It has been brought to our attention that some RDs (Registered Dieticians) and other health professionals consider Liquid Hope and Nourish to be very similar to Real Food Blends or Kate Farms products. They are telling patients that there is no difference between Functional Formularies products and the other products that fall into this “blenderized” bucket. When this information is passed on to you whether by an RD, Durable Medical Equipment Company or a salesperson, hopefully the following information will help you understand the differences as they are very different. We hope to make this fact clear, it is like comparing apples to oranges, or in this case garbanzo beans to orange juice.
While all three enteral formula lines do contain some degree of whole foods, only Functional Formularies products are made with almost entirely whole foods. Kate Farms formulas contain sweeteners as the two leading ingredients: brown rice syrup and agave. These formulas provide 18 grams of sugar per 325mL. Real Food Blends offers five different formulas and on average they provide 17.2 grams of sugar per 341 grams. Four of the five Real Food Blends products contain fruit juice in the top three ingredients and two of the formulas have a fruit juice or fruit juice concentrate as the leading ingredient. Liquid Hope and Nourish contain no added sugar, fruit juice, or sweetener of any kind and provide 9 grams of sugar (naturally occurring in the organic peas, sweet potatoes, and carrots). We pride ourselves on not using any added sweetener or empty calories in anything we make.
Additionally, all of Functional Formularies products are organic and are certified by the Oregon Tilth and USDA Organic Certification Process. None of the ingredients in Real Food Blends formulas are organic. Liquid Hope and Nourish contain no flavors or emulsifiers. All Kate Farms shakes and medical formulas contain both carrageenan and lecithin for emulsification. Kate Farm does not hold an organic certification but do advertise they are Non-GMO Project verified. Carrying a Non-GMO label does not mean a product has been tested for glyphosate which is the active ingredient in RoundUp . Both Liquid Hope and Nourish have been independently tested for glyphosate and showed no detectable levels.
Lastly, the balance between omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids is essential. Liquid Hope has a ratio of 1:3, designed specifically to promote less inflammation. Kate Farms products, whose formulas contain sunflower oil as a leading ingredient, typically have ratios of 4:1. Four times the amount of omega 6 fatty acids as omega 3 types. Real Food Blends does not provide the amounts of omega 6s or omega 3s, nor their ratios, for any of their products.
In summary, while all three lines of products may provide some benefit over conventional formulas made with more sugar and more refined ingredients, they are very different from one another in what they do and do not contain. At Functional Formularies, we believe it is a fundamental human right for anyone, even those on feeding tubes, to choose the type and source of nutrition they want. How fabulous is it that the clinical nutrition world is now offering patients these choices? However, it is important for practitioners and patients alike to do their own research and arm themselves with as much information as they can gather before recommending or choosing products.
~ John Bagnulo MPH, PhD.
For more information on the differences and benefits of organic whole foods nutrition see below:
Why we are different:
Sugar, fruit juice and sweeteners:
Omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids and inflammation: