If the nutritional requirements cannot be met with snacks and the hospital diet, food supplements may be required. Oral supplements can come in a range of savoury and sweet flavours. There are a variety of presentations including powder, pre-made carton sip feeds, glucose polymers (powders and syrups) and protein powders. These products may be nutritionally complete, i.e. suitable as a sole source of nutrition. The recommendation as to which oral supplements are to be chosen should be guided by the patient's preferences. The sugar content of the supplement is often offset by the patient's reduced dietary carbohydrate intake and can be invaluable in preventing hypoglycaemia during periods of poor oral intake.
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