Huel Review

Have you heard of the meal replacement shake called Huel (Human Fuel)? If you have not, I will educate you on this very interesting concept created out of London that essentially takes the thinking out of nutrition altogether. Created by nutritionist James Collier and entrepreneur Julian Hearn, they had the notion that having to eat has become somewhat of a problem for many people. In today’s society, people are very busy with work and life’s demands, causing their diets to suffer. Eating healthy and well-rounded meals has become a hassle for many people, so they simply do not do it. Huel is supposed to replace eating real foods, and it comes in the form of a powdered supplement.  

The concept of zero food waste and being ethical, as the products are all vegan, is enough to pull some people closer for a listen. The products are manufactured in Canada and they claim their packaging too does not hurt the environment. On top of their products being clean, it also has been said to be affordable to those interested in purchasing it. For one meal of 500 calories, it will cost around $1.95-$2.36. [1] The company says they have sold 8 million meals to 55+ countries in total. For 28 meals, it will cost $66.00; for 56 meals, it will cost $127.00; and for 112 meals, it will cost $243.00. 

Company Contact Information: 

Huel 

Unit 5 

Midshires Business Park 

Smeaton Close 

Aylesbury 

Buckinghamshire 

HP19 8HL [2] 

Huel Claims 

“Huel is super convenient complete food, it provides an optimum balance of proteins, carbs, essential fats, fiber, and all 27 essential vitamins and minerals.” [3 

“Huel is high in protein and fiber, very low in sugar, is made from sustainable ingredients (oats, pea protein, brown rice protein, flaxseed, sunflower, coconut, plus a bespoke vitamin and mineral blend), 100% vegan (better for the environment and animals), requires minimal packaging, has a shelf-life of 12 months (so zero food waste), has a low of GI of 27, is filling, and costs from only $1.95 for a 500 kcal meal.” 

Huel is:  

“100% vegan – Huel contains absolutely no animal or dairy products, just carefully sourced and sustainable ingredients, making it suitable as part of a vegan diet and for those with food intolerances. High in protein – 148g per 2000 calories, High in fiber – 35g per 2000 calories (125% of the DV), Very low in sugar – 4.6g per 2000 calories, Nutritionally complete – provides at least 100% of the DV for all 27 essential vitamins and minerals, Simple, quick and portable – No complicated recipes or calorie counting. Just add water, shake and drink (or save for later), Adaptable – you can use Huel to replace whichever meals you find tricky to manage. So there’s no need to cut the social and creative aspects of cooking or enjoying ‘normal food’ out of your life! Environmentally friendly – In the USA, 30% of all food bought each year is thrown away. Huel has a shelf life of over 1 year, so there’s zero waste and minimal packaging used.” [3] 

When asked why they used sucralose in their product they answered,  

“Sucralose is also a much healthier option than many other sweeteners. Indeed, Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar, and doesn’t accumulate in your body. Huel only has to have a tiny amount of Sucralose in it to make it much more palatable to many, and it doesn't interact with your body at all.” [4] 

When asked about their refund policy they state,  

“Our policy lasts 30 days. If 30 days have gone by since your purchase, unfortunately we can’t offer you a refund or exchange. To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging.” [4] 

Huel Ingredients 

Vanilla Ingredients

Oats, Pea Protein, Flaxseed, Brown Rice Protein, Vitamin & Mineral Blend (Dipotassium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Chloride, L-Choline Bitartrate, Sodium Chloride, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Lycopene, Vitamin E (as DL-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Menaquinone-7, Vitamin A (as Retinol Palmitate), Niacin (as Niacinamide), Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol), Potassium Iodide, Pantothenic Acid (as Calcium-DPantothenate), Chromium Chloride, Vitamin K1, Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), L-Methylfolate Calcium, Vitamin B12 (as Cyanocobalamin), Biotin), Medium Chain Triglycerides (from coconut), Sunflower Oil Powder, Vanilla Flavor System (Artificial Vanilla Flavoring, Stevia, Sucralose) Acacia Gum, Guar Gum, and Xanthan Gum. 

