Eating Well

Nutritional Supplements

Eating a healthy, balanced diet plays a key role in keeping the body strong. At times when you’re tired and stressed it can be hard to get enough food, which can weaken your body and immune system.

What is medical nutrition?

Medical nutrition products are specialised foods designed to meet the nutritional needs of those living with a medical condition, recovering from an illness or operation, or those who have become weak and frail over time. They are often referred to as Oral Nutritional Supplements (ONS) and are typically used for those who find it dif cult to get adequate nutrition from a normal diet alone.

The nutritional composition of ONS is based on extensive scientific and clinical research, and in many cases its use is recommended in international and professional guidelines. Products are generally available in the form of a powder or liquid drink containing energy, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Medical nutrition products are usually prescribed by a healthcare professional and must be used under medical supervision.

What are the different types of oral nutritional supplements available

ONS are available in a variety of formats and styles, including milkshake-, juice-, yogurt-, and dessert-style, as well as a variety of avours to suit different taste preferences.

High protein, nutrient-dense, low volume ONS are sometimes recommended for those who are unwell or are recovering from illness. These milkshake style drinks can help make it easier to get the energy and nutrients needed, even if the person you care for has a small appetite or is not feeling well. Many people nd it dif cult to nish large volumes of drinks and a low volume ONS may be preferred in these cases.

If you have any questions about the use of medical nutrition products, please speak to your healthcare professional. Further information can be found at or by calling the Nutricia Resource Centre on 0845 250 1011.

Speak to your GP

If you are worried you are struggling with a normal diet, the practical tips within this lea et can help improve nutritional intake with food. You could also ask a pharmacist whether a nutritional drink in a powdered format, such as Complan, available from supermarkets and pharmacies, is a suitable option alongside normal foods and drinks. However, should you continue to struggle, please speak to your GP or other healthcare professional about your concerns and whether medical nutrition is right for you.

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Southwark Carers
3rd Floor, Walworth Methodist Church,
54 Camberwell Road, London, SE5 0EW
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020 7708 4497

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