I very nearly didn’t notice the change in reported salt for v2, but I’ve got to say the new sodium levels pretty much ruin it for me
I came across Huel when I was looking for a way to exactly control my salt intake 'coz of hypertension. Huel was a godsend in that respect and I’d changed over to having it for virtually 100% of my food barring occasional takeaways & meals out (I got an email recently saying I was one of the top 100 Huelers, although I daresay that’s not uncommon in this forum). Finding out the sodium levels have almost doubled and now exceed the current safe levels of salt equivalent (well, the NHS ones at any rate) is likely to make this a no-go for me. I’d been giving it a recommendation to others with hypertension too, and I spotted at least one other person on these forums as well.
OK, I know you add a little sea salt now but I’m assuming that doesn’t account for the listed salt content increasing from 0.7g to 1.3 per 100g of Huel, and that most of that is extra sodium of one kind or another being reported as salt equivalent. Would we be able to get a breakdown of what is making up the extra sodium content please?
I know, and I did read it / search the forum before I posted this - if you look at the thread you’ve linked to you’ll notice I’m currently the last person posting in it, and my feedback does indeed discuss the listed salt level.
However, as I’m asking for something specific I felt it better to start a new thread rather than bogging down the linked thread that’s specifically asking for feedback with my ramblings and requests. It’s a small thing, but experience tells me it’s easier to find useful info if your users keep feedback threads to, well, just feedback really
The co-founder of Huel and main dietician considers the amount of Sodium in Huel to be very small - despite it being above the EU safe maximum for healthy people (and far above the maximum for people with hypertension or at risk of hypertension). Make your own opinion on what this implies…
Honestly, that really doesn’t answer my question. If it had I wouldn’t have made a new thread
I’m looking for a breakdown of where the sodium comes from as my assumption was - because of the very post you’ve linked to - a very small amount of sea salt couldn’t account for the increase alone. I was aware that, for example, sodium fluoride was being added now, so some of the “Salt” listed in the nutritional breakdown of huel would come from that, for example.
Look, now I’ve had the time to make a couple of swift calculations on the back of an envelope & look up relative atomic masses, I think the following is right (disclaimer - this might not be right)
So the % of sodium in NaCl = (100 / 58.44) * 22.9898 = 39.3392
Na weight in NaCl = (NaCl weight) * 0.393392
The % of fluorine in NaF = (100 / 41.98871) * 22.9898 = 54.7523
Na weight in NaF = (NaCl weight) * 0.547523
There’s 0.7g Flouride listed per 100g of huel. Fluoride in the first anion of fluorine in that it has an extra electron so has basically the same mass
ergo 0.7g Fluorine = 0.3833 Na
0.3833 Na = equivalent to 0.97g Salt
Meaning that the addition of 0.7g of sodium fluoride equates to roughly 1g of salt per 100 grams. Then there’s also some added sea salt.
But A - it’s been bloody years since I did chemistry so my scribbled calculations could be way off, and B - even if they’re right I still don’t know what makes up the total sodium listed in Huel. I’ve probably accounted for about 1 gram per 100 but we know the total amount is 1.3 grams per 100 - is the rest made up by sea salt? Magic Pixie Dust? Stuff grandad picked out from under his toenails while cleaning them? (Please God, don’t let it be the last one.)
Now, if it happens the other 0.3 grams is made up of sea salt it’s relatively easy to address as leaving it out would bring the salt equivalent down to about 5g per day (if that is something they felt like doing). But it’s all a bit of a moot point at the moment because - as mentioned - I don’t have a breakdown of what makes up the “Salt” content of huel. As I may have mentioned.
EDIT - I should add I have no strong feelings about the addition of Fluoride either way, although I appreciate others may.
Edit Edit - in fact, the listed Fluoride is 0.7mg per 100g rather than 0.7g, so my calculation of the salt equivalent from sodium fluoride is way, way higher than it should be.
Take the label from Huel v1.2 and use that salt content as starting point.
In Huel v2.0 they no longer add Sodium Molybdate and Sodium Selenate, so compare the amounts of Molybdenum and Selenium between label v2.0 and v1.2 and (using the atomic masses) subtract the correct amount of Sodium from the Huel v1.2.
Now subtract this amount from the Sodium content of Huel v2.0.
The amount that remains has to be accounted through Sodium Fluoride and addition of sea salt (which is just Sodium Chloride, with trace amounts of other unimportant stuff).
You made a mistake with the Fluoride calculation, it is milligrams, not grams. Other than that, the approach is correct. So subtract the Sodium that comes from Sodium Fluoride from the Huel content once again.
