According to Specialized Nutrition Executive Kate M. Ford BSc MPH RD, “Malnutrition is a serious condition that occurs when a person’s diet does not contain enough nutrients to meet the demands of their body”. This can seriously impact your health, both physically and mentally, as well as limit your body’s ability to heal itself.
Malnutrition can also come in the form of specific nutrient deficiencies. This can include a Vitamin D deficiency, an iron deficiency, a vitamin C deficiency, and more. While the types of supplements you would take to aid in reversing these deficiencies are pretty straightforward, some forms of malnutrition require a type of supplement with more nutritional value: oral nutrition supplements.
Considering the severity of malnutrition, and its prevalence in nearly 11% of the world’s population, we here at Agape Nutrition seek to provide an overview of how oral nutrition supplements (ONS) can help you or your loved one recover from malnutrition.
What are Oral Nutrition Supplements?
BAPEN, or the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, defines ONS as “sterile liquids, semi-solids, or powders, which provide macro and micronutrients. They are widely used within the acute and community health settings for individuals who are unable to meet their nutritional requirements through oral diet alone.”
ONS are available in powders that can be mixed with drinks, puddings, or ready-made drinks. Typically, these nutritional supplements cater to the patient's energy, protein, carbohydrate, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies.
It is important to note that your healthcare provider should prescribe Oral Nutrition Supplements. Typically, a doctor will prescribe ONS when you are unable to combat malnutrition through a diet change/food intake by itself. The addition of supplements should go hand in hand with the dietary changes you have already made. Registered dietitians will accurately measure these supplements.
How Can I Prevent Malnutrition?
The best way to keep malnutrition at bay is to eat a balanced diet, including starches, fruits, vegetables, milk/dairy (if appropriate), and proteins (dairy like eggs or non-dairy products like meats, beans, etc.). Key vitamins A and C in vegetables and fruits can easily be found in supplement form here at Agape Nutrition, as well as in your local grocery store or general merchandise retailer. Protein powders are additionally readily available in the same locations. Various options can be found on our website here!
If you are looking to add supplements to your nutritional/dietary plan, it is important that you consult your healthcare provider. Some supplements can react negatively with prescription medications. A dietitian may also explain what supplements or foods will aid in filling the gaps in your diet.
If you are looking to talk about any of the supplements we sell, we are happy to provide general information! You can contact us here!