Is there enough Fe (iron)?

Good morning,

I’ve been a Hueligan for about a year and a half and have lost a good amount of weight. However, a friend said she was on a vegan diet (not on Huel) and mentioned that she was iron deficient. I will be getting labs done this coming May and requested iron levels to check on next round. Any Hueligans experience any iron deficiency while on Huel for 2 meals a day? Just wondering if I should take a supplement?

Here’s a breakdown of my meals:

  • 1 regular serving of coach’s oatmeal and a banana
  • 2 scoops of Huel w/15oz of H2o
  • 2 scoops of Huel w/15oz of H2o

Thanks in advance!

Hey @darshun, welcome to the Huel forum! :grin: And great question!

The RDA for iron is 8 mg for males and 18 mg for females who are 19-50 years and 8 mg for males and females who are 51 years and older (1). The daily value recommendation is 18 mg (2).

If you are consuming a vegan diet you want to be sure you are getting adequate amounts of iron, which will be in the form of non-heme iron. However, non-heme iron is not as well absorbed as heme iron, which is what you find in meat, so that is something to remember as you will need a bit more than the RDA to ensure adequacy (1).

Huel has an adequate amount of non-heme iron to meet the daily value recommendations per 2000 calories of Huel alone and we’ve also accounted for any potential mechanisms that may affect absorption.

And although you are not consuming 2000 calories of Huel, you are still getting a fair amount of non-heme iron from 2 servings of Huel (where each serving is 2 scoops) and then it depends on the other foods you consume daily to see if you are consuming enough to meet your needs. It’s always best to check labs, especially if it’s because you have sign/symptoms, and adjust from there!

Hope this was helpful. Let me know if you have any additional questions!


Let me echo the response from above. Getting your iron and/or iron binding labs is really the best way to detect an iron deficiency.

Anemia can be caused by several things, including a few different nutritional deficiencies. And sometimes it’s not the diet, per se, but less absorption of a particular nutrient. For example, B12 deficiency can lead to a type of anemia. A lot of older people have low intrinsic factor and just absorb less B12, even omnivores.

And then, anemia can be due to blood loss. Hence, the labs are necessary. There’s a whole algorithm a physician can go through to rule in or rule out causes of anemia, of which iron deficiency is merely one of them.

And then there’s the symptoms of anemia. Do you feel tired or get tired easily on exertion. (Although there are a hundred different causes for this, too.)

So, try not to worry or predict if you’re getting enough iron until you see the lab results. If you’re not experiencing any symptoms or feeling off, then I wouldn’t worry about it.

So much internet talk these days about nutritional deficiencies. IMO, most problems from diet are dietary excess. These days with modern food and labels, it’s really really hard to develop a true nutritional deficiency unless you’re ill, elderly, or have some kind of specific condition.

Even a college student on a 2 week bender of taco Bell only will accidentally fall ass backwards into the minimum vitamins and amino acids necessary to prevent a nutritional deficiency.

Reference: my brain and 21 years experience as a pharmacist. Trust me, 9 out of 10 people taking vitamin supplements don’t need them and are just making their urine yellow for no reason.

The supplement industry is a $37 billion solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. If we could just reroute that wasted money into covid vaccine distribution, the lives that could be saved would be tremendous, and we’d improve quality of life so much more than supplements. Just my 2 cents.


All I caught from this was taco bell bender!!! That actually sounds delicious hahahaha! Joking… And I definitely agree with you and am guilty of feeding into the nonsensical supplement industry. After 15 years of taking the same supplements, you just become a creature of habit (although I’m aware they’re not really needed).

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What really turned the tide for me was reading Dr. McDougall’s chapter in his book The Starch Solution where he chronicled all the literature showing the harmful effects of vitamin supplements. I mean, like he goes through all the vitamins starting with Vitamin A. The sheer number of studies showing harm is alarming. Taking high doses of single vitamins is not only unnatural but seems to be unhealthy. I got rid of all my vitamin supplements except B12. I take only the minimal reasonable amount of B12 weekly since I don’t eat meat or dairy anymore. Everything else I leave up to food.

Yeah… I’ve read most of Dr. Gregor’s books, have been vegan for some time and have a mother who is a nutritionist. I should honestly know better but then again, where do the vitamins and minerals that are in Huel come from? While we consider it a meal, can the nutrients within the powder be considered supplemental? :thinking:

Too, there are so many supplements out there with an extreme amount in them!!! I was looking for a B complex vitamin at one point and I actually couldn’t find one that didn’t contain hundreds or even THOUSANDS of times the RDA of the various B vitamins. That’s just completely unnecessary and risky. (I settled on a good gummy multivitamin that has a reasonable amount of everything in it and nothing in a high dose.)

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You have to keep in mind that our bodies only absorb a small portion of the vitamins, supplements and other nutrients we put into it, hence the need to go high on some of the dosages when buying supplements.

Oh, I’ve been there! And it was 12 years after college. My job with the Department of Defense sent me on a long-term assignment to a Navy shipyard, and I stayed in a BOQ on the Navy base. Right outside the BOQ was a Taco Bell on-base. The government was paying me a food stipend, and I figured “wow, at Taco Bell I could eat for $2 per meal and pocket the difference!” After 9 days of this, I was so sick of Taco Bell, my thought had changed to “my employer is paying me to eat well, so I’m going to eat the best things I can find and hang the expense, my employer is basically giving me a good discount on good meals.”

I heard one nutritionist (with an M.D.) answer this way when asked about the benefits of vitamin supplements: “Well, it gives you very expensive urine.”

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