Huel vs. Whole Food

I just had some talk with a medical professional because I’ve been having some inflammation issues and I brought up meal replacement powders. According to him, drinking a whole fruit/veggie smoothie and cutting out meat would be much better than Huel because Huel is mostly “chemicals.”

It was my understanding that Huel contains scientifically everything a human body requires. In that note, isn’t Huel just as healthy if not healthier than eating whole veggies/fruits? What are your thoughts?

1 Like

An apple is mostly chemicals if nature was forced to list the stuff it’s made of.

I suggest finding a better “medical professional”

If you compare the serving cost of nutritionally complete Huel with what you would spend to buy the necessary ingredients to provide the same complete nutrition… I’m confident you won’t spend that much money or time to DIY “better smoothies”

In that sense Huel is more sustainable as a habit or practice as well as the ecofriendliness meaning. You know exactly what you are getting and it is consistent - which is likely the most important feature of an elimination diet (to rule out inflammation foods)

You make the best decision you can for your own health. Get a second opinion, from the same doctor and from another doctor - they (like everyone) tend to make snap decisions and only reflect/review when you ask again after you prove that you are reasonably informed about the material.


Unfortunately your medical professional seems to be lacking some serious nutrition knowledge.

A wholefood diet is always best, what I mean by this is eating a variety of minimally processed foods that you are cooking yourself. However, people don’t always have the time, energy, or resources to do this, enter Huel.

A whole fruit/veggie smoothie is okay, but it’s not Huel they’re not the same. Huel is a meal a smoothie not. The smoothie will lack protein, essential fats, and certain vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12 and vitamin D.


As far as reducing inflammation goes, do you think drinking Huel for 1 or 2 meals a day will be just as good as increasing raw fruits and veggies in my diet? By drinking Huel, I’m automatically also not eating as much red meat or processed carbs, which are very anti-inflammatory. Thanks for the help.


Out of curiosity, what kind of “medical professional” was that? As in, someone who got some official medical certification after studying medicine?
Or someone who somehow counts as “medical” because of administration?

This is kind of a loaded question. Loads of different foods fall under fruits and vegetables and each food will have different effects and this will also depend on the context of the rest of the diet. How is inflammation being measured and against what? It’s not a simply yes or no answer.

I presume you mean pro-inflammatory?

I would stop worrying about if individual foods are reducing inflammation (whatever is meant by that) and these extra health benefits. It’s going to sound dull but just aim for a balanced diet, which Huel can form a part of.

It sounds like you’re on the right track.

What is your background in nutrition? How did you gain your knowledge?

Not asking this in an offensive way, just curious, since you proclaim to be a nutrition executive

^ @Dan_Huel see question above

I have a BSc Hons in Food Science and Nutrition and I’m a Registered Associate Nutritionist.

“Nutrition Executive” is part of my job title at Huel.


Cool cool, keep doing whatcha do


whole food breaks down slower.

bigger objects essentially is what whole food is, digested by you.

huel is better.

I worry about pesticides and herbicides with whole foods with inflammation. Also, just because it’s a whole food doesn’t mean it won’t cause inflammation (like wheat and gluten). If you do it right, a whole food diet will not cause inflammation, but saying ‘whole food’ isn’t enough - it needs to be a ‘non-inflammatory whole food’ diet.

I have a version 1 and eat it because they already took out the whole foods that would be inflammatory to me - I mean, it has flaxseeds!

I wouldn’t take articles written about anti-inflammatory foods super seriously - as so many ingredients on those lists make me inflamed.

I think the inflammation topic is very unspecific, diffuse and unscientific - your immune system is constantly killing cells in your body, otherwise no human being would survive for very long - as there are a lot of aberrant cells, tumor cells, that have to be eliminated. Or tumor cell precursors. Or “normal” cells with just “a little” damage to their DNA…but where do you set the cutoff?
Stress causes inflammation, the production of free radicals…oxygen, yes, breathing causes the production of reactive oxygen species…the mere fact of being alive is in itself unhealthy and causes inflammation…

I have to admit, though, that I am also taking large doses of antioxidant supplements. I know that it is very likely nonsense, but I feel much better with it; so even if it was placebo I couldn’t stop it. Just for emotional wellbeing…


I don’t get it - it is specific based on the body part ____-itis, like arthritis. Please, we’ll talk when it makes more sense.

Ok - but be careful - as antioxidants can be ‘unspecific, diffuse’ too!

I meant that you read a lot about general “inflammation” in the body as if it was a bad thing and the cause of all diseases you can imagine - but it also has a “housekeeping” function. Thinking that one has to get a lot of antioxidant supplements as some kind of miracle drug would be too simple.

And you’re right - antioxidants can also have the opposite effect when taken in large doses. A good example is Vitamin E.