Does one need "normal" food?

According to must nutritionists it is necessary to have at least some “normal” or “natural” food, as it is very likely that not all essential micronutrients have been identified yet. There is still a lot of research to be done on nutrition, so much that is unknown.
But you can only add the micronutrients that have been identified yet and are known to be “essential”.

For me personally, it just seems impossible to have “normal” food. I think I could not even swallow it. And I am very sensitive to colour and texture. And in some way synthetic micronutrients seem to be more standardized, more reliable. They don’t underly “natural” variations.
I could not trust in powders from companies like the German Betrand, which use only “natural” ingredients, that is powdered plant based foods, and don’t add any synthetic vitamins. It just does not feel “right” to someone like me, as I’ve taken lots of supplements my whole life (already started it as as kid, still do it and believe firmly in it).

What is your opinion on that?
And a question to the Huel team: Why did you choose to add synthetic vitamins and minerals instead of powdered “natural foods” that contain those micronutrients?

1 Like

More than half of them in Huel are naturally occurring from ingredients - but Huel are in no way unique in the process of food fortification. The vast majority of big food brands do it, with the main ones including Mother Dairy, BASF, Nestle, Kellogg Company, Danone, Cargill, Inc., Koninklijke, General Mills etc.

Food fortification’s market drivers include healthy lifestyle choices / consumer health consciousness as well as economic and social policies. There are literally millions of deaths a year globally linked to vitamin and mineral deficiencies in diets so governments and health bodies actively encourage food fortification.

Governmental assistance has also fostered food fortification market growth and is seen by the Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Health Organization as one of the important ways to eliminate malnutrition – especially in groups who do not have access to nutritionally balanced diets – for whatever reason that is.


As Phil said(thanks Phil!), over half the vitamins and minerals in Huel products are naturally occurring from the food ingredients. In a few cases, the level of natural micronutrients doesn’t quite cut the mustard in terms of providing us with adequate amounts of the nutrients we know we need for good health, so we add the remaining vitamins and minerals as part of a bespoke micronutrient blend. This ensures our products reach the necessary NRV of each micronutrient or, in some cases, we’ve added more where we feel a higher intake of a particular micronutrient is beneficial for optimum nutrition and disease prevention.

Most Hueligans enjoy Huel 1-3 times a day, which is the way we’ve designed it to be used. So to answer your original question, yes, we would encourage you to include a variety of foods in your diet, and enjoy Huel as part of a balanced diet :blush:

For some vitamins I don’t see what ingredients could contain them, for example Vitamin C.
And it is not the know vitamins and minerals that I was talking about - here I don’t see a difference between “natural” or “unprocessed” and “Synthetic” origin.
I am referring to these substances that “might not have been identifiied yet”, but play a vital role in human metabolism.
And reading the ingredients of your powders, these are mainly oats or other carbs, seeds, protein and some oils. So not much variety, relatively basic stuff.
Some companies add a variety of “real organic” food powders, and their ingredients list is much longer. Similar to what you do for the hot instant meals, just for the regular shakes. That makes them more expensive, though, and I am not a fan of this “natural” stuff.
I prefer synthetic substances, because as I said, these just “feel” more reliable. You have a guarantee that you get everything that is listed on the label.
I just wondered whether I have to fear some bad long term effects from it, or health hazards that I am not aware of.
And I guess all people who don’t have “normal foods” think about that now and then.

To help, we have a lengthy article on our site diving into the vitamins and minerals within Huel, including a table displaying the % from ingredients and/ or V&M blend- Essential vitamins and minerals in Huel

I know, but as I said, it is the micronutrients that “might not have been identified” yet. Your list is “complete”, but only with respect to what is currently known, and maybe this is not the whole story.
But of course this is only a problem for those of us who are on 100% shakes, drinks and supplements, the rest does not really have to worry about that.

Absolute nonsense.


I think mental garbage is the phrase you are looking for here.


That would depend if he’s referring to unknown in the sense of unspecified, or unknown as in unknown to science. Any retail food product has to undergo ingredient analysis in a laboratory. Material ingredients analysis ascertains the composition of a product and performs qualitative and quantitative analysis. Ingredient analysis is mainly used both for the analysis of unknowns and unknown components. So this can be both the amounts of ingredients (unknowns) and unknown components which are there incidentally included and not originally specified.

If it’s unknown to science then it would never show up on any test and also extremely unlikely, given that all of the ingredient components and processes are known.


“Nonsense”…“garbage” - is this what you would call an objective, science based argument?

So much about nutrition is unknown; in various aspects: Effects on the endocrine system, the microbiome, inflammation levels in the body, effects on the immune system…if something important is missing here you won’t die from it, and it might be impossible to determine the real cause of a disease - which is still mostly the case.

That’s why I worry about it.

I too worry there might be some undetectable, vital substance in the absolute shit I used to eat, and that somehow none of it finds its way into Huel.


How come comatose people survive for 30+ years on 1 specific meal? If that meal was missing some never before seen nutrient, they’d die after a year instead at most.

1 Like

I have a small Moringa orchard about a dozen trees now. I add fresh moringa powder to most shakes. I’ve gone on a few Huel/moringa fasts where I eat nothing but shakes for a few days and have had very good results with this. I’ve fasted up to three days (real fasting) and I can feel the slugishness on day three - but huel/moringa fasts can go many more days and no ill effects whatsoever for me.

Yesterday was (I THINK) the first time I ate nothing but Huel and drank only water and black coffee.
4 x Huel Black
2 x Hot & Savoury
Still alive so far…

One liquid meal a day may be problematic insofar, as the transit time in the upper intestine is reduced, so micronutrients can’t be absorbed properly - if you have supplements at other times of the day this may not be that problematic, though. Only if you lived on Huel only - at least that’s what a nutritionist told me. She also mentioned that there are secondary phytonutrients and that we still don’t know everything about nutrition. When asking another nutritionist he agreed.

I solve this by taking various supplements throughout the day, and I don’t have all calories at once.

@ rikefrejut:
I guess you’re a skinny workaholic…I don’t see any other constellation for the kind of diet you seem to follow. You can easily choose your weight if you never have treats and never make nutritional “mistakes”. Very remarkable indeed…

We’ve tested the micronutrient status if you’d like to take a read here :blush: Is Huel healthy? We Did a Study to Find Out


He’s said he finds preparing and eating food boring so prefers a 2000kcal Huel shake in the morning and then to forget about food for the rest of the day. You would know this though if you read what people put on this forum instead of spouting nonsense all the time.


I just admire his discipline, I didn’t know that he has so many calories at once. Is this really necessary? I mean with so much discipline you could choose your weight almost exactly, and I don’t see why anyone would not make use of that…