Nutritonally Complete Foods vs "Real Food"

I recently had a bit of a debate with a nutritionist on Reddit about “real food” vs supplements and nutritionally complete foods. It all started when somebody asked for some advice about supplements and this nutritionist posted a reply saying that supplements are not ncessary if you eat properly. I replied saying that that’s not necessarily true because food is less nutritious these days due to over-farming and the distances food often travels.

Essentially, their view was that everyone should be eating freshly prepared, locally produced food, which will give you all the nutrients your body needs, and if you don’t do this and you take shortcuts either via supplements or meal replacement products then you’re lazy, and that nobody really has any excuses not to eat properly to get all their nutrients from food.

I argued that it’s unfair to label somebody as “lazy” just because they choose not to spend time sourcing and preparing food and instead decide to use more convenient means to make sure their nutrition needs are met. Just because somebody decides to take shortcuts in one area of life, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are lazy in other areas of life. That person might spend some of their time exercising, improving themselves in other ways, or indeed relaxing which let’s not forget is important too.

I asked them for information on what they eat and/or what they recommend their clients eat, and there was definitely an emphasis on enimal products, but with a lot of green veg too. I asked them what they recommend to their vegan clients and they said they refuse to have vegan clients and think that vegans are misguided or words to that effect.

I told them that I am interested in making my own nutritionally complete food via the DIY website, but they seemed to think this was a foolish way to go, and they said that evidence clearly shows that it’s better for our health if we get our nutrition from “real food”.

Discuss. Best reply wins a prize. Probably. Okay, I might be lying about that.

Using a screwdriver is lazy when you could just use a fingernail. We have fingernails we evolved them naturally. Take the time to screw in your screws with your fingernail, like nature intended.


Well, yes, exactly! I did ask him whether he owned a washing machine, and if so, whether he considered himself lazy for not washing his clothes by hand.


He probably buys clothes instead of farming his own cotton and making them himself. LAZY.


I used to work as a residential social worker in a secure unit for adults with severe challenging behaviour, one of them liked to smash everything up; he used to be able to take the door hinges off using his thumb nail as a screwdriver so it can be done. He could also crack a toilet bowl in half by sitting on it and smacking it with his naked heel. His best achievement was running at a security door when someone was trying to close it and her hand was caught…and half of it was left behind. I was in the building at the time…messy.


Did @david and @Berserker really just “like” that horrific story?! :woman_facepalming:t3:


I use it more as an “acknowledge” button. Now @hunzas knows that his message was received.

I have a bad habit of “liking” awful stories on Facebook because I forget you can change it to a sad face.


OK well I personally don’t care if anyone calls me lazy for liking a quick way to get decent food inside me so I have no comment about this.

I would agree that non-processed food would be best to have generally, I certainly wouldn’t live off a processed food forever without supplementing some fresh food at least. With Huel I always add beans or veg as a snack or meal somewhere. However some processed foods - take simple things like tomato puree, ground ginger powder etc…are actually more beneficial to have than their whole counterparts. So it’s not as simple as saying all processed food is shit.

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Also I hated it when Twitter changed the star to a heart. They aren’t the same thing and I never use it now.


How can you not like that story?

Edit: i should rephrase that. “Like” as in that was an interesting story not as in I like it when women get crippled.


We need a sad face button for the forum. And a laughing face. And all the others…

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I’ve been using the little flag icon for @hunzas. Like a little flag I wave to show how much I enjoy his posts. Everyone should switch to that.


:joy::rofl::joy::rofl::laughing::laughing: :triangular_flag_on_post: :triangular_flag_on_post:

Well yeah, in an ideal world that’s exactly what we’d all do - but there’s not enough hours in the day for many and others just don’t have the skill or food availability.

My view is that science has given me a more efficient way to get the nutrition I need, and I welcome that.

It’s exactly the same as science giving me a more efficient way to travel the world than walking, and I wonder if this dude owns a car because surely that’s lazy using the same logic.


The thing is, the view that all nutrition needs can be met from “real food” can be misleading to the average person. Many people will probably think that just means they can eat what they normally eat, plus maybe throw in a bit of extra fruit and veg, and they’ll get all the nutrients they need. But how do you know you’re getting optimum levels of all nutrients?

Unless you’re tracking everything on a spreadsheet and know for sure that all the food you’re getting is extremely fresh and nutrient dense, how do you know for sure what nutrients are going into your body? It seems that you either need to be a nutritionist or be paying a nutritionist to analyse and plan it all for you.

I mean, isn’t this how Huel started? I seem to remember Julian saying that he was spending almost all his time planning his meals of “real food”, then he decided to create a convenient product that would easily meet people’s nutrition needs without them needing to put the time into it like he used to.


First bit is true and despite what has been shown in the media, the second bit is untrue. Our food probably isn’t less nutritious and it’s much more complicated than its made out to be (study).

But you’re completely right Marcus with everything else you have said and I feel some people live in a bubble. If you look at our society and how obesity is increasing its clear people struggle to eat well. Simply saying “eat real food” is as helpful as saying to someone who wants to lose weight “eat less, move more”. It doesn’t help and it doesn’t account for an individuals lifestyle such as shift patterns, children and social events.

I think what is also happening is the person is tarring all processed foods with the same brush. However, apart from the typical junk foods processing also produces safe, affordable, convenient food and can also increase sustainability (by using waste products for example).

This is the point that gets me. Complete lack of empathy and understanding of the people they’re supposed to be helping.


I am quite a chilled out guy… But when someone says to me “you need to eat some real food” it gets me so vexed. I immediately get a list of ingredients and start reeling them off, like if Alexa was a Hueligan. Huel sometimes feels like a partner that I want everyone to admire but not touch because she’s too good for them. Nobody’s going to call my baby “fake” :joy:


That doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. Pea protein? Oil powder? Medium-Chain Triglyceride Powder?

Chill out grandma, it’s just pea protein like cavemen used to eat.

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Yeah I usually just say what it actually is, instead of the scientific name haha. Never goes down well if you don’t know actually what it is and just say “pea protein, brown rice, that scientific word I can’t even pronounce” that’s when they go “ahah, see, it’s poison I tell you!”

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I know what you mean, but it’s not really true. Huel doesn’t contain peas in the way the person telling you to eat “real food” thinks of peas. They don’t just get a bucket full of peas and mash them up. Huel is as far from “real food” as it’s possible to be.

That’s why I like it. “Real food” is dreadfully inefficient. Embrace the fakeness.

To reuse your strange partner analogy, Huel is like a partner who’s had so much reconstructive surgery they’re utterly unrecognisable from how they started. Instead of denying it, support their life choices. :grinning: