The question might sound a bit stupid for some, but with the recent release of Huel 2.1, I’m wondering if Huel is now the healthiest possible food? Or is there still some way to go?
In my opinion, there is still some way to go.
More phytonutrients can be added (and those present should be increased), the PUFAs should be lowered somewhat, and many of the micronutrients should target levels above 100% RDA for which benefits have been seen, eg potassium at 4700mg per day (http://www.foodinsight.org/Content/3840/IFIC_PotassimFactSheet_FINAL%20(2).pdf). Choline should also be increased to 550mg per day (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK114308/).
Huel, and -lent products in general, are far better than an average meal, but they have a long way to go before being optimal.
Ok, so sad to hear that, but I somewhat suspected this I consume a lot of Huel (I have periods where I go 100%), and have been somewhat disappointed that what I thought was an optimal healthy diet, actually didn’t make my body feel as great as one would expect (if that makes any sense)?
Any reason the Huel team doesn’t add these things you just listed? Or do you know of any meal-replacement products like Huel, that is closer to reaching optimal healthy ingredients?
I do like Huel a lot, but I will always be ready to change product asap I find a healthier alternative (even if it will be more expensive).
I really hope that the Huel team has optimal ingredients, and reaching a “complete” healthy diet, at the top of their priority list.
One way to narrow the search for the “healthiest” product is to lean towards those with only whole-food plant-based ingredients (organic if possible). As such, they don’t need the added vitamin/mineral blends. Nutberg is a great example (has a bunch of the same ingredients as Huel - oats, pea protein, rice protein, mct’s via coconut). There are others too - Ambronite, Ample etc.
You could also think to yourself, what can I add to my Huel meals to make them more nutritious? Spices (Turmeric), Berries (darker the better), Dark Green Leafy Vegetables, etc. 100% Huel is a great base to build on.
At Huel we are always looking to improve and constantly adapt to new research when there is sufficient to do so. This why in 2.0 we added lycopene and choline because there is a large body of evidence that recommends its consumption. We can always improve, but Huel is pretty close at the moment.
I’m afraid I haven’t done much research into the figures that @IcyElemental has quoted, I’ll certainly be reading the articles. However we want to make decisions on Huel based on more large amounts of evidence.
Huel isn’t a miracle formular and if your diet was good before using Huel then you wouldn’t have felt much different, you would have just had more time to do things other than cook and wash up!
It’s safe to say that Huel is better than traditional western diets of meat and fat and sugar and is leading the way in the complete food market.
I’m not sure it it possible to satisfy everyone with one product but Huel is the closest I’ve seen to a complete meal solution.
Huel is a great base for my nutrition. For breakfast Huel is more complete than the milk and cereal I would have eaten. For lunch Huel is more complete than the sandwich I probably would have otherwise eaten.
I usually have a regular meal for supper and enjoy healthy snacks every now and again but my diet is so much better than it was.
I’m not a fan of organic foods and haven’t seen any evidence they are any more nutritious than conventional food.
This could be good, but with concentrated things like spices caution is definitely warranted. Tumeric is a good example.
Also, one food is never going to be optimal for everyone because we all have different metabolic rates and absorption rates.
To the contrary, there is actually some evidence to suggest organic whole foods are, on average, more dangerous than GM foods.
This lecture touches on it a little: http://www.marklynas.org/2013/01/lecture-to-oxford-farming-conference-3-january-2013/
And the following is a reasonably recent example of a health issue with organic foods, the likes of which has never been known with GM: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/04/hepatitis-outbreak-linked-to-frozen-organic-fruit-sold-at-costco/
But that’s also not saying much. Average western diet is almost what I would call unhealthy. I’m from Denmark, our average diet is not perfect, but definitely better.
I think Huel should have higher expectations for themselves, than just exceeding the average US (or UK) diet, and even higher than just meeting some EU recommendations. I hope the Huel team have goals to make their food as healthy as possible, and I think being able to get “optimal health” from a product like Huel, would go a long way to increase it’s popularity! If Huel was about as healthy as you could possibly get food, people would go crazy over it (!), and put much of their taste habits aside to get it (and even be willing to pay decently for it).
I think we all know how far some people are willing to go in what they eat, to get the optimally healthy diet for their body. I believe Huel can exceed that in both taste and price. People who focus on healthy diets would go crazy over it! I feel each update on Huel is a step in a healthier direction.
The first scepticism I hear from people, when I have to explain Huel, is that they don’t believe it’s as healthy as I do (and most don’t believe it’s healthy at all). I assume that’s the same for people who visit the website and decide not to purchase – because they are unsure about how good it really is for their bodies. If Huel was “healthier”, or even “super healthy”, the news of it would spread rapidly, and news sites would review it as the ultimate diet. You would be able to put quotes from respected news and nutrition paper sources all over your website. I think you underestimate how many people would like to eat the ultimate diet, at the convenience and price of Huel
Btw, looking forward to receiving my 2.1 Huel soon
With “optimal” food I mean food that is as healthy as possible, for as many people as possible
I think the main problem with Huel is that you get very little variety in your diet. The human race knows very little about nutrition and it is currently impossible to work out an optimal diet.
