Picking a meal replacement or a protein shake is easy when all you want is a healthy snack. But what if you’re looking for a complete alternative to a balanced regular meal? With supplements like Huel, that claim to be as nutritionally complete as wholesome solid meals, it seems possible. But how nutritious is Huel, exactly?
Using a plant-based formula produced in an eco-friendly way, Huel boasts a balanced ratio of macronutrients. It also covers all the vitamins and minerals that are essential to staying healthy. Let’s learn more about Huel and see if it’s as nutritious as it says.
Is Huel a Meal Replacement or a Protein Shake?
Huel comes in two major versions: Huel Powder and Huel Ready-to-drink. Regardless of the version, though, the company claims that both of them are nutritionally complete meals. According to Huel, its products have an ideal ratio of macronutrients and provide nutritious convenient food.
With slight variations across versions and flavors, one serving of Huel delivers up to:
- 29 grams of protein from premium vegan-friendly sources.
- 19 grams of healthy fat, with less than 5 grams of saturated fat and zero trans fats.
- 44 grams of carbohydrate from low-glycemic slow-digesting sources.
This balanced macronutrient profile amounts to 400 kcal in total, which is very nourishing. In addition, each portion of Huel comes with 27 minerals and vitamins, covering all essential micronutrients. It also has up to 10 grams of dietary fiber, which serves as a valuable source of prebiotics. And it’s packed with phytonutrients from flaxseed, coconut, sunflower, and other foods.
To top it all off, Huel offers its blend in delicious Vanilla, Strawberry, and Chocolate flavors. And it also provides the Unflavored & Unsweetened option for those who like to stay in charge of the taste.
Finally, Huel has a special Huel Black Edition that features a high-protein low-carb formula. Supplying the same 400 kcal, it contains 33% more protein and 50% fewer carbs than the blend in Huel Powder. Not bad at all. What helps Huel be so densely packed with nutrients, though?
Key Ingredient Groups That Make Huel Nutritious
Huel relies on these key components to deliver the wealth of its nutritional value:
- Proteins and fats from plant source Most protein in Huel comes from such tried and true plant-based protein sources as pea and brown rice. Huel does the same with fats, deriving them from premium vegan-friendly sources: sunflower, coconut, and flaxseed.
- Slow-digesting carbohydrates Using slow-release carbohydrates, from sources like oligofructose and ultra-fine oats, Huel ensures a low-glycemic index of its formula. This allows Huel to give sustained energy without causing high insulin responses and blood sugar dives.
- High-quality dietary fiber By including a generous amount of dietary fiber, Huel keeps the health of the digestive tract in mind. And Huel takes this fiber from such decent sources as guar gum, xantham gum, and soluble acacia fiber.
- Well-balanced micronutrient blend Sticking to the daily values recommended by the FDA, Huel comes packed with 27 essential vitamins and minerals. They span choline, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and many other micronutrients that many people are often deficient in.
Altogether, these ingredient groups make for a highly nutritious blend. But they’re not the only reasons Huel is so nourishing.
Features That Make Huel Even More Nourishing
What makes Huel especially nutritious is its formula being:
- Vegan-friendly Huel manages to keep its blend nutritious without using animal source components. This makes Huel an appropriate choice for vegans.
- Non-GMO Cheap supplements of inferior quality are often full of GMOs and toxins that come with them. Huel uses no ingredients from genetically modified sources.
- Low-glycemic Huel’s formula consists of mostly slow-digesting plant-based components. As a result, the glycemic index of Huel is low and equals only 17.
- Dairy-free Because Huel’s blend is vegan-friendly, it allows for no ingredients that come from dairy. Thanks to this, Huel contains no lactose that many people have an intolerance to.
- Soy-free Soy is the mainstay of many supplements, but its impact on health is ambiguous. Huel steers clear of this dubious component in its formula.
- Gluten-free Huel offers a whole line of shakes that are free of gluten. This makes Huel a nice fit for people suffering from gluten sensitivity.
Huel has what it takes to be a nourishing supplement. Can we say that Huel is healthy for everyone?
Is Huel Healthy for Everyone to Take?
Sadly, the otherwise nutritious blend in Huel has its flaws.
- Added sugars All versions of Huel contain less than 5% of added sugar, which isn’t a significant value for most. But it is significant enough for people with insulin issues and those who stick to the ketogenic diet.
- Maltodextrin This synthetic carbohydrate is a popular food additive. Its glycemic index, however, can be as high as 105, which is unacceptable for many dieters.
- Sucralose As an excitotoxin, sucralose is a threat to neurocognitive health. By wreaking havoc on gut flora, it makes the immune system weaker. And to top it off, it’s also carcinogenic.
- Artificial flavors Huel admits that its blend contains artificial flavors, that can be just as toxic as sucralose and other artificial sweeteners. Unfortunately, though, Huel doesn’t list the exact substances it uses for flavors.
Because of these ingredients in its formula, Huel isn’t a health supplement for everyone. Where does this leave us then?
What to Make of Huel
In a nutshell, Huel is a nutritious supplement that certainly has what it takes to replace a balanced regular meal. Its plant-based formula features decent macro and micronutrient profiles. And it’s free of animal-sourced and high-glycemic ingredients, as well as soy, lactose, gluten, and GMOs.
Huel’s formula, however, contains added sugars and maltodextrin. It also comes with artificial sweeteners and flavors. For these reasons, Huel isn’t suitable for those who prefer all-natural supplements, and it’s also poorly suited for keto dieters.
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