diabetics is an isotonic liquid scientifically formulated to cover your nutritional needs while providing balanced nutrition. Indeed, its osmolarity of 300 mOsm/L makes it well tolerated when ingested. Nutren liquid for diabetics has a lower osmolarity of 246 mOsm/L. A lower osmolarity means higher rehydration for the body.

2) Carbohydrates

For better control of your blood glucose, Glucerna and Nutren liquid for diabetics are formulated to have a low glycaemic index. Indeed, Glucerna liquid for diabetics has a reduced carbohydrate content that gives you 34% your total energy needs, while Nutren liquid for diabetics has a glycemic index of 26 and contains, in addition, isomaltulose and tapioca dextrin. These two sugars have respectively the property to be less sweet and take more time to be digested, which makes these alternative carbs support glycaemic control. Glucerna and Nutren liquid for diabetics are lactose-free.

Glucerna is lower in calories as compared to Ensure, with 200 calories per 8-ounce bottle, versus 220 calories in the same serving size of Ensure.

Glucerna is also higher in fat, protein and fiber, and lower in carbohydrates than Ensure. An 8-ounce serving of Glucerna contains 7 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein, while the same size serving of Ensure contains 6 grams of fat, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber and 9 grams of protein.

Both Nutren Diabetes and Glucerna are low GI

Low GI food is known to reduce the blood glucose spikes while increasing the insulin effectiveness, making its assimilation by muscles to effectively reduce glucose in the blood. This is translated in the long run by a better prognosis for your diabetes as HBA1C tends to be improved. Low GI food also makes you feel less hungry which improves your body mass index (BMI) and stabilize it against a potential weight gain.

3) Proteins

Glucerna and Nutren liquid for diabetics have similar amounts of proteins. These are provided with good quantities to help cover part of your daily needs (about 20%). Glucerna liquid for diabetics is gluten-free, which makes this meal replacement product also adapted for people with gluten intolerance. 50% of the Nutren liquid for diabetics’ protein ration is whey. When used with the appropriate amount, whey is a protein that seems to have several health benefits, including a better glycaemic control, a blood pressure reduction, a rapid muscle regeneration, satiation feeling, and inflammation reduction. 

4) Fats

Glucerna liquid for diabetics is not only cholesterol-free but contains monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) which are a healthy type of fat. In other words, this composition tends to reduce cardiovascular disease risk. Similarly, Nutren liquid for diabetics has more than 60% of MUFA.

5) Fibres

Glucerna liquid for diabetics contains a good amount of fibers (3.6g per 250ml). Nutren liquid for diabetics has more fibers which are 100% soluble. Fibres improve the digestive process and decrease glucose levels around the clock among other benefits. Soluble fibres seem to have benefits for heart health.

6) Vitamins and minerals

Glucerna and Nutren liquid for diabetics have respectively 28 and 31 vitamins and minerals, of which, many are provided with amounts corresponding to your daily needs, which makes them good meal replacements.

One bottle of Glucerna meets 100 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and 25 percent of the daily value for selenium, while the same serving of Ensure meets 50 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and 30 percent for selenium.

The additional vitamin C found in Glucerna is meant to boost its antioxidant content for immune system health. Comparatively, Ensure is a slightly better source of calcium, meeting 30 percent of the daily value versus 25 percent of the daily value in Glucerna.

7) Flavor and taste

Both Glucerna and Nutren liquid for diabetics have an appealing vanilla flavour but Nutren liquid for diabetics seem to be lighter in taste.

Glucerna and Nutren Oral and Tube feeding Uses

Glucerna and Nutren liquid for diabetics are ready to use products, both for oral and tube feeding. Although both products are indicated for diabetes, Nutren liquid could also be used in cases where diabetes is not established yet, which include stress-induced hyperglycemia and impaired glucose tolerance. Glucerna is adapted for gluten intolerance as already mentioned.

Glucerna vs Nutren Formulation Summary table

Glucerna Liquid (/100ml)
  • Calories: 100
  • Proteins: 4.2 g
  • Fat: 5.44 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8.19 g (lactose free)
  • Fibres: 1.43 g
  • No. fo vitamins and minerals: 28
Nutren liquid (/100 ml)
  • Calories: 101
  • Proteins: 4.5 g
  • Fat: 4.38 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.8 g (lactose free)
  • Fibres: 1.9 g
  • No. fo vitamins and minerals: 31

Is Glucerna vegetarian?

Yes, Glucerna milk is vegetarian because there is no meat inside. Only animal’s milk and other minerals and vitamins are used.

Can people without diabetes drink Glucerna?

Yes, normal people without diabetes can safely consume glucerna products. Glucerna liquid and Glucerna triple care are specifically designed for people with prediabetes, diabetes, or people trying to manage their blood sugar. Do check with your dietician or doctor for your case as you may have different underlying conditions. Glucerna can be used under medical supervision as a part of a diabetes management plan.

Glucerna vs Ensure

Glucerna and Ensure are both nutritional supplements that are designed to provide additional nutrition to individuals who may have difficulty getting enough nutrients from their regular diet.

Glucerna is specifically formulated for people with diabetes, as it is designed to help manage blood sugar levels. It contains a unique carbohydrate blend that is designed to be slowly absorbed by the body, which helps to minimize blood sugar spikes. It also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals to support overall health.

Ensure, on the other hand, is a general nutritional supplement that is designed for people of all ages. It is often recommended for older adults, people recovering from surgery or illness, or those who have difficulty eating enough to meet their nutritional needs. It provides a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fat, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Ensure generally has a higher sugar content compared to Glucerna as it was not formulated with diabetics in mind.

Both Glucerna and Ensure can be useful for people who have difficulty getting enough nutrition from their regular diet, but it is important to note that they are formulated differently and are intended for different groups of people. 

It's recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any nutritional supplements, to ensure they are appropriate for the individual's needs and dietary restrictions.



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