The rest is sea salt because no other changes have been made to Huel that would modify the Sodium content.
You will find that they add a substantial amount of sea salt…
You’re right about the flouride grams / milligrams thing - I was way off there (i.e - around 1000 times. oops)
However, the problem with the above assumption is the basic ingredient ratios have stayed the same, and and we know from this handily linkable thread…
… they’ve tweaked the amounts. I obviously don’t have a list of the ingredient ratios, the salt equivalent levels of the ingredients used, nor whether the ingredients used are being sourced from a new supplier either. I’m given to understand there’s a variance in the amount of salt used in different pea proteins for example, so a change in that might have a greater or larger impact on sodium levels. Or might not. I really don’t know, hence asking the people who make it to clarify, rather than just me guessing blindly.
You make a valid point - an answer from the developers of Huel would be better than our calculations.
My understanding is that the variations among for example pea protein and other ingredients (especially after prepared for Huel through for example industrial washing) is minimal and I would expect that the majority of Sodium content in Huel v2.0 is through sea salt.
This means that it should be trivial for the Huel team to put the Sodium content back to a safe level by simply including less sea salt.
You’re 0.7mg value for Fluoride difference between v1.2 and v2.0 assumes that there was 0 Fluoride in v1.2. This is unknown - they may just not have listed it. In that case potentially even more Sodium is coming from the Sea Salt than the Sodium Fluoride.
On that train of thought - maybe they did just go with cheaper/saltier ingredients and maybe there was already Fluoride in some of the ingredients so they just listed it on the Nutritional Information and added a token amount of Sodium Flouride and then Sea Salt to cover their tracks.
Turned the Salt and Fluoride levels from a bug into a feature!
I’ve no particular reason to suspect they’re doing anything underhand if that’s what you mean. All I’m trying to accomplish here is cutting out the guesswork and speculation, and getting some sort of official response if its feasible to lower the sodium content to something falling below health organisations’ safe upper limits without radically changing the new mix. If omitting specifically added salt from the mix would do it there’s obviously potential there, but until there’s some more concrete info its a bit futile conjuring scenarios and solutions.
I don’t mean underhand as such, just that perhaps commercial interests are weighing in more heavily than health ones?
Huel already adjusted the salt content upwards, and afterwards were satisfied with that change. It seems weird that they’d purposefully increase it once again to unsafe levels for no clear reason. The weak responses they’ve given have been a real eye-opener for me.
I am disgusted to think huel would ever include substances in their food which are beyond safe upper limits, and further disgusted by the fact that this had to be detected by the huel community after the fact. What’s even worse is huels dismissive blow-off when the community point this out. Ymmv, but I’ve no further trust in them.
In fairness they are a business so I would imagine commercial concerns are always going to be top of their list of priorities
Still, virtually doubling the equivalent salt levels of a foodstuff is a baffling move, and exceeding what many health organisations advise as the safe level is just downright bizarre - I could be wrong, but if you’re going to sell a product like Huel and shove the tag line “Everything your body needs, nothing more” on it, I’d expect the kind of potential customers you attract to scrutinize the nutritional content very carefully
We want people to scrutinise our label. That’s how we make Huel better.
We certainly haven’t blown off the communities complaints. Indeed, many of the changes to Huel that we’ve made come from us listening to the community. James is continuing to work and review 2.0, it’s certainly not something we’ve just ignored.
I really appreciate the way you guys listen to feedback, but from what I’ve seen there’s been no explanation for the high salt levels? So it certainly seems that concern has been blown off, for now at least.
The response that “only a little has been added” doesn’t really hold when the numbers disagree.
OK, maybe if I rephrase this all as a few direct questions?
V1.2 had a footnote on the nutritional info label saying that all salt was due exclusively to the presence naturally occurring sodium. V2 no longer says that, the implication being that the extra 3 grams per day it contains do not occur naturally in the ingredients and are being added. You’ve explained some of this is a tiny amount of sea salt, but as sea salt is listed last on the ingredients it is, by weight, the least of everything making up Huel. So I’m assuming sea salt doesn’t make up very much of the extra content.
All I’d really like to know as a customer is
1- which ingredients does the extra salt come from?
2 - is the extra salt something that could be omitted from the blend ?
3 - Are we likely to see the salt level drop to a safer level of, say, 4-5 grams per day in the foreseeable future?
If you could provide answers to any or all of those questions that would be great, as I need to figure out if I’m going to have to start looking for an alternative to Huel (which honestly I don’t want to do)