Why are Glucerna, Ensure and similar nutrition powders so popular? Are they instrumental in boosting your health? You will be finding out the answers to those questions here. In addition, this guide on Glucerna vs. Ensure for Diabetics will go into identifying the best option out of the two for people with diabetes.

Let’s start the journey…

For people with diabetes, fasting blood sugar is likely always on the high side. Their bodies cannot convert and store sugar consumed in food. Thus, excess sugar is retained in their blood and accounts for the condition called ‘Diabetes’.

The best means of management of diabetes is to reduce the consumption of sugar, which is achieved by eating low-glycemic meals. However, making the right choices on meals might be a difficult task for poorly informed diabetics.

After all, meals don’t come with a proper glycemic level labelling, do they? Most of them do not!

To replace poor meal choices, the Glucerna and Ensure products were formulated and marketed for people with diabetes. Both highly nutritious products work by affecting the blood sugar level.

But, the differences between both products, Glucerna and Ensure, has placed one at an advantage and higher preference over the other.

What, therefore, are the difference between Glucerna and Ensure? what are their nutritional contents? and which is better for diabetics?

Best to start with each formula first, before going into the comparison…

What Is Glucerna? Nutrition Facts

Glucerna is a food product formulated as ready-to-drink shakes and snack bars. It is a nutritional meal made by Abbott Laboratories, and a formulated nutritional supplement produced by Abbott Nutrition.

Glucerna products can supplement meals, as they can effectively satisfy hunger. It prevents sudden high spikes in blood sugar level caused by wrong meal choices.

Glucerna has also been seen to reduce the fasting blood sugar level of the blood, acting as a remedy for high blood sugar level. The use of Glucerna also promises weight management in a weight loss plan.

What Nutritional Properties And Contents Of Glucerna Accounts For The Above Benefits?

First of all, Glucerna is a low glycemic food, as it has a low sugar and cholesterol content.

In a bottle of Glucerna Shake, the amount of carbohydrate and sugar is less than 10 per cent, the total nutritional content.

Its majority of calories does not come from sugar, but from fat. The fat nutrients present in Glucerna are also healthy fat, with the absence of trans fat.

More so, Glucerna provides these benefits to people with diabetes because of its high protein content. This protein content eliminates hunger and makes Glucerna shakes and snacks effective as a meal supplement.

In addition, Glucerna is fortified with many vitamins and minerals like potassium, being a highly important mineral in the body. Other key nutrients found in a Glucerna product includes;

  • iron,
  • calcium,
  • vitamin D,
  • vitamins A and B, as well as
  • magnesium.

The major and primary aim of the Glucerna products is to maintain the blood sugar level of a person with diabetes at a range. It also aims to reduce the risk factors of a diabetic by eliminating fat and the supply of minerals and nutrients for better health.

Now, let’s turn on to Ensure…

What Is Ensure? Nutrition Facts

Ensure products, just like Glucerna, are also formulated by Abbott Laboratories, one of the Abbott companies. Ensure is a nutritional meal supplement, dietary supplement and an energy-giving drink.

Ensure can supplement skipped meals and unhealthy meal choices. It can supplement solid food for people with Gastrointestinal variable problems. And It is found to be effective in weight management to some extent.

Ensure contains a significantly low amount of sugar which gives it an enjoyable taste.

It comes in several flavors, thereby eliminating any unpleasant aftertaste. It is, thus, an enjoyable and nutritious product.

Produced from rich and healthy ingredients, Ensure is highly recommended for persons that desire to maintain a healthy state. Its rich content includes;

  • corn,
  • water,
  • milk protein concentrate,
  • canola oil,
  • sugar and
  • soil proteins.

It is produced to be low in calories, rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Ensure is also formulated to be safe for persons with lactose intolerance by Abbott Laboratories.

Glucerna Vs. Ensure– What Is the Difference

Glucerna and Ensure products are both produced by the same company. They are both nutritional drinks that are low in calories and glycemic index.

They provide a complete balanced diet and nutrition to whoever drinks it. However, there are some differences between these products too.

