Feed: "Huel's nutritionally complete meal is not complete"

#1

Here’s the full message I received from a Feed representative on Instagram after questioning their nutritional value and branding vs Huel’s:

"Hello there!

While there are certainly some similarities between Huel and Feed., it is important to understand that both products offer different things.

Contrary to its slogan, Huel’s “Nutritionally Complete Food” is, in fact, not complete. Indeed, the brand offers “meals” between 400/500kcal in its powdered form and 250kcal for its bars. Although needs differ from one individual to another, the recommendations in terms of daily energy intake are set at 2000kcal. Therefore you’d have to have 5 Huel powdered meals or 8 Huel bars per day to reach this value.

Each Feed. bar contains an average of 400kcal, whereas our powdered meals (excluding those within the LIGHT range) contain an average of 650kcal.

Moreover, with Huel, the nutritional balance is not respected, neither in terms of quality nor quantity. A powdered meal provides you with 16g of lipids (23% of your daily requirement) and 46g of carbohydrates (18% of your daily requirement). Therefore, it is fairly obvious that these meals will provide you with only a small amount of the energy you require, and will not even begin to tackle the issues surrounding satiety.

This is in complete contrast to the amount of protein that can be found in a Huel meal. Here they are more than happy to overload their “meals”. If you were to consume 4 Huel meals per day, as they recommend, then you would find yourself consuming as much three times more protein (296%) than is currently recommended. This amount of protein can be harmful to your health and could ultimately lead to kidney problems.

The recommendations in terms of a balanced diet are established in such a way that the total energy intake is distributed as follows: 50% carbohydrates, 30-35% lipids and 15-20% protein. While Feed. meals meet these recommendations, Huel meals are a little off providing the necessary nutritional requirements recommended by European health authorities.

Furthermore, unlike Huel, each Feed. meal is vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, and GM-free. Additionally, our recipes differ drastically and we offer a range of various formats."

What do you guys think of their statements and their nutritional profile? I saw some comments on this forum saying that their protein was a little low in some of their products.

#2

This isn’t really the way I’d compare similar products from the off unless someone is stating wrong information about a product. Companies such as Jimmy Joy, Soylent, Feed and Huel are providing food that is relatively affordable compared to shop bought alternatives while also lowering peoples’ environmental impact, in that sense, we have shared goals. Where we differ is in nutrition, ingredients, taste, etc etc. I know I’m slightly bias but I am yet to find anything that beats Huel nutritionally. Strap yourself in butt (if that is your real name).

Based on 500kcal Huel costs £1.61/€2.13 as a single purchase and £1.45/€1.93 on subscription (based on two pouches) while Feed costs £2.27. A meal can vary in calories if you want more/less just add more/less powder that’s the beauty of powdered meals, that doesn’t mean Huel isn’t nutritionally complete. The bars are a snack, not a meal so there’s no point going any further there.

Yes, Huel contains twice as much protein as protein contributes to 30% of the calories in Huel vs 11% for Feed. That’s a good thing, find me up-to-date nutritional research that recommends having only 10% of your calories from protein. I actually cannot believe a “nutrition-focused” company would suggest that high protein can be harmful to health and cause kidney problems. That research is at least 25 years out of date. Here are two studies in the last 6 months showing that consuming high amounts of protein is not an issue. A systematic review of 28 studies and a 1 year trial on high protein diets: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30383278 and https://www.mdpi.com/2411-5142/3/4/62. I appreciate it can be difficult to keep up with research when the data you use was published BEFORE I WAS BORN.

This moves us on to satiety. Satiety is not just about calories (we have tackled this anyway by just adding more powder) there’s more to it than in that. In fact, one of the great benefits of protein is that it is the most satiating macronutrient, while fat is the least: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17824197

The quality of both Feed’s and our carbohydrate sources are good, as the main carbohydrate source in both is oats, although in Huel we add more. This is because Feed also uses isomaltulose. This is classed as a sugar for labelling reasons, but to be fair it probably shouldn’t be. However, isomaltulose provides less micronutrients gram for gram than oats. As a result, some of the vitamins and minerals which come from the main ingredients in Huel must be added to Feed to ensure it is nutritionally complete. Zinc is one example. Where vitamins and minerals are added in Huel the forms used appear to be of a higher quality. For example, we use L-methylfolate calcium as a source of folate while Feed use folic acid, this is 1000 times more expensive but the bioavailability is higher. Huel also contains chloride and choline, unlike Feed.

