There are a wide range of ONS styles (milk, juice, yoghurt, savoury), formats (liquid, powder, pudding, pre-thickened), types (high protein, fibre containing, low volume) energy densities (1-2.4kcal/ml) and flavours available to suit a wide range of needs.
Most ONS provide ~300kcal, 12g of protein and a full range of vitamins and minerals for serving16.
The majority of people requiring ONS can be managed using standard ONS (1.5-2.4kcal/ml); these are often used for people who are frail, elderly or with diagnoses of dementia, COPD and cancer.
High protein ONS are suitable for individuals with wounds, post-operative patients, some types of cancer, and the elderly.
Fibre-containing ONS are useful for those with constipation (not suitable for those requiring a fibre-free diet).
Pre-thickened ONS and puddings are available for individuals with neurological conditions that affect their swallow.
Small volume high energy dense ONS may aid compliance22,23 and may be better tolerated by patients who cannot consume larger volumes.
Discontinue ONS when adequate oral intake is established, targets are achieved and the individual is stable7 and no longer at risk of malnutrition. Continue to monitor to check individual remains stable (consider relapsing remitting conditions e.g. COPD, IBD).
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