Many nutritionists have criticisms over Huel being healthy, are they wrong?

1). Thoughts from one nutricianist

2). Thoughts of another nutricianist

There seem to be many nutricianists claiming that Huel is more of a replacement for junk food but otherwise not much better than it. They do not recommend drinking it for more then maybe one meal maybe three times a week at most. However you premote huel as a whole food that you could live on and get everything you need.

I love huel and for my fussy eating habits and lack of nutrician I really hope huel is a full food that is everything your body needs. Though these nutricianists put doubt in my mind?

Thank you so much for spending the time to read this and respond. (:slight_smile:

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By now, people like me who have been eating Huel for 100% of our calories, for over 5 years, should be proof enough that there’s nothing immediately wrong with Huel.

We’ll see in another 5 years, but I doubt we’ll discover anything bad about it.


The main arguments in the articles were that “we don’t know what micronutrients are in real food and needed by the human body,” boredom and the social aspect. But neither lack of knowledge nor pleasure have anything to do with health.

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This is a very complex topic to dive into as there are many areas surrounding this that are typically associated with meal replacement products. Some of these surrounding areas or, taboo topics commonly are body image and mental health. Of course we all know these have come into the press and has caused some stir in our perception of what we should and shouldn’t consume to achieve the so-called perfect body.

There will always be speculation in this area of the food industry due to the sceptical reception that meal replacements receive, such as Soylent, Jimmy Joys and various other brands out there.

The point is, is that these brands claim to make you lose weight, similarly protein shakes are sometimes perceived to give you those desirable muscle mass gains which is obviously not true. This causes a lot of scare amongst nutritionists because it’s very simply an unhealthy approach and further adds to the point that a nutritionally incomplete drink made from artificial ingredients is just not good for us humans.

This scepticism that has been created through the world of ‘drink this and you’ll lose weight’ approach is unfortunately only natural and part of the bid to make as much money out of people who are susceptible to believing in this. Therefore, this creates an unhealthy approach to eating all together which is for a completely different point of discussion. What’s more nutritionists also like to jump on the wagon and mention that the ingredients used in other meal replacement products are full of, let’s face it, insert choice of expletive. Though nowadays, any type of drink out there (except natural water) is going to contain something nasty in it. :pensive:

At the end of the day, there are regulations that the FDA put in place to ensure that products such as Huel are appropriate for human consumption.

The message for Huel as a brand is simple. Integrate Huel into a healthy and balanced diet (lifestyle) for your most inconvenient meal that is nutritionally complete. There are no claims to suggest that Huel should form 100% of your diet, nor do they claim against it (as it is derived from food sources)

To claim something that is not true of this nature would simply be immoral and quite honestly, Huel in that case might as well call themselves Jimmy Joy MKII

See these articles on Why you should care about a Nutritionally Complete diet – Huel & What does Nutritionally Complete mean? – Huel.

As Huel is still in it’s early days, there is very little research so it is hard to make any scientifically proven claims against such companies. Huel is in place to given humans an ideal and balanced blend of vitamins and minerals - if Huel claimed the Green Tea Extract in the Black Edition to help you lose body fat, when in fact it contained only 0.01% and had 99.99% ineffectiveness then yes Huel would be sued BIG TIME.

One example is the debate over the validity of the micronutrient blends and there effectiveness - this is often associated with protein brands that claim to have ‘fat burning green tea extract’ when in fact, the amount of green tea in them doesn’t make a difference and is therefore scientifically invalid.

Additionally, it’s illegal to put it anything on the package that can’t be validated.

The point of all of this, in the modern world we live in, is that it’s too easy to eat whatever you like 24/7 and this has contributed in rates of obesity to go sky-high, an increase in rates of mortality and ultimately an increase in the rate at which humans are subject to damaging themselves.