For this reason, I use Huel as a base, and eat other stuff as well. That way I have less risk of missing something important from my diet.
I’d argue that the variety aspect is only an issue with normal meals, where you usually get some of the nutrients and minerals you need (and often excess of some), but rarely everything. Eating varied means you are more likely to get a little of everything you need.
With Huel containing everything the body needs (or trying to), there is little reason to eat varied, except for the joy of changing the experience.
I think the body is quite good (but not perfect) at discarding the excess nutrients and minerals or stocking up on some things for the periods where you get too little of it.
One reason we so love variety in our food, is that our bodies have never been used to getting exactly everything it needs from every meal…So eating different meal increase you chance to get what your body needs…until now, with full meal replacements getting closer to achieving just that.
Variety in food is a very good thing, but not an aspect to consider when looking for the ultimate food, such as if Huel already provides everything for your body.
However reading the comments here and elsewhere, it seems there is still some way to go to achieve this.
I think we have the same “fear” about Huel, that if we don’t eat other healthy meals next to it, we miss out on certain nutritions. This issue is what I hope the Huel team will aim to solve for future versions I hope this is the direction Huel is heading, as they grow as a company.
[quote=“Gabriel, post:12, topic:4549”]
With Huel containing everything the body needs (or trying to)[/quote]
The “or trying to” is extremely pertinent here, as there is no way for us or Huel to know whether they are providing all of the nutrients which we require for optimal health. Humankind understands very little about human nutrition.
however exactly the same can be said for eating a regular traditional set of meals, and given the balance and content I cant see how traditional meals that the average person consumes can come anywhere near close to providing the relevant balance of nutrients, let alone come anywhere near being optimal.
at the end of the day, once our digestive system has had its way with whatever we throw down our gullet, all that is left is base chemicals. The chemical make up of all foods will vary depending on specific growing conditions, breeds, variants, mutations. Each apple will have a unique chemical constitution, and this is also typically overlooked in these discussions.
[quote=“ryanhellyer, post:13, topic:4549, full:true”]
The same thing could be said about the normal food we eat. We eat what we think and hear is healthy, and what we feel like our body needs. But with normal food we (like Huel) also can’t be 100% sure we get the optimal diet. We know little, but however still enough to make a product like Huel and even have some people go 100% Huel.
My point is this, that I hope the Huel team’s goal is to continuously try to reach for creating an optimal healthy source of food (and I believe they are already well into that!), to the extend that new research and science will allow them. And that they don’t “settle” on arguments like “you need to eat varied anyway”, “it’s already healthier than the average meal”, “there’s never one food to suit all body types” and “it as healthy or healthier than competitors products”. Arguments like these (even though some might be true), they are not excuses for stepping away from that goal.
I know I’m just sharing my concerns and my wishes for Huel, and I completely respect if others have different views – but I will argue, that in the long run, the healthiest meal replacement company that creates an affordable product so healthy, it rivals all the nutrition fanatics most favorite inedible loss diets (joke), will dominate the meal-replacement industry, which I believe will grow tremendously the next decade.
I’d also like to point out, that my views are obviously biased towards the danish culture I live in. Here there’s been a big increase in interests of self-improvements and personal wellbeing in recent years, and it’s looking like it’s only going to increase. People are using more time on food, fitness & workout, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, eating organic, vegetarianism, etc. People are having an increasingly packed and stressful daily schedule, while still setting higher standards for themselves. Believe me, product solutions like Huel is very very interesting, as is anything that can reduce the time you need to invest on any of the activities I mention above, especially for younger generations still studying, or just hit the job marked, but the middle aged generation is starting to show interest as well.
My english is not great, but I hope you understand where I’m coming from
I wish the Huel team would read through the values and further suggestions in this thread:
I think there would need to be a few hundred people living on Huel only with no other food at all for about 5 years for it to be absolutely certain that Huel is the same as eating the healthiest meal in the world every day.
So which single meal is healthier than huel?
My advice would be to hedge your bets and have a little of what you fancy every now and again, man should not live by beige gloop alone.
Not many that’s for sure. It’s also kinda subjective. However i am of the opinion that there are at least other very good ones out there, maybe rivaling Huel. However, some are more expensive as well. I found Huel, though a bit more expensive than brands like Joylent also to be more complete, of better ingredients and the more expensive ones didn’t add much for me personally. However, with Huel i take a vit D3 capsule every other day now it’s winter and a vit C daily. Only the future will learn us where it can still use big improvements and i’m sure they will implement them as science goes along. I do agree on increasing the dose of some vitamins and minerals when it’s still perfectly safe if there is a benefit.
One thing, though, reading things like this really disappoints me:
It comes across as arrogant and a little insecure, while there is no reason to both.