We have fantastic nutrition and NPD teams here at Huel so we stray away from the European recommendations where we feel they are a bit out-of-date. Protein is one example, vitamin C is another, where there is ample evidence for consuming amounts above recommended levels. You can see a bit more here: https://uk.huel.com/pages/nutritional-information-and-ingredients#protein and here: https://uk.huel.com/pages/iron-in-huel-and-the-effects-of-antinutrients-and-vitamin-c

It’s interesting to note that Huel contains a source of MCTs (from coconut), while Feed does not. MCTs are a type of saturated fat that are metabolised differently to most saturated fats and therefore have different effects on the body. You can find out more here: https://uk.huel.com/pages/benefits-of-medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts

All the Huel powders are vegan, lactose-free and GMO-free ( but it’s worth noting that we don’t believe all GMO is bad). We also offer a gluten-free version of our powders so this is completely wrong.

Put it this way Butt, there is a reason we are nutrition first here at Huel.

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Huel and Kidneys
#3

A high protein diet will only cause kidney damage if you already have renal failure, like my 22 yr old cat…

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#4

And anyway, Huel isn’t overly high in protein. In fact many serious gym goers add whey protein or pea protein to their Huel for a post-workout meal

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#5

Yeah, I was a bit surprised when they said that Huel contains too much protein

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#6

And while I don’t think isomaltulose is tooooo ‘bad’, I’d definitely prefer to have oats.
Feed products are higher in calories, but then so would Huel be if they added empty calories.

Where Feed do seem to excel is in taste. Huel’s flavours are pretty terribly in my opinion.
But I love the Unflavoured Unsweetened version and I add cacao and other super-foods which means a meal with very low GI, all natural ingredients, and great nutritional profile

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#7

Spot on Christina! Thanks for adding that it’s only an issue when kidney disease is considered.

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#8

I think some of the answers from Feed to @butt were misleading by their wording. Whether this was deliberate or not I don’t know.

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#9

Seems like they have a little misunderstanding of Huel or they were indeed doing that on purpose to make themselves look better

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#10

First rule of marketing: Never make negative statements about the competition (especially if you can’t back them up with proof or science). Always state what is positive about your own product (if that in itself is not enough to sell your product, then the product needs improving!)

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#11

Sorry, couldn’t help but laugh :joy:

Seems to add up, so what’s the point this Feed. representative is trying to make? :sweat_smile:

Advertised by Huel as a snack, so yea…

I think @Jeffy89 would be the only one to try. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Is there more to this @butt?
I like it :grin:

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#12

Not yet but I’ll keep you all updated :yum:

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#13

hey! I only ate 6 okay I’m a short person :rofl:

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#14

Sour grapes comes to mind, maybe they aren’t doing as well as Huel.

And I thought you loved the new Chocolate flavour @ChristinaT :wink:

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#15

Bar with 400kcal for the win!!

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#16

I rather like them. I satisfy my liking for savoury food by having one Huel-less meal a day (most days).

#17

@Bee I think I just struggle with artificial sweeteners. It’s doesn’t make me ill, I just don’t like the taste.
I really really like the UU though.
I think I need to stop trying the flavours !
Some of the flavour boosts are nice tho

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#18

Understand what you mean. I only use around 3g of the flavour boosts as they make it too sweet. A small amount makes a big difference. I also tend to take the sweetness down a notch with UU.

#19

I said in a different thread the other day that I respected the ethos Feed have surrounding their nutrition. If this representative’s answer is reflective of the brand as a whole, I have no choice but to retract that statement.

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#20

They say this but i cannot see where they explain this statement

The thing that worries me about Huel is indeed the protein quantity. I’ve always heard, even from nutritionists/doctors, that eating too much protein is bad. I don’t know what the truth is but it can be scary to rely on what a 25 years old nutritionist from a company says. Don’t get me wrong, i really don’t intend to be rude. My english is pretty basic so i may seem a little bit “raw” when saying that, but what to think if my doctor (she is a 30 years experienced nutritionist) says the opposit of what a company like huel says?

Why is huel the only one putting that much protein in their food?

I have partially solved the problem by eating huel in addition of instant oats.
For example, if i want a 650 kcal meal, i put 400 kcal of huel and 200 of instant oats, that is much lighter in protein than huel powder. Some times it is 50/50.

I would really appreciate to have more reassuring explanations about this point.