The first and the most noteworthy difference is in its purpose of production.

While Glucerna is produced explicitly for persons with diabetes, Ensure is made primarily for non-diabetics.

Glucerna is made to meet the needs of persons with unstable blood sugar level, those whose blood sugar level rises over the normal range in the intake of any meal. Glucerna helps them better to manage their blood sugar level in a safe range.

On the other hand, Ensure is not made for diabetics, but to provide a nutritional meal supplement for health maintenance, weight loss plan, improvement in appetite, and in general, balanced nourishment.

Furthermore, Glucerna and Ensure also differ based on their nutritional content. In a matter of their caloric content, Ensures is more.

A bottle of Glucerna supplement drink has about 200 calories. Meanwhile, a bottle of Ensure has 220 calories. Their fat content also differs, in that Glucerna is higher in fat, which accounts for a majority of its caloric source.

But Ensure has lower fat and higher carbohydrate /sugar. The protein content in both supplement drinks also differ. Glucerna is richer in protein than Ensure.

Other than the purpose of production, and nutritional difference, Glucerna and Ensure also differ in the specific percentage of common nutrients found in them. Glucerna contains over 30 per cent of calcium, as compared to a 25 per cent found in Ensure.

More so, Glucerna provides about 100 per cent of the daily vitamin C requirements, as compared to the 50 per cent met by Ensure drinks.

When Should You Drink Glucerna Or Ensure?

Glucerna and Ensure products were initially produced for different purposes; Glucerna for prediabetics or diabetics, and Ensure for maintaining health, weight and nourishment.

However, both supplement meals are dietary products that anyone can take to maintain health and nourish the body.

People who seek to reduce in weight, and those with high blood fasting sugar, are also recommended using these supplement products. This, therefore, means that anyone, including children, young adults, as well as the elderly, can benefit from these supplementary and dietary products.

Glucerna and Ensure, produced as shake drinks, snack bar, puddings and powder, can be taken at any time of the day; as a quick breakfast meal, as lunch or as dinner.

It can be consumed as an energy-bar after exercises, or during lunch breaks.

Take Glucerna and Ensure in place of an unhealthy meal choice such as high caloric meals. And in place of solid food, when experiencing gastrointestinal disturbance.

Children should drink Glucerna and Ensure shakes and snack bar when craving unhealthy drink shakes and snack bars.

Possible Side Effects of Drinking Glucerna Or Ensure

The most commonly consumed product of Glucerna and Ensure is their ready-to-drink shakes. Individuals usually drink these shakes on different dietary plans. These dietary plans could either aim at weight loss or glucose sugar level control, or another health management plan.

However, drinking these dietary drinks; Glucerna and ensure, comes with some side effects which could be good or bad.

Some of the positive side effects/benefits of drinking Glucerna or Ensure are:

  • Management of blood sugar level

Drinking Glucerna and Ensure will prevent the rising blood sugar level of diabetics caused by carbohydrate meals. Thus, causing a reduction in the fasting blood sugar level of a diabetic.

  • Weight management

Glucerna and Ensure products are supplementary meals used in weight management plans. Their low-calorie content favors weight loss, though drinking only these shakes may not be sufficient for a weight loss plan.

  • Quick protein source

The most abundant nutritional content of Glucerna and Ensure is their protein content. For a quick source of protein, drink Glucerna or Ensure shakes.

  • Relieves Hunger

Glucerna and Ensure products can effectively supplement meals and relieve hunger. Owing to their high protein content, they can satiate the body as much as any meal can.

Another very important benefit of drinking Glucerna shakes is that it is suitable for people with lactose intolerance, even though it is rich in milk ingredients.

When Should You Not Drink Glucerna Or Ensure?

As has been mentioned severally in the above, Glucerna and Ensure is a dietary and highly nutritious meal. They were formulated for specific dietary needs, and are proven to be very effective.

However, being very effective products doesn’t warrant abuse or misuse.

Below are a few situations where Glucerna or Ensure will do more harm than good:

  • Overreliance

Glucerna and Ensure, as a supplement meal, should not comprise the entire meals of the day, but rather, should comprise only one meal or snack of the day.

