Why stevia as a sweetener?

I’m a little uneasy about the use of stevia as a sweetener. Historically, this has been classified as carcinogenic, though recent studies have removed this correlation. That said, it still seems to be a grey area. According to Wikipedia - “The WHO’s Joint Experts Committee on Food Additives has approved, based on long-term studies, an acceptable daily intake of steviol glycoside of up to 4 mg/kg of body weight.”. For me, that’s 0.2 grams, and I’m not sure how much I’m getting from the 2g/Huel serving recommended with flavour pouches.

Why not just use sugar?

Stevia is 200x sweeter by mass than sugar, so the sugar quantity would have to be hue to match it. Sucralose (which is 600x sweeter than sugar) would be an option, but I believe some people wanted there to not be sucralose in the flavour packs as vanilla Huel already has some.

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Every sweetener has it pros and cons.

Natural sugars in all its forms (fructose, sucrose, etc) are generally cheap, taste good, but damage teeth, and can cause cravings (which can mean an over consumption of calories, and we all know the problem with that), and is addictive. It’s not solely sugar’s fault but over 64% of adults are overweight or obese and obesity related conditions are on the increase. Over 4 million people have diabetes, and over 15 million are classed as borderline diabetics.

“Obesity reduces life expectancy by an average of three years, or eight to ten years in the case of severe obesity. Around 8% of annual deaths in Europe (at least one in 13) have been attributed to overweight and obesity. The cost to the UK economy of overweight and obesity was estimated at £15.8 billion per year in 2007, including £4.2 billion in costs to the NHS”. https://www.noo.org.uk/NOO_about_obesity/obesity_and_health

Sugar alcohols are in general a pretty good, the main downside is they have a laxative effect and due to the their low score on the sweetness scale you need a lot, which is expensive.

Natural low calorie sweeteners (stevia, luohanguo, etc) are a good alternative, good for teeth, low calorie, and high on the sweetness scale (@IcyElemental stevia is 300x sugar not 200), the pros are there is some negative research on stevia, also stevia loses on tastes against sucralose. LuoHanGuo tastes a lot better than stevia but it’s not yet classified as food in Europe.

Artificial sweeteners are generally treated with suspicion. But lets not forget that not everything natural is good (deadly-night shade) and not everything artificial is bad (most modern medicine). We use sucralose which is zero calories, tastes good and has been extensively tested. It has been approved by the UK, EU, USA, Australia and Canada governments; in fact over 90 countries in total. There is a only a tiny amount in Huel, sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar. Read more here: http://huel.com/pages/guide-to-sucralose

As @IcyElemental we use stevia in the flavour pack so people who don’t want sucralose can buy unflavoured Huel and then use the flavour packs.


Thanks for the correction about the type of stevia used in Huel. Stevia itself can actually vary fairly dramatically between ~30 and ~320 (http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/pdf/10.4141/P97-114) sweeter than sucrose depending on extraction method and strain of Stevia rebaudiana the stevia is extracted from - the ones I had previously seen had only been 200x sweeter, but it’s good to know they can be even moreso.

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Interesting, thank you for the replies!

Also, if the flavour pouches were to use sugar, the amount you’d have to add to achieve suitabel sweetness would be large and would defeat the object of them.

Personally, I would have loved to use the sucralose without any complaints as taste-wise, I do like it alot. However, I have side effects from drinking the Vanilla version of Huel which are skin bumps appearing around my nose area. I obviously did not go 100% the first weeks as I had slowly implemented the Huel into my diet as recommended. One meal of Huel everyday for two weeks actually, before trying out 100%. By the time I started using it 100%, the side effects just got worse (more skin bumps and more ridiculous looking ones too). I almost thought I had to go to the doctor thinking it was something else other than the Huel that was causing these issues. I do not know the real reason behind this, but when I switched to the unsweetened version, those skin bumps disappeared, as if they had never existed. Is it sucralose? Might be, as using the Stevia flavour pouches with the unsweetened Huel bags have been giving me super clear complexion as of late.

I’ve never heard of something like that but if you are feeling like experimenting with your body (and who doesn’t) you could try just doing exactly what you are doing with clear skin and then specifically just adding some sucralose based sweeetner (like Splenda). If just that change brings back the bumps then you might be onto something. I’d be interested in how it goes.