Need help from a science geek/nutrition nerd/huel fan


#1

Hai guyz

So I am using both Huel and Feed, and I’m wondering if someone can help me figure out how Feed stacks up compared to Huel?

Here’s the one I’m using:

And I use the Huel original/vanilla powder


#2

If you’re wondering about the values, tried MyFitnessPal ? :stuck_out_tongue:


#3

@IcyElemental leaving this to you

gluten-free oatmeal, pea protein, oil-free sunflower flour, vegetable fat (sunflower oil, anti-caking agent, modified starch, glucose syrup, antioxidant: natural rosemary extract), 5% chocolate (sugar, cocoa paste, low-fat cocoa powder), yellow flax, rice flour, flavouring, 1% powdered cocoa, mineral salts (potassium phosphate, tricalcium phosphate, magnesium citrate, zinc gluconate, copper gluconate, chromium chloride, sodium molybdate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite), sweetener: sucralose and acesulfame potassium, maltodextrin, vitamins (A, D3, E, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, B5, B8, B9, B12, K), Retinol Acetate, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Nicotinamide, D-Calcium pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, D-Biotin, Folic acid, Cyanocobalamin, Ascorbic acid, Cholecalciferol, DL-a-tocopheryl acetate, Menaquinone-7, antioxidant: natural rosemary extract


#4

If you want a real expert you need @latestfuels on the case, although I wouldn’t be surprised if there is already an old post of LF’s that tells you everything you need to know


#5

Thank you! The only reason I’m adding a Feed shake a day is because it’s super high calorie. Just wondering if it’s trash compared to Huel though


#6

I’d say Huel is better, nutrition, ingredient and price wise


#7

No I can see the differences in calories and conposition but I dont know what they mean, concretely!


#8

No pressure :joy::joy::joy:

I hope you’re doing well my friend!

I’ll try my best.

@Hdoyle I think both brands offer very good products and ultimately often comes to external, subjective factors. For instance, Feed is more expensive (€1.88/400kcal vs €1.54 before subscription), even more if you get the Sport version.

It seems that they have changed the formulation, and that the macronutrient split is similar to Huel’s now.
Feed: 33(+5 fiber)C/33F/29P
Huel Powder: 37C(+3fiber)/30F/30P

Looking at the nutrients

You can obvserve that they are very similar. This is you could make your Huel bigger and get a similar shake.

I have no information about monounsaturated fatty acids or polyunsaturated fatty acids for Feed. However, I do now that the omega-3/6 ratio is 1/3 which is good. What I don’t know is the quantities, but I expect them to be enough. Particularly when you consume Huel (which has plenty of them).

Looking at the ingredients;

Fats:
Most of Feed.'s fats seem to come from oil-free sunflower flour and vegetable fat (some kind of mix). They also use yellow flax for omega-3.

On the other hand, Huel uses flaxseeds, MCT (medium-chain triglycerydes) from coconut and sunflower oil powder (Note that the order matters, because it shows which one it contains most). For me the addition of MCTs is quite nice. You can read @JamesCollier’s article about the MCTs. Basically they are short fats, classified as saturated fats that are easier to digest and metabolise. The rate at which MCTs are absorbed is similar to that of glucose and faster than that of longer fats (“normal fats”).
Simply said, they are a good source of quick nutrition and energy that is no sugar (thus not causing a glucose spike in blood).

Carbohydrates:
Feed. seems to have more sugars than Huel (although the levels are really low, 4.6% of the RI per 400kcal and 8% per serving).
It also has more biver, probably mosly from oats.

Protein.
Always the part that I am most interested in.

They both use pea protein which is a fine plant based protein source but it has a “incomplete” amino acid profile. It is high in lysine (not a bad thing) and low in methionine.

From this article. This article analyzes pea protein for muscle gain: “In addition to an appropriate training, the supplementation with pea protein promoted a greater increase of muscle thickness as compared to Placebo”.

While it does increase your muscle " recent evidence suggests that the ingestion of the plant-based proteins in soy and wheat results in a lower muscle protein synthetic response when compared with several animal-based proteins" (van Vilet et al, 2015).

Why all this gibberish? Because, the last article also says:
" Despite the proposed lower anabolic properties of plant vs. animal proteins, various strategies may be applied to augment the anabolic properties of plant proteins. These may include the following: 1) fortification of plant-based protein sources with the amino acids methionine, lysine, and/or leucine; "

In this case, pea protein is often fortified with Rice protein (which is high in methionine and low in lysine) by some brands to achieve a better mix. Brands like Huel. On the other hand Feed. does not use rice protein and relies on Oats to provide the other required amino acids.


This is not Feed.'s amino profile, but from a similar brand that uses pea protein only and relies on oats. This values are for 100g worth of protein using Huel (not 100g of Huel).
I was interested to see the differences in lysine and Huel being lower than I expected.

Probably @JamesCollier can shed some insight on this.

At the end of the day, I do not think it will matter for 99% of the population.

Micronutrients:
I often do the mistake of just brushing off and checking whether they provide enough % per serving (which some brands don’t). For instance, Feed. only provides 8% of Vitamin B8 (biotin) per serving.

% RI(1) per serving

A 34% 270,75μg
B1 125% 1,37mg
B2 47% 0,66mg
B3 46% 7,29mg
B5 44% 2,65mg
B6 93% 1,30mg
B8 8% 3,75μg
B9 104% 207,17μg
B12 42% 1,06μg
C 36% 28,66mg
D 60% 3,01μg
E 61% 7,37mg
K 34% 25,51μg
Chromium 30% 12,00mg
Iron 48% 6,67mg
Potassium 12% 235,52mg
Manganese 110% 2,20mg
Selenium 39% 21,36μg
Zinc 39% 3,91mg
Copper 87% 0,87mg
Iodine 95% 142,16μg
Calcium 32% 254,51mg
Phosphorus 37% 260,14mg
Magnesium 47% 177,72mg

Bien sur, Huel provides with at least 20% of each vitamin and mineral per serving.