All in all, it’s sadly come to the point where powdered food is better for you than a salad!! SALAD??!! You can (likely) have a 400kcal sugary-leaved ‘healthy’ salad from McDonalds which contains very little to support a complete diet (don’t take this literally I’m making a point)

A true example on the other hand, is that even a baguette from Subway is so sugary that they had to add pickles to stop it from being classed as a desert. A baguette that’s a DESERT!!! :sweat_smile:

In any case, if you are ever unsure or need help with your diet within your lifestyle, it is always a good idea talk to a credible nutritionist to make sure that your diet works for you and that you are achieving the best nutrition possible. If Huel is part of that then great, if Huel isn’t then that’s great too. :slight_smile:

Please note: I am in no way an expert so please don’t take what I have said as valid or take this information as you own. You may research and add credible information on what I have said if you so wish. Please inform me if anything I have said today is not credible or invalid.

Thank you Hueligans! 🥸


By now, Huel is not really in its early stages, it’s been with us for a while. Research on Huel is ~7 years ongoing (from time even before it was released), Soylent even longer.

And we have data on millions of patients, comatose or post-op, over many decades, who were unable to eat regular food and hence were fed foods similar to Huel. We know they did not end up with any nutritional deficiencies, because we know all the nutrients that humans need to survive, and even recover from all sorts of injuries/illnesses.

Similarly enough, we have hundreds of millions of babies brought up on infant formula, over many decades as well, who ended up being perfectly fine.

Yes, one could claim that comatose patients, sick people, babies, and so on do not represent the nutritional needs of a regular healthy adult human, but at least in my opinion, it would be a stretch to say that there’s some magical necessary nutrient that we don’t know about.


They are talking about a pure liquid diet, I am sure most people here also have the savory now and also the bars.

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Huel is not a liquid diet.

Why is it not liquid in your opinion? How much water per scoop do you use?

Because it is solid foods that have been milled into a powder. Granted it now needs a liquid to be consumed but Huel itself is not a liquid, it is a solid.

All food is liquid by the time it’s been chewed and churned up with saliva and gastric juices. We blend solid food into smoothies and purees etc., does that turn food into ‘non-food’?

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I totally agree with you, in that Huel has had an incredible first 5 years and is still going above & beyond in it’s 6th business year. However, in business terms a 5-year old company is still relatively young. I also agree that there are registered nutritionists that support Huel.

Huel actually began to formulate in 2013 but it didn’t launch it’s first product officially until 17th June 2015. See attachment and link below :point_down: :point_right:t3: About Huel

Timeline :point_right:t3: Julian Hearn Bio – Huel

As I stated I’m not an expert so I can’t give any validated comments to suggest that this is true, without having collated sufficient evidence from a variety of studies into as you mentioned, research into the diets of children below 24 months (infant formula) and/or research into the diets for critically-ill patients in hospitals.


Obviously they haven’t tried it or looked into it properly. I’ve been having it long term now and I am so much healthier for it especially if I am on 100%.
I was ill though a couple of months ago for a few weeks with stomach/bowel issues which I wondered if it could be long term Huel use. But it cleared up and I am consuming Huel again twice a day no problem. But really need the discipline to go 100% again. So much healthier than junk food.


It’s all very difficult to say. Most up to date ‘studies’ I’ve searched for a more like online-reviews. This is the most recent evaluation I could find online but it doesn’t really offer much for scientific validity :point_right:t3: Huel for Weight Loss: Review, Safety, Side Effects, and Comparisons :point_left:t3:

The only studies you can find are on the Huel Comparisons & Research section :point_right:t3: Guides & Articles – Huel :point_left:t3: (as far as I’m aware that is!!)

The total studies and comparisons as far as is stated is just ten. There are however, what seems a sufficient amount of references that support the comparisons though, this doesn’t aid the purpose in understanding the efficacy of the effects of Huel consumption in Humans.

Four of these are in fact studies by Huel and not sole comparisons (bullet points 2 - 5) see photo reference.

So in order for there to be a comprehensive evaluation, studies need to be completed from other credible sources that offer scientific evidence in the consumption of Huel ~ not studies completed just by Huel as this could be seen as information bias, no matter how credible the studies are.

