Caloric Density

Enteral feeding formulas can be categorized based on caloric density. Standard caloric density is 1 to 1.3 kcal/mL. More calorically dense formulas containing 1.5 to 2 kcal/

mL are also available and have a higher osmolality. 5 When choosing an EN formula, the patient's fluid status should dictate the caloric density selected. Fluid-overloaded patients may benefit from more calorically dense formulas. It should be recognized that as caloric content of a formula increases, the amount of free water decreases. For example, whereas 1 kcal/mL formulas contain about 850 mL of free water/L, the 2

kcal/mL formulas contain about 710 mL of free water/L. Protein Content

The protein content is an important factor in choosing an EN formula. The standard protein content in EN formulas is up to about 15% of total calories as protein. Highprotein formulas containing up to 25% of total calories as protein are available for highly stressed patients with elevated protein needs. So are low-nitrogen formulas containing less than 10% of total calories as protein for use in patients requiring protein restriction. A wide range of protein is available, from about 35 to 85 g/L.

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