For a safer dietary use of Glucerna or Ensure, it’s best to seek a doctor’s consult.

  • Under-age usage

Abbott Laboratories Glucerna and Ensure is formulated for adult, and not children.

Consumption of Glucerna and Ensure by children under the age of 4 is considered as abuse and misuse of the supplement meal.

On a further note, using Glucerna by children under the age of 10 will be much safer with a doctor’s advice.

  • Incompatibility

Glucerna and Ensure products may not be right for everyone seeking a dietary meal.

Non-diabetics are not advised to take Glucerna products, but rather drink Ensure products.

Glucerna is also not safe for individuals with galactosemia, though compatible to lactose-intolerance.

Is Glucerna Better Than Ensure For Diabetics (Type 2)?

For people with diabetes, a supplement drink is one that helps in the regulation of the high fasting blood sugar level common among them.

Depending on type 1 or type 2, there are specific factors responsible for high blood sugar level. Type 1 diabetes lack an important enzyme needed for the storage of sugar. However, the type 2 diabetic does not lack the glucose converting enzyme, but shows no response to this enzyme.

A person with type-1 diabetes regularly requires an insulin shot to regulate his/her high blood sugar level. People with type 2 diabetes do not need an insulin shot (at the initial stage), but best regulate blood sugar level by selective intake of food and use of dietary supplement meals like Glucerna and Ensure.

Is Glucerna Better Than Ensure For Type 2 Diabetics?

Honestly, Yes.

Better maintenance of diabetes is the reduction of sugar and carbohydrate intake. Both Glucerna and Ensure products have low sugar content, with low calories. But Glucerna has a lower caloric content and lower sugar content than Ensure, proving to be more effective for people with diabetes.

More so, Glucerna, as compared to Ensure is specifically made for diabetics, produced from slow-burning carbs.

Drinking Glucerna thus, effectively reduce any spike in blood glucose level that the intake of regular carbohydrate drinks could have caused.

It is correct to say, therefore, that Glucerna is better than Ensure for people with diabetes. Nevertheless, Ensure is also good for some people with diabetes, but standing behind Glucerna.

Remember, Glucerna shakes are different from the powder. Below is a good critique of Glucerna shakes (chocolate).

Is Ensure Better Than Glucerna For Diabetics (Type 2)?

Ensure is not specifically made for people with diabetes. However, its nutritional contents are well suited for people with diabetes, as its sugar and caloric content is low. But, Glucerna is better than Ensure for a person with diabetes.

There are some specific Ensure products needed to cater for the needs of a person with diabetes, and one of them is Ensure Diabetes Care.

Ensure Diabetes Care product better help in the regulation of high blood sugar, and supports the heart and digestive system, which is also important to people with diabetes.

Alternative Drinks for Glucerna And Ensure

Glucerna is considered the best for diabetics, and Ensure is known for its nutritious and health-maintaining benefits. Other supplement drinks are equally beneficial to the body. Some of these drinks can effectively supplement Glucerna and Ensure.

They are;

  • Boost

Boost shakes is similar to Ensure and Glucerna, in that it is a rich protein source shake, it is a good alternative for weight loss management, and could be helpful in diabetes management.

  • Enterex

Enterex supplement drink lacks sugar and fructose. It is therefore considered as equally significant to people with diabetes as much as Glucerna is.

It also gives fortitude to the cardiovascular system, for people with diabetes who are at risk.

  • Atkins shakes

The Atkins shakes is very similar to Ensure.

It is richly formulated with milk proteins, and largely creamy and fortified. Atkins shakes are formulated for dieting, and it is also gluten-free.


Staying healthy involves taking the right meals by good meal choices. It also involves taking healthy drinks and snack bars like Glucerna and Ensure products.

More so, for better dieting plans, these products are best for specific purposes. That is to say that a person with diabetes who is on supplementary diet drinks should consider Glucerna, as it is best to reduce fasting blood sugar level. In contrast, a non-diabetic on dieting is best fitted for Ensure, except if lactose intolerant.