Is it really true Huel isn't missing anything?

Hi everyone :slight_smile:

EDIT: My point with this thread is to question and find out if I should settle with Huel, or if there are ANY benefits from trying competing products.
Also to question if there is anything I could add to Huel, to make it better for my body and health.
Obviously our bodies are all different and what works for me might not work for someone else, but that means the only to learn this, is to test it. Therefor I’m very interested if anyone have taken note on ingredients you think Huel is lacking or had good results mixing food supplements with Huel?

Even though I would like a cheap product (who wouldn’t?), my focus is manly on health (body and mind, and long term effects). IMO the food we eat is the worst place to cut down on quality only to save money.
My least concern is actually the taste. Better taste is not the reason I’m buying powdered food ;).
I’ve also learned that even if something tastes bad to begin with, my body is quite good at adapting and learning to like it, if it feels better after eating it. Much like you didn’t like certain vegetables as a child. I didn’t like the taste of Huel at first either, but now I sometimes crave it :slight_smile:

I’ve tried Jake before and my stomach didn’t feel so good on days where I only ate Jake. They got a new recipe, but I’m not sure if I will give it another go.
I’m now running on Huel Gluten Free (56 packs) and tried Huel Original (56 packs) before that.

I’d be very interested in learning more about the more expensive alternatives as well, that market themselves as “superfood”, “organic”, “whole food”, “real food”, “natural”, etc.
I’m taking about products like Ambronite (too expensive), Bertrand (will try next week!), Nutberg, VEXX, Veetal, 100percentfood, etc. and hope to settle if there is any benefit at all to these products over Huel or if I should stick with Huel.

Therefor I’m very interested in you guys experience with Huel and with these alternatives, and if you feel there’s anything Huel is missing.
I would also like to know if anyone can claim there is absolutely no benefit at all from using these more expensive alternatives over Huel, and why that is?

Best Regards
– Gabriel

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Whether powdered foods contain enough of every essential or desirable nutrient is a major concern for me too. I eat Huel and regular food.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are a concern for me.

I suppose that answer to this is that Huel contains everything we are currently aware that the body needs. However nutrition is a growing science, so it’s probable that there are things that we don’t yet know we need. Huel may well contain these things just by chance, it contains lots of complex organic substances, (organic as in organic chemistry, not as in produced according to organic guidelines) and these will probably contain lots of other random micronutrients that are not specified on the label.

Use of oats, as opposed to some more reduced source of carbohydrate, is actually one of the reasons I prefer Huel to its competition.

As for antioxidants - it’s probable that they do nothing for you what so ever (apart from potential placebo). Please see this or this, actually, I really recommend reading “bad science” by Dr Goldacre, it has a good discussion of the weaker side of nutritional science.


Even if I was using Huel full time as a food source (which I am not) I would still have a couple of green juices a week (which I do anyway) to ensure an intake of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Having said that, I expect nutritionally a diet of 100% Huel would probably beat the diet of a large minority of people in the UK in the 21st century.


So are you saying Huel is missing “lutein and zeaxanthin”?

That’s not saying much, sadly :unamused: Too many people live unhealthy these days, in the UK as well.

I’m getting really strong vibe that Huel is not sufficient for a healthy body (in terms of food intake) :anguished: What I mean is that if you live on Huel, you will run into problems because something is not optimal. When you read the advertisement on the front page of Huel’s website you get the impression that Huel got “everything your body needs”, which seems like an exaggeration/overstatement. Maybe whatever Huel is lacking (or ingredients that could have been of healthier quality) is due to cost/profit decisions?

I would be happy with Huel if I could get a list of food supplements/ingredients, I could mix in with my Huel for a complete and ultimately healthy diet.

On days where I only consume Huel, I take “Lutein & Zeaxanthin” supplements, as well as sprinkle some table salt into my Huel mixture (to compensate for the low amount of chloride ions and sodium). From reading what has been discussed in these forums, those seem to be the main things missing from Huel in its current form.

Most days I eat other food in addition to Huel so I imagine it’s unlikely that anything is “missing” in my overall diet.

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@Gabriel It’s an interesting and valid question you raise.

To put all this into context, though, Huel is a product that is still in development. It contains all the nutrients that your body needs, as far as the makers of Huel are aware of at this time. But as @Quidditch said, this field of knowledge is constantly developing.

This is why they are using volunteers to go on 100% Huel, so they can see what happens when a human consumes nothing but Huel.

Personally, I don’t think I will ever go 100% Huel. I use Huel for the breakfast-lunch period because it is quicker and easier than preparing healthy food. I’m probably going to stick with having evening meals, though. I also take supplements in addition to Huel, because there are some nutrients I want more of than Huel provides. But that’s just my approach, and it something I’m often reassessing based on my own reading.

I think that you probably could live quite healthily off Huel alone, but I don’t know that for sure. I don’t think that’s going to be the future for most people, though. I just don’t think it’s realistic to consider 100% Huel the future of food for most people. Even Julian, the person most enthusiastic about Huel, doesn’t consume 100% Huel most of the time (based on what he has written in the forum).