However, there is another thing I want to remark, as it was shared recently in this forum (Why You Shouldn't RELY on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements).
In this video, the author talks about vitamin B9 or folate. He points to videos and papers stating that folic acid (Feed.'s source of B9) and folate (which Huel uses as source, L-Methylfolate ).
Very simply put, L-methylfolate is more easily digested in the body, while folic acid takes a lot longer and slows absorbtion of more vit B9.

Better explained here: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/folic-acid-vs-folate#section2. Also in the papers they list.

I’m not expert in the issue, but there seems to be a point.

Similarly, Huel has independent sources for Vitamin K2 (as MK-7), which is consider optimal, even though the roles of Vit K1 and Vit K2 need to be further researched. It seems that Huel has covered here. It seems that Feed has Vit K2 as MK-7 too.

Other.
This is a little subjective, too. Feed. contains acesulfame-k (or acesulfame potassium) as a sweetener. There is some concern about the alleged carcinogenic effects of this sweetener, although FDA has reviewed it and approved it and the EU has declared it safe to use as well.



https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0178426 (don’t take research done on mice to 100% face value).

Currently there seems to be a lot of missinformation and FUD on the issue, but I know by fact that few MR manufacturers have swapped it out of their formulas.

All in all, it is up to you. I think both are good products with their ups and downs. I have given you some info, but nothing that is not already there yet.
My philosophy is that most things in moderation they don’t do much harm. Both are big brands and have teams dedicated to take care of the nutrition aspect.
I think the reasons to change should be external (i.e. taste preferrence, price, convenience…).

Have a good day


#9

Further to @Latestfuels bit about protein quality, we’ve covered this in this article (I’m in the process of polishing the article at the mo - update in 2-3 weeks - but the main info is on point).


#10

Good coverage of other methods of measurement of protein quality that I did not cover.

Perhaps a good addition for further reviews.

This kind of articles and coverage is what makes me go for Huel over others @Hdoyle; but this does not mean, they do not do the same. They might not be as transparent with it.

I like the transparency.


#11

I love you, thank you so much for all those details . Do you work for Huel? If not, @JamesCollier you need to give this person a job :grin:


#12

It would be great if you could consider making a higher calorie option - as I say its the only reason i add a Feed shake every day, because otherwise that’s a loooot of Huel scoops I’d need to add/I’d need to add an extra Huel shake and I can’t handle 4 shakes of the same in a single day.

Feeds consistency is quite thin compared to Huel which I like - even with more calories its easier to drink, it has a kind of rough/grainy texture that just makes a nice change from Huels stodgier/more porridge like texture.


#13

Well it seems Latestfuels got here first and provided the bulk of the analysis I would have!

One thing I will say in response, though, is the following:

Interesting topic. There’s some evidence to suggest that folic acid is the better option in terms of bioavailability - see here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257685/

“The bioavailability of food folate is commonly estimated at 50% of folic acid bioavailability when establishing food recommendations, but this should be considered a rough estimate, as data on the bioavailability of food folate vary between 30% and 98%.”

So given that huge margin in food folate bioavailability it’s difficult to make too many conclusions, but it has led to the use of Dietary Folate Equivalents. You can see more information about these here (https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/folate), but in short, the following conversions are used:

1 µg dietary folate equivalent [DFE] = 1 µg food folate
= 0.5 µg folic acid on an empty stomach
= 0.6 µg folic acid with meals or as fortified foods

So given we’re comparing with folic acid in Feed. which should likely be classified as the “folic acid with meals or as fortified foods” category, we can conclude that the 400µg of food folate (which is l-methylfolate) in Huel is roughly equivalent to 400µg x 0.6 micrograms of folic acid in Feed. (or 240 micrograms).

Incidentally, my speculation is that DFEs are the reason why some people experienced folate deficiency in previous versions of Huel that had a 200 microgram l-methylfolate content, and also why such complaints have largely disappeared since the increase to 400 micrograms (which at minimum would be equivalent to 200 micrograms of folic acid).


#14

Hi @Hdoyle - the point of Huel is it’s supposed to be ‘medium’ calorie, so it can be flexible. If you’re looking to gain weight, have more in the same way that you would have a larger solid food meal / more frequent meals to gain weight. Or, if weight gain is your focus, why not have 1-2 scoops of Huel after your solid meals for a bit extra?

A ‘higher calorie’ Huel would be higher in fats and sugars like those crappy weight gain formulas I used to shove down my neck 25 years ago!


#15

I see your point. I might consider trying to invent a luxurious Huel-based dessert to add after my evening meal to boost the calories.


#16

Hi @IcyElemental - some interesting stuff. I do feel this is a topic that is quite complicated, especially with the prevalence of MTHFR deficiency in Northern Europeans. There are also other papers which claim folic acid is less efficient. Also L-mfolate Ca is the form that’s natural in many foods. When I get some time, I’m going to put together an article on this.

I’m cautious of your speculation on people having folate deficiency on earlier Huel versions; you’re basing this on one or two posts you’ve read on the forum where there could be a multitude of other factors involved. I’m pointing this out now as I feel it needs highlighting to others reading.


#17

Check out Hack 2 here: 100g provides more calories.


#18

That’s interesting, why in northern Europeans specifically?


#19

It’s genetic. So N Europe and N America’s


#20

Called it :joy: