In the past couple of years I have developed some sort of allergy to seafood - soon after eating it, I get strange discomfort at the front of my neck that I can only describe as a ‘sore throat at the front’, and my voice goes all hoarse. This lasts for a few hours.
The only times I get this are from eating fish/seafood, certain food at asian restaurants which presumably contains fish, and when drinking Huel
I’d like to understand the medical cause of this, and the fact that huel doesn’t contain fish yet triggers it is interesting, what overlap might there be?
When you mentioned Asian restaurants I immediately thought of MSG which is prevalent in Asian cooking and causes symptoms like those you’ve described.
MSG also occurs naturally in soy.
(But there is no msg or soy in Huel)
Seafood is a fairly common and serious allergen though and Asian cooking often involves fish oil as well as soy and as well as MSG which is used as a flavour enhancer.
So you could be allergic to msg, soy and / or seafood. It might be worth trying all three individually to test this (as long as it’s not going to make you too ill - be careful)
As for Huel… it doesn’t contain any of these ingredients.
Some people do get similar reactions to sucralose and / or stevia though.
Do you use flavour boosts? Or the sweetened versions?
It might be worth trying the unsweetened unflavoured Huel and adding something you know you don’t react to. If you’re okay with it then you know it’s the flavourings or sweeteners that is causing the reaction.
Allergies often occur in groups… if you’re prone to allergies it’s unfortunately the case that you are likely to be allergic to more than one thing. It can make identifying the cause quite tricky.
The only other thing I can think of that might be a possible allergen in Huel is the MCT from coconuts, or the possible contamination of mustard due to the manufacturing process.
I know from personal experience that it’s a bit of a nightmare trying to identify allergens and takes time and patience. I’m fortunate - Huel solves all my problems and for me contains no allergens. My preference is the gluten free unflavoured and I add cacao powder.
I love my MSG enhanced snacks, so I don’t think it’s that. Unless there’s a big difference in the amount of MSG between pringles and tayto crisps than western chinese food? Same with soy-based sauces
The flavourings/sweeteners is an interesting theory - I’ve only tried the vanilla powder version as of a year or so ago (2.2?), and the bottled vanilla version. Normally no issues with sweeteners, love my diet fizzy drinks, halo top ice cream, etc
I’ll have to give the unflavoured version a try at some point, sounds like that might be the answer
you will find that many Asian restaurants use a fish sauce in a lot of recipes regardless of whether that are fish or not (even supposedly vegetarian options) - as a flavor enhancer like Worcestershire sauce, so if you have a seafood allergy this will trigger it - as to what that has to do with Huel, I have no clue as the ingredients usually consist of fermented anchovies, salt, fructose and/or hydrolyzed wheat protein.
@dark if you don’t normally get reactions to msg or sweeteners then it’s unlikely to be these two things that you’re reacting to in Asian food. Sounds like it’s definitely a fish / seafood allergy.
That makes the reaction to Huel very puzzling as there’s certainly nothing related to fish in it!
It can’t be the sucralose if you’re ok with fizzy drinks.
I guess it could be something in the natural vanilla flavour - it’s definitely worth trying a different flavour or the unflavoured if you’ve only tried the vanilla.
If you don’t mind posting what city you’re in, someone local to you might give you a bit of theirs - save you risking buying a whole bag of something you’re allergic to!!
I guess you could also try individually eating every ingredient in Huel and seeing if any of them cause a reaction.
You’ve probably come across most of them already in your life so you could rule them out eg rice and oats and peas!
Flaxseed is a possible culprit. MCT as I’ve mentioned before. And some people react to the particular form of vitamin B12 that Huel use in their formula (cyanocobalamine) - so these three ingredients would be a good place to start!