Studies that evaluate the effects of human consumption of Huel Vs. brands classed as meal replacements would be really great. Not comparison studies.

Such brands for Evaluative studies of Huel Vs. Meal Replacements for Human Consumption could be Vega, Slimfast, Ample, Exante & Diet Meals from brands such as MyProtein, Protein Works and so on.

Please correct me if anything I have said is invalid and I will edit my posts ~ we want these types of posts to be as factual as possible!

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Remember: Huel is up against the $72 billion weight loss industry. They are a ruthless hyper-capitalist machine bent on crushing their competition. For example, some nutritionists have a vested interest in selling you their product or plan. Of course they are going to rally against meal replacements because it represents a threat to their bottom line. Or, all the nutritionists backed by Big Megacorps paid to justify whatever the corporations are peddling. Always consider the context behind why an article is created. Oftentimes it’s generated by bad faith actors.

Unfortunately, modern-day science reporting is highly vulnerable to manipulation. Like taking a small sample size and extrapolating that to a population inappropriately, or cherry-picking a select handful of corporate-backed studies that fit whatever narrative they’re trying to build while ignoring the majority. Those are the weapons they employ to take down their competition.

The truth is that Huel is significantly more healthy than the average Western diet. Huel as a substitute for horrifically-unhealthy sweets, soft drinks, fruit juice (which is laden with sugar), red meat, fast food, takeaways, etc. is an empirically better option in all scenarios, either for one meal or all meals per day.

Are Huel, Soylent, Jimmy Joy, etc. theoretically optimal diets? Probably not at this stage. But they are such leaps and bounds above the average that their consumption should always be encouraged in society, and they are highly iterative to adapt to innovations in nutrition science.

These nutritionists are quick to judge but dramatically understate Huel’s value in raising the baseline for simple, affordable, long-lasting nutrition for the struggling poor and middle-class.

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Thanks for sharing Finn and welcome to the Huel forum!

The Wired article is written and by a journalist so the quotes are cut and pasted. For example, halfway through the article they start talking about Slimfast which is very different to Huel.

The second article was based on an interesting program shown on UK TV and the final paragraph is a pretty good summary of what Huel is “While the Huel diet produced some improvements to Alain’s body, it is important to remember that Huel should not be a complete replacement for solid food. Our bodies need varied diets including a range of different food types, not all obtainable from Huel shakes. However, in a busy lifestyle Huel can be a healthy replacement for occasional meals.”

A lot of the time it’s a lack of knowledge about what Huel actually is or it being used in a way (like any other food could be) that raises the eyebrow of a nutritionist.

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Thank you so much for all the great replies. They mentioned about huel not being a veried diet and so not being entirely healthy to have all the time. Is that true? Do our bodies need veriety even if we are getting everything we need from huel?

Thank you again.

Mine certainly doesn’t, which is evidence enough that a blanket statement like “human bodies need variety” is 100% wrong.


Often I think “need” and “optimal/healthy” are treated as one and the same, but they’re not. The body needs a certain amount of essential nutrients. However, there are plenty of nutrients that the body doesn’t need to survive but are good for health, particularly nutrients found in fruit and vegetables.

The body doesn’t need variety but most nutritionists (me included) would say eating a varied diet is good for health.

So if you want to go super super basic you can think of it like this junk food diet < 100% Huel diet < balanced varied diet (that could include Huel)


I was in a coma a couple of years ago and was fed IV during that time.

As soon as I came round they were really keen to start solid feeding and I asked why? I had no appetite and was so weak I couldn’t feed myself so I didn’t want to eat.

They explained that it’s really important to get back on solid food ASAP but I didn’t really get a more detailed explanation.

It might be because they wanted to get me to the point of discharging me ASAP but maybe it is a health issue too.

However I see on here that people have been on pure huel for years so it kind of debunks what I took from their seeming urgency to get me eating.