I think Huel is great as a convenient staple food to have when you don’t have time to make anything better. But I do think that anyone who goes 100% Huel long term is part of the ongoing experiment.

Personally, if I was going to have nothing but meal replacement drinks the whole time, I would want there to be some variety in there. I would want to vary the carbohydrate, protein and fat sources, just to mix things up a bit. Oats one day, a different carb the next, rice protein one day, pea protein the next, a different one the next, and so on.

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It would be great if I could somehow find out all the ingredients Huel could benefit from to make it more healthy (somthing limited due to production costs)?

I’m looking for a company to provides a product that is as healthy as possibly, second priority is how fast it is to prepare and manage, third priority cost, and fourth is taste (I really don’t care that much how it tastes, as long as it’s super healthy. I know my body will learn to like healthy stuff quite fast). If Huel doesn’t have these goals in mind, then I will consider looking at other healthier alternatives. But I hope Huel will continue to improve their product.
Ambronite looks promising, but they seem overly expensive (just the shipping cost is 15€ inside europe). Maybe I’m looking for a middle ground, but definitely something that’s healthier in the long run.

I’m not a food expert, that’s why I’m asking here on this forum. Already learned a few things Huel is missing that I should see if I can supplement with.

Just out of interest, what is your diet like at the moment?

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It’s mixed, I eat mostly youghurt or oatmeal for breakfast, Huel or a sandwich for lunch and eat with friends or with others for dinner (I do some charity work where we often cook together), or cook myself but can also consider Huel if I get home late and is lazy. I’ve had one day where I ate only Huel mixed with some fruit.

I don’t want the thread to go too far off topic, so it would be cool if we could keep it that way :wink:
There’s already a few (in my opinion) important unanswered questions…

Well, the statement; “I’m getting really strong vibe that Huel is not sufficient for a healthy body (in terms of food intake) What I mean is that if you live on Huel, you will run into problems because something is not optimal.” is a bit by the by given that most of us don’t monitor our normal diet for potential deficiencies.

I definitely don’t, and before I ate Huel I did “run into problems” in as much as my iron intake was not sufficient. It wasn’t a major problem, though, because the human body is very adaptable, and will be fine with most reasonable diets. I didn’t even notice the iron deficiency until it appeared on my blood tests.

If your diet is carefully planned and contains the right balance of something like 30 nutritional substances then Huel is not going to be an improvement. Anyone who doesn’t plan perfectly is clearly functioning on something that is not guaranteed to contain the right levels of everything. By the sound of things, you are in this latter group with most of us.

I guess all I’m trying to say is; why would Huel need to be perfect given that the thing it replaces almost certainly isn’t?


Because the packet says “everything your body needs”?

I totally agree with you that Huel is a LOT better than what most people normally eat. Gabriel is just wondering whether it’s absolutely true that Huel gives your body everything it needs. It is a valid question to wonder whether there is anything in “normal” food that is not included in Huel.

But the general consensus seems to be that people feel a lot better once they start having Huel. For people who already eat a totally balanced, healthy diet, they probably won’t feel any healthier on Huel. But let’s face it, that’s not most people. The vast majority of people come to Huel because they want to replace junk snack foods with something healthier, or they want an easier way to control their calories, or they just want to save time.

The compaints I have seen so far are usually:

  • Too sweet.
  • Hungry (usually because they haven’t had enough Huel)
  • Smelly flatulence.

But most people seem to be feeling a lot better on Huel.

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Exactly! Thank you! :slight_smile:

For one I mentioned antioxidants, but someone replied with articles about how antioxidants might really not be beneficial for the body. Responses like this makes me more nervous.

I live on Huel (and a few Flumps/candy sticks/drumsticks a day to stave off sugar cravings) and I also take Vitamin D3 tablets (cholecalciferol) as I am Vitamin D deficient due to health issues and I’m finding it a lot better than my old diet which was ‘eat anything that might not give you stomach pain’ - less fatigue for sure, and I’m sure it’s a lot better vitamins and minerals wise than the junk I was eating before.

It probably doesn’t have everything in as the creators are probably looking into environmental and ethical ways to add the vitamin/mineral into the Huel, and are also looking at the pros to health scientifically and nutritionally vs the cost factor too :slight_smile:

Also they probably assume that 99% of Huelers don’t use it 100%

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I think they assume only a low number of customers use it 100%. I also don’t use it 100%.

But my criteria for Huel being healthy is that I can use it 100% of the time if I want to (or else it would be false advertisement to say “Everything the body needs”, if it doesn’t have everything the body needs).
I’m sceptical if Huel does have everything the body needs, and I fear some things could be improved if cost was not an issue, I just wish I could be told what, so I can supplement it myself? Hope that made sense?

Hi guys - I thought I’d chime in here. I’ll pass a few comments, but if anyone then has any more specific questions, please let me know.

Huel is based on food - 6 of the main ingredients are food so they naturally contain not only most of the macro and micronutrients but also some phytonutrients. We don’t know the amounts of the phytonutrients it contains in the same way that people don’t know what phytonutrients are in their other food. But here’s some info:

Huel does meet nutritional requirements - meaning that all nutrients that are essential for good health and life. If we felt that the recommended daily amounts of some of the vits and mins aren’t enough due to nutrient interaction or optimal health will be acheived at higher levels, we put more in (eg vits C and D).


Gabriel, I completely appreciate your viewpoint: it’s very scientific and exacting, and that’s very me.

But I don’t think ‘perfect nutrition’ is a solved problem, so I don’t think the level of certainty you’re after can exist.

I also think it’s worth keeping in mind that we didn’t evolve to be dysfunctional on anything shy of hypothetical ‘perfect nutrition’. We’re a flexible species, with extremely varied, healthy diets across different cultures.

I’m extremely wary of fad articles saying some particular food is ‘essential’, especially when the basis is something like ‘good for your gut flora’. (Good how? How is goodness measured? What value on that measure is optimal? What else drives it?) Sure, we can and do get everyday nutrition wrong, but I doubt we evolved to require this month’s fad food.

All said, I don’t think perfect nutrition is perfectly known, but Huel seems to meet it to the best of conservative modern knowledge, and the company seem dedicated to improve it as knowledge improves. I doubt you’d “run into problems”, and it will be better nutrition than any realistic everyday diet.

All that said, supplementing with kale crisps cooked in (say, coconut) oil seems like it’d be delicious, and take care of any concern about the recent research into lutein and zeaxanthin. I’m not going to suggest kale smoothies – I don’t care if it IS a superfood, health isn’t worth that horror. The crisps, however, are brilliant.


Thanks but I’m not sure you are being sarcastic or not, but I appreciate the answer regardless :slight_smile:

I disagree that my post is very “scientific” as I have little knowledge in food besides what I read in respected local and international newspapers, and what these sources (and wikipedia) agrees on, in topics of health and food science.

Maybe, I think you are right, we are all different, but I think it’s worth pursuing, getting as close to a healthy diet as possible. With many competing brands I’m looking to settle on whichever is best for my body in the long term, which is why I might sound like I take it more serious than others who don’t care much about how healthy it is as long as it tastes decent and they can eat it now and then.

Why is “good for your health” hard to define? I think it’s quite easy to define if something is good for you (in short and the long term), you well being and how your body feels and behaves. And I’m sure your doctor has an opinion on this as well :wink:

I hope this is true, but I have my concerns…which are only supported by the comments in this post (or lack thereof from the developers). For an example I mention anti-oxidants, and someone tries to talk me into antioxidants not really being important after all…

Supplementing with cooking on the pan, kinda defeats the purpose of a quick meal, doesn’t it? :wink: I would love to try them sometime.

Certainly not being sarcastic. And your viewpoint is definitely scientific. I’m not saying you’re necessarily an expert (or me), but you’re an empiricist. You’re interested in getting to the right answer, and we’re much the same in that way.

On that note, I agree about “getting as close to a healthy diet as possible”, but my point is meant to try to dissuade you from too strongly holding the notion that a) there is a /single/ optimal diet, and b) the science of nutrition knows enough yet.

This takes us to why “good for your health” is hard to define – great question. My question was good for you /how/, and this absolutely does matter. You could take three foodstuffs that are “good for your health”, but which are good for you by having the exact same effect on your body. Having all three may in fact overdose you on the underlying vitamin/mineral and be /bad/ for you. That’s why we need to be wary of articles telling us a food is ‘essential’ because it’s ‘good for you’.

Let’s talk about your anti-oxidant point. To my knowledge, the primary anti-oxidants in human diet are vitamins C and E. Huel contains 375% of your recommended value of vitamin C, amd 270% of E. It is nutritional consensus that we need vitamin C/E, and the high values were pegged to more modern ideas that the current 100% NRV may not be optimal.

It really is not obvious, if you’re receiving 375% vitamin C NRV and 270% E, that you get any benefit from the anti-oxidant rich fad superfoods. They’re marketed as “good for your health”, but are they actually saying they will improve the health of someone whose diet is already very strong on anti-oxidants? Be cautious of that; I think it’s very easy to label far too many foods as ‘essential’ for the wrong reasons, and end up with a very sub-optimal diet.

As for kale crisps not being quick, eh, that’s true, but for me I don’t mind so much if it’s an occasional supplement (and treat) and most of my diet is really quick and easy. You could just take a supplement for lutein and zeaxanthin, but it’ll probably cost more than it should and, if you really want to hedge your bets about optimal nutrition, it’s probably safer to supplement with some nutrient-dense whole foods to account for the possibility of ‘missing’ essentials we don’t know about yet. Such unknown essentials would be more likely to be in kale than a vitamin tablet!

Yes… I did offer a couple of sources that note that antioxidants are probably little more than a marketing gimmick. The information was given in good faith; to the best of my knowledge as a non-medical scientist, it’s accurate. However, I can reassure you that I don’t work for Huel, and that my opinions have no impact on its composition.

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