Q: Wendy - I am wondering if there is a dairy-free product available that is similar to nutritional beverages like Ensure? Also, any other product suggestions for lactose intolerance would be greatly appreciated.
A: Alisa – Ensure is a unique one since it has quite a few sugars and processed ingredients. I don’t know of a dairy-free product that attempts to do the exact same thing. There are some up and coming dairy-free and vegan meal replacement options and nutritional supplements, which I address below, but just to give you an idea of what you are trying to replace, the following is the ingredient list for Ensure …
Ensure Ingredients (Homemade Vanilla flavor) – Water, Corn Maltodextrin, Sugar (Sucrose), Milk Protein Concentrate, Canola Oil, Soy Protein Concentrate, Corn Oil, Short-Chain Fructooligosaccharides, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Whey Protein Concentrate, Magnesium Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, Soy Lecithin, Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Salt (Sodium Chloride), Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Carrageenan, Ferrous Sulfate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Zinc Sulfate, Niacinamide, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Cupric Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Chromium Chloride, Biotin, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenate, Potassium Iodide, Phylloquinone, Vitamin D3, and Cyanocobalamin. (FAN 8284-07)
As you can see, it is basically corn, sugar, protein concentrates, oil, preservatives, and a multivitamin. Healthy proteins and fats added to your diet may suit your needs just fine, whether via solids or liquids.
Nonetheless, in terms of specific drinkable products, there are some dairy-free / lactose-free meal replacement and nutrient options. Please note that I haven’t sampled any of these products myself as of yet, so this is not a product endorsement, merely some suggestions from our No Dairy Product Lists:
- Amazing Meal
- Neocate Junior (may require a prescription)
- Balanced Ready-to-Drink Meal Replacement (in stores mostly)
- Genisoy Shakes
- Emerald Balance & X-Balance
There are many other brands of superfood mixes and protein powders that can also be used and blended to create your own beverages. It depends upon your needs. For lists of these mixes and powders along with other lactose-free / dairy-free products, see our No Dairy Product Lists.
Alisa Fleming is the founder of GoDairyFree.org and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. In addition to her own dairy-free lifestyle, Alisa has experience in catering to the needs of various special diets, including gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, vegan, and multiple food allergies.