Unflavored and Unsweetened Ingredients

Oats, Pea Protein, Flaxseed, Brown Rice Protein, Vitamin & Mineral Blend (Dipotassium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Chloride, L-Choline Bitartrate, Sodium Chloride, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Lycopene, Vitamin E (as DL-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Menaquinone-7, Vitamin A (as Retinol Palmitate), Niacin (as Niacinamide), Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol), Potassium Iodide, Pantothenic Acid (as Calcium-D-Pantothenate), Chromium Chloride, Vitamin K1, Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), L-Methylfolate Calcium, Vitamin B12 (as Cyanocobalamin), Biotin), Medium Chain Triglycerides (from coconut), Sunflower Oil Powder. Acacia Gum, Guar Gum, and Xanthan Gum. 

Gluten Free Vanilla Ingredients

Oats, Pea Protein, Flaxseed, Brown Rice Protein, Vitamin & Mineral Blend (Dipotassium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Chloride, L-Choline Bitartrate, Sodium Chloride, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Lycopene, Vitamin E (as DL-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Menaquinone-7, Vitamin A (as Retinol Palmitate), Niacin (as Niacinamide), Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol), Potassium Iodide, Pantothenic Acid (as Calcium-DPantothenate), Chromium Chloride, Vitamin K1, Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), L-Methylfolate Calcium, Vitamin B12 (as Cyanocobalamin), Biotin), Medium Chain Triglycerides (from coconut), Sunflower Oil Powder, Vanilla Flavor System (Artificial Vanilla Flavoring, Stevia, Sucralose) Acacia Gum, Guar Gum, and Xanthan Gum. [5] 

The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind Huel 

The claims behind little to no food waste and being cheaper than eating regular food are spot on. You cannot argue with the fact that a liquid diet is going to be cheaper than buying food and going out to eat socially. This may work for some people, but it will not work for everyone, that is for sure! The company makes their product seem nutritionally sound, with no flaws whatsoever and it might be, but it isn’t sustainable. The fact that it is high in protein and completely vegan are also true, and that they are environmentally friendly, you cannot argue with either.  

When looking into the sucralose factor, as the company does add in sucralose to all of the Huel food products, there is a small cause for concern because it does indeed raise your blood sugar levels and insulin.

According to Healthline,  

“One small study in 17 severely obese people who did not regularly consume artificial sweeteners reported that sucralose elevated blood sugar levels by 14%, and insulin levels by 20%” [6][7] 

Regarding the ingredients, they are clean and proven to help improve health overall. The only questionable ingredient was from the sucralose, and there are many different opinions about it. Overall, the science is there and there are good reasons for some folks to start a liquid only diet, but it is not for everyone and it is not easy! 

Word On The Street About Huel 

Because this product is sold solely online and only on the main website, it was very hard to get a clear picture of outside reviews that hadn’t been touched by the company themselves. Many different people did blog posts about their one week on Huel as a fun experiment, so I will go off of this information. Huel warns the potential customer up front to ease into drinking their liquid meals by starting with one per day. You can then move to two meals per day and up it if you feel comfortable doing so.

One customer who tried it out for a week said,  

“Love them or hate them, nutritionally-complete powdered drinks are here to stay. They’re changing the way people think about food, and although most people I talk to wretch at the thought, we might be in for a vanilla-flavoured future if we end up going and melting those polar ice-caps.” [8] 

All in all, the reviews were pretty similar with those trying it out for the first week saying it was a huge adjustment but they didn’t hate it terribly. Some days they would go through massive cravings, while other days they would feel satisfied. On the last day, they would indulge in a delicious meal, and celebrate making it through the week. Some people stayed on Huel nutritional drinks after that, but not all day every day. The taste is bland with a hint of vanilla, but you can add in your own flavors at your own nutritional risk. 

The Bottom Line: Is Huel Worth A Try? 

Yes. There is nothing dangerous about this meal replacement drink, but their concept of it entirely taking over eating real food is a little crazy in my opinion. The shakes are great if you are on the go and need some nutrition without thought, but completely replacing your everyday food intake is going to be very hard to accomplish. Overall, the founders have a clean idea in mind with the fact that it does help the planet and it is vegan, but it won’t be for everyone. Those who need Huel need to know it is available, and for those who just want it every once in a while, it still is a better option than driving through your favorite fast food chain. Either way, this product is up and coming, and might be worth a try if you see fit.  

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