@Rebecca_Huel Thanks for choosing to share this with us. I will comb through the results more when I have time. I read the summary already.
One thing that stood out to me, but not necessarily alarming, is the increase in uric acid levels in the four core participants. We know that uric acid is one the “nitrogenous waste products” along with BUN that are (if I am correct on this) waste products from amino acids. Unlike fats and carbohydrates who are eventually burned and the waste product is carbon dioxide, a gas we breath out, the waste from proteins is a soluble, solid waste that must be eliminated via our kidneys. We know that some people have problems with a build up of uric acid (either from too much production or impaired renal elimination of it) and this can precipitate in joints (Gout) or in renal collecting ducts (kidney stones). This is a little close to home since my kidney stones have been the ones where uric acid is the core and allows calcium oxalate to form around it. One touted benefit of reducing meat in the diet is improvements or cure of Gout. Gout patients are specifically instructed to avoid red meat, for example.
Huel has a rather high protein content, one that is almost mimicking an omnivore diet. So although it uses plant proteins, it’s total protein content is on par with a person eating animal products with every meal (eggs, chicken, beef, yogurt). If you look at whole food plants, the lion’s share (no pun intended) are high in carbs and low in fat and protein. A little more protein than fat, but still much lower protein content than what we see in dairy, beef, chicken, etc. Some exceptions. Nuts can have more protein, although the predominant macro in nuts is fat.
The only reason I bring this up is that Huel seems like it is trying to mimic a whole food plant based diet or a vegan style diet, in spirit. And certainly, it does contain only plant foods and plant ingredients. And I am not criticizing Huel for not being fully “whole food”. I’ve been eating it for a year now and it’s been a tremendous boon to my health. I guess what I am getting at is this: is Huel’s formulation being unconsciously influenced by the omnivore and meat-eating general population? Are ya’ll afraid to go low on the protein for fear it will invoke criticism and people won’t try it or is there a real advantage to a high protein plant-based formulation?
Look at the macro makeup of things like sweet potato, brown rice, black beans, lentils, kale, fruits, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, spinach, coconut, sunflower seeds, peas, etc. These are all foods that are universally considered healthy and if a person ate a diet consisting of things like this we’d label them as a healthy plant eater. But look at the overall protein content of this diet. It’s significantly lower than someone eating an all-Huel diet. Yes, even legumes (beans and lentils) do not have the protein content per unit of weight that a Huel serving does.
@Rebecca_Huel I was wondering what you opinion is on protein content. In particular, the natural amount of protein found in plant foods. And do you think society places too much emphasis on protein intake?