The importance of chewing

Not to seem like a troublemaker, but I think this is an interesting topic. I’ve been talking to a couple of doctors and nutritionists recently about Huel.

A bit of background, my girlfriend is insulin resistant, which is a condition that can lead to diabetes. The treatment is a combination of sports and a healthy diet. The diet focuses very much on a controlled carb intake (not what would be considered as low carb though) and a focus on slow carbs. Potentially, Huel would be perfect - it can be divided up into small meals and does not raise blood sugar levels quickly. Why does that matter? Foods that raise blood sugar levels require more insulin and insulin resistant people need more insulin to get the levels down. At one point, you are in danger of not being able to produce enough insulin anymore - you become diabetic. Please feel free to correct me if something seems not conclusive or correct.

Back to Huel, as I said, I’d could be an ideal solution. However, two docs mentioned one important point: chewing. The act of chewing releases enzymes that prepare your body for digestion. If you don’t chew, these enzymes are not being produced, thus slowing down digestion and potentially causing digestive problems and malabsorption. Also, liquids might leave people feeling more hungry than solid foods that are slowly broken down in the digestive tract.
Furthermore, chewing is essential for keeping our teeth and gums healthy. If you don’t chew, your gums might retract and your teeth are more prone to caries. Bare in mind, this is hypothetically speaking and a very long term scenario - and only potentially true if you are on a 100% Huel diet.

Keeping that in mind I’d love to hear feedback on these thoughts from Julian and James. Thanks for reading!

I believe if you make Huel cookies and pancakes that could overcome that problem. Plus the oats mean you don’t get the slowing of the bowel. That’s just my opinion I’m pretty sure Julian or james will answer this for you.

I personally can’t drink Huel without chewing it. And i don’t make it really thick. The little seeds bits (looks like it) are making me automatically chewing it. Can’t help it.

Even if it’s not the case for you, i don’t think it would be really difficult to “force you” to chew it for a second or so every sip.

My 2 cents.


I always chew gum after every meal anyway. The enzymes get into my stomach after the food, but they get there all the same. And I get to work out my jaws and gums. And I certainly don’t feel less full on Huel, but I’ve never been one to get hungry easily anyway.

Regarding dividing your food up into many small meals, you might want to research that a bit. I’m certainly not qualified to give medical advice, but you might want to look at studies like this one: Better Blood Glucose with Lower Meal Frequency.

“Despite identical carb and calorie-intakes, those who ate 6 meals had 30% higher blood sugar values than those who ate 3 meals. That’s a rather striking difference considering the energy- and nutrient-matched condition.”

Except, digestion is increased since Huel is a liquid.

Additional enzymes are only really needed if you have grass in your soylent (i.e. cows, because enzymes break down the cellulose in grass) or are missing body parts. Enzymes are naturally produced by multiple organs. Not just the act of chewing.

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I am curious about the chewing part as well, have anyone from Huel adressed this concern?

I just recently found out that you really should chew your food in order for your body to properly digest and absorb all the nutrients. So is it enough for me to sometimes chew on these small seeds in Huel? Or should I chew on something afterwards as well? Is it really as important as I’ve heard it is? Maybe I need to bake something out of huel to get the maximum efficiency out of huel? But that would also take away the time consuming benefit of huel… if I have time to cook I would rather get myself a nice and balanced tasty plate of food!

Anyone from Huel that can answer or maybe someone on the forums can send me to a good article about this?

Thanks in advance!

@Dan_Huel Do you have anything to add to this thread or know any interesting articles that would be relevant?

Hey Pierre, I don’t think this is an issue, no. There are no small seeds in Huel there might be smaller bits of flaxseed for example but I haven’t found any whole when I have my Huel.

The popular articles I have seen on this topic seem pretty sensationalist. Here are some scientific articles which show that there is little evidence to suggest this.

Also, remember Huel is powdered so little chewing is required. The majority of digestion and absorption occurs later on in the GI tract in the stomach and small intestine.


Random biologist side note incoming!

Actually, one of the reasons why humans have evolved such energy hungry and large brains, is because in the train of human evolution, our ancestors started to cook their food, making it easier to digest and needing less time to chew. This enabled our species to have a more steady supply of easier accessible energy and smaller chewing muscles, making more time free to engage in cultural activities and also making our skulls morphologically more suitable for bigger brains.

Not saying that Huel eating humans over a couple of hundred generations will become smarter, but… :wink:


Look what 100% Huel has done to my skull already



This has been asked and discussed a few times before.
I’m too lazy to write out my thoughts on this again, so here’s a link to another thread:

Minus the normal teeth then. They should become absent and/or smaller. Especially molars. Only if there is a strong sexual selection towards having teeth of course.

This also applies for the cone shaped head…

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I have to go to the dentist every week to have my teeth whitened as Huel is staining them :grin::grin: