When comparing Oncobitez to liquid supplement meals like Ensure Plus, the most obvious differences shines in the ingredients list. Although both products are designed to support patients who are suffering from nutritional deficiencies and potential weight loss, one quick glance at the ingredients list sets Oncobitez apart in its completely recognizable list of real whole food ingredients, as opposed to the highly processed list of food-like substances listed in the liquid supplement products. Recognizable. Real Food. Supportive Flavors. Nutrition Dense.
Whole food ingredients vs chemically processed food-derived ingredients.
We take pride in our Oncobitez Ingredients, as everything on our label is recognizable as a real, whole food: Each one of our ingredients is comes from its source in its truest form. Besides the occasional explanation of one of our exotic spices, each component of Oncobitez is recognizable and represents true food.
Manufacturers of highly processed products like Ensure Plus are listing ingredients in a way that can mislead consumers by indicating the food from which the chemically manufactured substance is derived in order to make it seem like there is a similarity. For instance, in the case of Ensure Plus, the first ingredient after water is “Corn Maltodextrin.” Unknowing consumers will likely glance over the words they don’t understand (maltodextrin) and focus on that which they are familiar in order to find a sense of nutritional benefit in the ingredients. The reality is that the nutritional content of an ingredient such as a “maltodextrin” is nothing like the “corn” from which it is derived. This risky assumption makes reading the label of a highly chemically processed food-product seem like you’re getting real food, when the reality is that the original source (in this case, the corn) no longer exists in the product. What is left is a highly processed, high-calorie form of sweetener that no longer carries the fibers, phytonutrients and supportive fiber that the original whole food did.
Although this ingredient boosts the caloric content of the product, and it can indeed provide calories for weight gain, it’s calories are void of whole food nutrition that could be more
beneficial in the healing process. This type of highly processed ingredient is found throughout the list of ingredients in liquid meal supplements and is represented by words like isolate and concentrate.
No Red-flagged Inflammatory Food Ingredients.
As our food systems continually change, including the development of genetically modified foods as well as excessive use of agricultural chemicals, we are seeing more and more people having issues with food sensitivities. As these sensitivities are being studied extensively in the holistic health community, certain foods are being flagged as being highly inflammatory. Among these are Gluten (protein contained in wheat, rye, barley), dairy, soy, corn, processed sugars, and processed vegetable oils like canola. The first seven ingredients of the Ensure Plus beverage (less water) are ALL derived from these red-flagged ingredients that many nutritionists are suggesting their clients avoid. Water, Corn Maltodextrin, Sugar, Blend of Vegetable Oils (Canola, Corn), Milk Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate.
Oncobitez uses only unprocessed coconut oils as fats, true nature sweeteners like honey and dates, and contains zero of the noted inflammatory red-flagged foods in their ingredients. We are gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free.
Appealing Flavor Represented by Food, not Manufactured Flavors.
When patients are suffering from lack of appetite and loss of energy, the desire to eat becomes diminished by nausea, mouth sores and aversions to certain flavors. It is at this time that the instinctive need for flavors with integrity is invaluable. Patients tastebuds can be reeling in the effects of chemotherapy pulsing through their bodies, which creates aversions to things like salts and minerals. As the body deals with high levels of treatment protocols that change the taste buds and make consuming nutrition even more of a challenge, it’s important that the body is supported by providing flavor backed by nutrition. With Oncobitez, you won’t find things like “natural” or “artificial” flavorings or citric acid which are all laboratory-derived flavors.
At Marivation, we are talking to our patients about their daily sufferings and we understand the importance that flavor has when it comes to appetite. We understand the importance of excluding salts other offensive flavors. Our flavors are not only sourced from true foods from nature like dates and honey, but they are also enhanced by flavors with benefits like antiemetic ginger, warming cinnamon, inflammation supportive turmeric and anxiety-relieving chamomile and oat straw tea powders. Our ingredients are full of purpose, starting with pleasing the taste buds!
Nutritious Sweeteners vs Empty Calories
Oncobitez uses real fruits and honey as its sweetening goodness. Oncobitez is bursting with sweetness and supportive calories that come primarily from dates. Dates not only provide
sweetness but they are also full of fiber, magnesium, and B vitamins. Honey, coconut sugar and dehydrated pineapple and mango round out the balanced sweetness of our products.
Unlike the processed calorie mounting sweeteners like maltodextrin and sugar, our ingredients sweeten from nature and are intact with their inherent phytonutrients, antioxidants, and fiber.
To Protein or Not to Protein?
Protein has become the hot topic of desired ingredients in the nutrition communities. Protein is an essential building block for health and muscle development. Acknowledging the importance of protein is important, especially in the cases when a patient is beyond the critical need for accessible energy and nausea relief.
When a patient is struggling to eat anything at all, and the appetite has been diminished to the point of not eating anything, the quick energy available in a soft textured fruit and fat-based product can offer a much more appealing option than a high protein product whose ingredients can have a dry, cloying, unappealing texture.
Oncobitez were created with this specific soft texture, quick energy goal in mind. The need for protein is understood in a complete diet. As a short term goal to support a patient who struggles with a desire to eat anything of hard, rough, thick or drying texture, protein becomes not only an obstacle of texture, but also creates a less digestible way to access the quick energy that fruits, honeys, and fats can provide. The hope is that by consuming this spice cake-like experience the patient can not only enjoy a delicious nutrient-dense boost but that it will result in an increased appetite that will encourage them to eat more wholesome nutritious meals.
*Marivation recognizes that maltodextrin is an ingredient used as a non-caking agent in our Vanilla powder. The amounts are minuscule and are included as a functional addition to the spice blend and not included as a nutritive ingredient.
Sherry Hess, VP of Product Development at Marivation. (this blog represents the opinions of the Author)
Next to fatigue (arguably the most common side effect), many cancer patients experience nutritional challenges, including appetite changes; mouth and tongue sores; pain with swallowing; and nausea and/or vomiting.
As you can imagine, this makes eating—once an enjoyable experience—a difficult task, which then makes it hard to get the nutrition needed to stay strong and fight cancer.
This leaves many cancer patients malnourished and wondering what they can and should eat to give them their best shot at beating cancer.
Let’s take a look at which foods are best for cancer patients to eat during chemo, as well as which ones to avoid.
Choose Foods That Are High in Calories and Nutrients
The most important thing you can do for yourself nutritionally while receiving chemotherapy is to choose foods that are nutrient-rich and high in calories.
Even though the fatigue you’re feeling prevents you from being as active as you were before your cancer diagnosis, your body needs more calories and nutrients than the average person. Be sure to steer clear of empty- or low-calorie foods.
These include, but are not limited to, the following:
cold or undercooked hot dogs
fried and high-fat foods, as they’re harder to digest
high-sugar pastries, donuts
raw or undercooked foods—especially eggs, meat, poultry and seafood
unpasteurized cheeses and milk
A Satisfying Nutritional Alternative
The side effects and challenges cancer patients face when receiving chemo can make it difficult to eat even seemingly simple foods like peanut butter crackers, for example.
Keeping down a peanut butter cracker can be problematic for a number of reasons.
Changes in taste buds can make salty foods like crackers highly offensive—and the dry, brittle nature of the crackers can be very painful to those experiencing tenderness or sores inside their mouth.
To help cancer patients overcome eating and nutritional challenges like these, among others, we created OncoBitez: high-calorie, nutrient-rich meal replacement bites full of antioxidants, vitamins, healthy fats, super-foods, herbs that heal and nurture, and a lot of love.