Is the macro ratio of Huel ideal?

The macro ratio of Huel is basically 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat. The general feeling I get in nutrition circles is that this ratio is too strongly associated with the ‘western diet’ i.e. moderate carbs and fats.

Obesity aside (impossible without calorie excess or a medical issue), I’m concerned that this ratio encourages insulin resistance, inflammation and encourages development of NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease) due to high triglycerides due to a conflict of energy sources - I’ve noticed that of the few blood test reports for people using Huel long term or consuming a mostly Huel diet, they report high trigs.

Well known advocates of plant-based/vegan diets like T. Colin Campbell, Fuhrman, Michael Gregor, McDougall etc all encourage a low fat, high carb diet for this reason. Yes we need fats for various functions, but the level of fat needed is very low (mainly for absorption of certain fat-soluble vitamins).

Alternatively, a high fat, low carb diet would also be acceptable to prevent the conflict of energy sources, prevent blood sugar issues and prevent development of NAFLD.

The longest living populations in the world are typically low fat/high carb (the Adventist vegans in US, Okinawans) -OR- high fat/low carb (e.g. Maasai). No studies have shown that a moderate/high carb and fat intake is associated with a longer or healthier life. The only exception seems to be extremely active athletes who requires high carb and fat for energy.

In fact, apart from the NHS and various other national health authorities in other countries, I don’t know of any experts in the field of nutrition that encourage a balanced/moderate macro intake - most encourage either low carb/high fat or low fat/high carb. Most are still basing guidelines on decades old studies and not recent research.

In my opinion (and probably many others), Huel would be far better with much reduced fat content (perhaps around <4g total fat per 100g), or a ketogenic/low carb version (<4g net carbs per 100g).

Would be interested in @JamesCollier 's thoughts.

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I would be very interested in something approaching a high carb ratio of 80 10 10.

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I think many people with an interest in optimal nutrition would be interested in either high carb/low fat (80/10/10) or low carb/high fat (5/25/70).

Huel’s macros feel very guided by the NHS and seemingly ignores a lot of up to date studies.

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here ya go @Coup - it’s not just you that loves high carb version.

I never said I wanted a high carb version, I just said I hadn’t seen requests for a high carb version. Personally I would be very interested in a low carb, low protein, low fat version of the powder shaped like a triangle sold in yellow pouches.

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I know,I was winding ya up SMFH.

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There are different schools of thought on this and we can all show studies indicating who’s right and who’s wrong; indeed, I’ve been in debates about this before and it just becomes a war of egos about who’s right and who’s wrong. You’ve shown this in your post @Huelio_Iglesias where you’ve indicated two different touted macro ratios.

I know loads of experts in the field of nutrition who encourage a more balanced macro ratio. Sure these guys aren’t so prolific bloggers and many aren’t so well-known on social media and YouTube. This is because people advocating more extreme diets are more interesting and have greater - dare I say it? - ‘cult followings’. The many reputable nutrition experts (to use you phrase) I know - and in 27 years I’ve come across a lot - would not advocate either of your two suggestions.

The NHS - as you say - and other official bodies actually advocate a higher carb intake as the expense of proteins. Huel has found the balance that’s both nutritionally optimal and appeals to most macro ratio thoughts, because you can include it as one or more meals and adjust your other food intake to accommodate what you want. Huel can be incorporated into higher fat, higher carb, higher protein, lower carb, lower fat and lower protein diets. The only diet strategy that Huel doesn’t work with is (proper) ketogenic.

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Just going back to your ‘NHS’ reference - Huel’s nutritionals are actually really quite different. I agree that some professional bodies have archaic thoughts (I’ve upset people in my rants).

By the way, the NHS don’t make the policies, other professional organisations do like the British Dietetic Association and the British Nutrition Foundation.

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Fair point about the various high profile ‘experts’ and their ability to reach more of an audience on YouTube/social media etc, and yes for them to promote a reliance on one type of macro is a lot more interesting to most than someone preaching about the benefits of a balanced diet.

I think Huel is fantastic for anyone using it to replace one or two meals, but for those wanting to rely on it further (80-100% Huel), it would be interesting to see test results for those who have stuck to it for 6 months or longer.

One thing I do think Huel does very well is the omega 3:6 ratio is perfect, which for many on any kind of diet is a difficult thing to achieve, and goes someway to reducing inflammation.

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I worked on that ratio and it was a top priority in my improving it between v1.2 and v2.0 and again between v2.2 and v2.3.

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If my anecdote is worth anything here regarding the macro split, I have a split of 38/32/30 p/c/f. Between 3500 calories per day.

The reason it’s so ‘exact’ is because I tend to weight a lot of my foods, so this was based on my last calorie count essentially.

This is just the number my diet has ended up on over a long extended period gaining lean mass, I lift about 7-8 hours per week, and I’ve tinkered my diet to allow consistency in my progress. It’s certainly not the ratio I’ll be using on a cut or would necessarily go around advocating, since my Protein intake is on the extreme end, but nevertheless it works for me!

For the record, My blood sugar and hba1c is perfect, liver and kidneys are fine, my Blood pressure is actually on the low side 104/40, and all in all I feel pretty well optimised really.

I don’t have any cholesterol or triglycerides tests, but it’s something I might get done purely out of curiosity, especially since there are hereditary issues anyway.

Huel makes up for about 1600+ calories in my diet.

:slight_smile:

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Sounds good (although 104/40 is very low BP!!). I’d be interested to see what your cholesterol levels and trigs are with that much Huel.

Either way though, I do feel great after consuming Huel for a few days.

James already said it but just to add a comment, as someone who’s been knocking around this neck of the woods for a long time, this is something we’ve seen refined and perfected over time with a lot of careful thought and consideration. Thank you James and co!

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I am a bit concerned about the high amount of protein I consume with Huel. I have been getting 2000 calories a day from Huel for a year now, I also eat another 1000 calories a day containing 40g protein. That’s a whopping 188 grams of protein a day. I am fairly active and weigh 59 kilos, long term should I have any concerns regarding kidney strain and or damage? What is your take on high levels of protein given your experience in the bodybuilding / fitness world?

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This is fine. high protein is only a concern for people wo are on a controled protein diet, eg with kidney disease. Massively high protein intakes (way, way more than you’re having) may be linked to problems long term, but these concerns wouldn’t even start until 400g per day.

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Ok, thanks James.

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Hypothetically if someone consumed say 350g of protein per day is that likely safe long term?

Are there studies done on the larger amounts?

Just curious. I get 200-250 is fine forever, but wondered about the extremes. :slight_smile:

Yeah that is a low number, I freaked the chemist out who performed the BP test, she advised me to go and get it checked out, so I did.

It’s naturally just that low, and that’s even with a higher salt diet, so that’s proof in and of it’s self that salt isn’t as big of a deal as its made out to be.

I never get symptoms unless I’m stood a long while and don’t have enough to eat. Other than that I’m good.

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I’ve been using Huel for the vast majority of my calories throughout the week for the past 9 months, I also had blood work done in January as well. I’ll have a look at what my blood work says but everything was in the acceptable range as the doctor wasn’t concerned at all.

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I’d like a high protein version - keeps you fuller for longer.

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