Huel Ingredients

I have been using Huel for well over a year now and I’m taking a break from consuming Huel black and complete protein.

I was having 2 scoops mid morning and 2 scoops mid afternoon an easy 800 calories to add to my 2,800 calorie intake including a normal breakfast, lunch and evening meal as I train 5 days a week.

Since stopping my intake of Huel I miss the ease of use and convenience of the product and I actually enjoyed the vanilla and chocolate flavour of black Huel.

Unfortunately I was foolish enough to Google some ingredients contained in Huel and most others health products and processed foods on the market, these Ingredients consist of Xantham gum, artificial sweeteners, Sucralose, Steviol and Potassium Citrate and Potassium Chloride some if not all have been identified for stomach bloating, changing the healthy gut bacteria and blood sugar levels, not to mention inflammation of the liver and kidneys.

why do these product need artificial sweeteners and chemicals in the first place, if it’s for longevity then it’s just a highly processed meal. which we are told to avoid as processed foods are unhealthy.
It’s also been identified that we don’t actually need sugar in any form, be it natural or artificial, they do absolutely nothing for the nutritional content of the food and is just added for our taste buds.
I’m no expert apart from what I watch on TV, what I put in my body and anything that sounds artificial and contains the letter E before numbers concerns me.

Most protein powders and substitute meals contain artificial ingredients and heavy metals. heavy metals are found in most foods, some we need and some that are carcinogenic, but substitute food and protein powder are marketed as healthy, with all the ingredients you need, but what about the side effect of long term use, I would like to know ?
Please advise on my concerns and hopefully they are misplaced

If you want to know why foods (Huel in this case) use sugar or artificial sweeteners buy a bag of unsweetened and unflavoured Huel and you’ll taste the difference immediately.

I’m a big Huel user and have been for years but I find the unsweetened and unflavoured version unpalatable.

So basically you don’t care what ingredients get put in Huel as long as it taste nice.
Just trying to find out whether long term use can have adverse side effects or harm on your body.

I’m not saying I don’t like Huel I have been using it for over a year and actually enjoy it, but just trying to find out some facts.

On emailing Huel I was told an ingredient was at safe limits. You don’t really want to hear that an ingredient has a safe limit, which means it has an unsafe limit too

Science is basically just humans doing stuff, observing the results and then drawing conclusions… so when people talk about “safe” limits it should be understood as “someone has observed the consequences of consuming this much and drawn a conclusion that it is safe” which is helpful, but it does not necessarily mean that anyone has observed the consequences of consuming twice as much. That means, in practice, a “safe” amount of something could be well understood while we have absolutely no idea what amount isn’t safe (maybe any amount is safe!).

A good example of this, which is relevant to the pandemic, is Vitamin D. The “recommended” amount of Vitamin D has radically changed over the last few years. A few decades ago our understanding of what was the right amount of Vitamin D was <1000 I/U per day, whereas now it’s generally accepted that people should be taking between 5 and 10 times that much. So if you went back 30 years, people would describe 1000 I/U per day as “safe” and you might conclude therefore that 10,000 is not safe but we now know that actually, 10,000 I/U per day is safe (and arguably, much better for us).

I’m not a scientist or a nutritionist (just a nerd) so take this with a pinch of potassium chloride, but I think the language used by people when talking about science (especially about the science of the human body) is far too absolute, which leads to one side with a dogmatic commitment to some scientific “fact” and one side that is driven deep into conspiracy because their scepticism is misunderstood. Your inquisitiveness is a great thing, that’s what drives human progress…

…unfortunately, we know very little about the human body, and so while asking questions like “is x safe for me?” is completely reasonable, it’s also completely reasonable for the answer to be “it’s a safe amount” because that might be all we know.

My recommendation is to pursue confidence rather than the truth: you do not need to know what the unsafe amount of Potassium Chloride is, but you do need to be confident that what you’re eating every day is good for you. There are lots of ways to get there, for me personally, I’m confident that Huel is safe for me because it uses common ingredients, there are no reports of people dying and I feel fine after eating it. What would give you confidence that the ingredients of Huel are good for you?

oh, also, I think it’s worth being conscious of words like “chemical” and “artificial” when they’re used to push a narrative because they’re very emotive words that actually don’t mean much. There’s a classic joke about the dangerous chemical Dihydrogen monoxide which illustrates just how easy it is to make anything scary.

oh and also, it’s helpful to measure risk relatively. For example, in isolation, it might be easy to say “we don’t know what amount of Potassium Chloride is unsafe so I won’t eat any” but you have to eat, so the risk presented by the inclusion of Potassium Chloride in Huel has to be measured against the risk of what might be in other foods and weighed against the benefits of the nutritional profile of Huel. You could eat a diet exclusively of vegetables grown in your own pesticide-free garden, but that could be less healthy for you than Huel regardless of Huel’s processed nature if you only grow potatoes and tomatoes!

oh and final thing, just circling back to confidence: you might like getting regular blood tests, I use Thriva and it’s a great way for me to have a lot of confidence about what’s going on in my body, and the impact of what I’m consuming. I am confident that if Huel was harming me, it would be highlighted in my blood test results, just as it has highlighted other things over the years.


Samuel. Thank you for the detailed reply

can’t really add more to what samuel said but I’d avoid playing Dr. Google on and

If you are seriously puzzled by this and don’t (want to) believe Huel and the article Tim linked in another topic where you proposed to remove an ingredient, I’d find and consult a nutritionist. They are literally THE experts, at least out of those you can actually have a chat with. :slight_smile:

Totally understand your concerns John.

As others have rightly said, you can find a scary article on any ingredient and the problem is these articles are often the first hits on a search engine.

To help put your mind at ease, here’s one nugget of info: e numbers are just food ingredients that have been approved for safe use in the EU, even oxygen has one - E948

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Excellent thanks, I’m staying off Google :joy:

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There’s a good quote from Paracelsus: “ Alle Dinge sind Gift, und nichts ist ohne Gift. Allein die Dosis macht, dass ein Ding kein Gift ist.”

Everything is a poison and nothing is without poison. It’s only the dosage that makes something a poison. I’m sure there are better translations, sorry. But I guess the meaning is clear: even water or carrots can become poisonous if you consume them in too large amounts.


That isn’t what I said. Fluoride was added to a version of Huel years ago and I and many others asked for it to be removed which it was.

My point about why so many foods use sugars and sweeteners is to make it palatable. You could make the most perfect food in the world covering off everything but if it makes you gag when you eat it you won’t eat it. Pea protein has a very powerful earthy flavour. The sucralose masks that flavour. I really think you should try some U/U and it’ll open your eyes as to why foods use sugar and sweeteners.

I didn’t comment on the rest of what you put because we’ve been down this rabbit hole many times on the forum. You can find an issue with every ingredient if you want.

Thanks for reply and I’ve only placed my concerns on this matter recently because I only joined the forum yesterday.
So my apologies if this important matter has been discussed before. However I do appreciate your time replying to this issue.
As far as I’m concerned it’s resolved but I will still monitor and complain where I feel fit to do so


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