100% Huel clarity

The company line is you can eat 100% Huel, and it has everything you need, but despite that, they don’t recommend it.

Why? If it’s 100% nutritionally complete, what’s the hedge?

In looking at the forum, there have been interesting exchanges/comments over the years, particularly this one with @Tim_Huel where he says nothing needs to be added to support Huel, then immediately says it’s best to add something to support Huel:

Tim: Huel is nutritionally complete at 2000kcal meaning you will be getting all the essential nutrients you need so there’s nothing that needs to be added to support it. A balanced wholefood diet is best

Donnie: but i thought huel has anything inside
so aperson who consumes 100% huel
should be as healthy as a person who dont consume huel and eat a lot fruits and vegatables and wholefood?

Tim: Huel has everything you need yes. Some Hueligans do have Huel for 100% of their diet and have no issues. Most have Huel for 1-2 meals a day when time is short or they’re on the go.

@CharlotteMW_Huel also said they don’t recommend it “because we think variety is also important to an individual’s intake”. But I just don’t get why, if Huel is what it says it is?

and @Dan_Huel in the past has said “I wouldn’t recommend 100% Huel as this isn’t sustainable for most people and some aspects of a varied diet are lost.” What aspects?

This seems like a strange contradiction to me, simultaneously insisting you can have 100% Huel but that it’s best not to, even though it’s nutritionally complete. Can someone help clarify this?

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My guess would be that the hedge is there for the same reason that Domestos only kills 99% of household germs. I’d bet that there isn’t a household germ you couldn’t get rid of with Domestos, but the manufacturers give themselves that little bit of wriggle room.

People’s metabolisms differ, and they have different reactions to different foods. By advising against 100% Huel, they’ve always got the “well, we told you not to” defense. FWIW, my meals are 100% Huel, with only snacking non-Huel. Apart from the occasional instance of pebble-dashing, no problems.

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Lawyers forced Huel to say that disclaimer. End of story.

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Wisely so.

As I understood it “nutritionally complete” means that you can survive by consuming Huel only, without anything really bad happening and any major health damages.

The question what “the optimal” nutrition would look like, ideally, is totally different. Nutrional value and health is just one aspect, for many people price and convenience are at least as important, if not more important.

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Basically that - you can’t just flatly say it’s 100% fine for everyone because, for obvious reasons, it isn’t. Everyone has different needs and requirements - while eating it 100% of the time would technically be nutritionally complete, it would also be very harmful to people with uric acid issues, differing tolerances to FODMAPs for example.

All of that is before you get into even broader discussions on things like societal impacts of such a diet or how it would impact your metabolism if you were following that diet for a specific reason.

What group of world population would die as a result of eating 100% Huel powder for all their calories, and how much percentage of the world population are they?

If I washed up on a desert island with years to survive until rescue and sufficient quantity of only one food product to live on… I can’t think of any product which would be preferable to Huel.

There is a difference between “won’t die from it” and “having a good nutrition that improves your health above average”. There is convenient junk-nutrition, convenient-ok-nutrition and unconvenient but optimal nutrition.
If convenience is not an issue for you, or if you are willing to sacrifice convenience Huel is not the optimal solution for you.
If convenience is your main concern, it is the best option possible, the best among maybe not so optimal solutions.

Sorry for any confusion here! Yes, on paper, Huel is nutritionally complete at 2000 calories, so if you were to consume 100% of your calories from Huel, you’d be meeting or exceeding the reference daily intake for all essential macronutrients and micronutrients. You could probably survive on Huel alone if you needed to, and there are indeed some Hueligans out there that choose to take this approach.

That said, this isn’t something we’d actively recommend for most healthy individuals for several reasons which, as you point out, have been outlined in the past by previous Huel nutritionists. First, research elucidating the crucial role that the gut plays in lots of essential processes in the body continues to emerge, and one of the best things we can do to foster a healthy gut microbiome is to eat a variety of different foods. Relying on Huel alone doesn’t offer the best possible dietary variety, hence why we’d encourage you to mix it up wherever you can, even if that’s just including some non-Huel snacks (although a variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains and different protein sources would be ideal!).

Besides just physical health, we acknowledge the social aspect of food in our culture, and sticking to 100% Huel might eliminate opportunities to cook food or share a meal with others, which can have benefits for mental health.

As Tim mentioned, 1-2 Huel meals a day tends to be the most popular choice amongst Hueligans, with a third home-cooked meal to incorporate some variety. :blush:

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Those people who would die on the hill of no meat = no food

This is EXACTLY the kind of clarity I needed. Thank you so much for the concise and interesting explanation! :slight_smile:

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Also, chewing. I’ve not seen anything on Huel about this, but we do need to exercise our jaws.

Chewing has been discussed many times on the forum in the past. If you search for chewing you’ll find all the old discussions.

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Talking is enough.

Not with temporomandibular joint dysfunction. This can make it painful to chew anything.
A good exercise to train and mobilize your mandibular joint is “suppressed yawning”. It trains your mastication muscles without over-straining them.

And, by the way: Some people “chew” Huel. I guess it works better with the white edition powder.

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Because Huel, and everything the guys at Huel have said, is based on science. Real world, practical science.

And real world, practical science leaves room for the fact that at some point in the future, we might discover something else which contradicts, or disproves something we’ve scientifically believed to be correct up until now.

Huel can tell us (from their research, trials and comparison to widely accepted Government guidelines) that their product, today, as it is, ticks these boxes and more in an optimal way. They’d be lying, and in big trouble if they couldn’t back a statement like that up. Furthermore, they did do a limited trial and did all the usual tests on the folks, after going 100% in, which came back glowing - so from a few angles, they aren’t wrong when they say that.

They can also tell us, whilst it’s not harmful to do that, we don’t recommend going all in - because maybe there is more to nutrition than we know as a species right now. And to go all in on Huel is to cut that out and risk cutting out any other unknown but real benefits ‘normal’ food has.

There are also downsides to going liquid only such as issues with chewing / the jaw etc as well - perhaps avoiding the instruction that people should go 100% on to Huel avoids problems like that.

From a marketing perspective also, marketing it as ‘all you need’ instead of normal food, or mocking normal food for being ‘expensive, wasteful, inefficient, worse for the planet’ etc, would also risk the brand and product coming across as cocky, ridiculing the ‘unitiated’ non Huel users and alienate them versus entice them to try it. It’s much better as a healthy addition or substitute to your meals, on the go or during busy periods, or simply to clean up your act with your diet if it’s particularly lacking in balance and nutrition. And that’s exactly how they did decide to market it.

It’s a much better, more universally respected and adopted way of saying ‘Here’s our product, why not use it like this to your advantage?’, don’t you think?

Not really, talking is like sitting on a ledge, swinging your legs freely. Chewing food (nuts, chewy things, soft things) are like walking, power walking and running under load. Very different routines, levels of force, and sustained effort.

Your jaw muscles are powerful and that’s only because you use them most of the day when eating. Like most big powerful muscles, you stop using them for a few weeks, or significantly drop your use of them, it’s not so easy to pick back up. Look at people bedridden in hospital for a few weeks unable to use their legs, but not with a leg injury, when they get vertical again, their leg muscles are so weak and out of tune. Takes a while to get back to the norm.

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I agree. What is it 12% body loss a week if bedridden.

Explain why I have no issues, despite not chewing at all for 9 years.

You could either admit that whatever else I am doing (such as talking) is sufficient, or you could admit that blanket statements such as “chewing is important for health” are invalid. At best, I could agree that there’s some people in the world population that could have problems if they don’t chew, but we currently don’t know what % they make, but we do know that they are a minority.