Type 1 Diabetic


#1

Greetings everyone. I am a T1 diabetic, currently using a Medtronic 670G pump with Guardian CGM.

I want to love Huel, I really do. I can’t beat the convenience of making a shake, bolusing, and sitting on my patio with an iPad to start my work for the day. It’s vegan (I am not, but admire those who are), high tech, and quick. I ask Alexa for my newsfeed and the weather, my Roomba starts cleaning, and I get to work online. This is the future they sold to me when I was a child. I enjoy the taste. I like putting my shaker in the dishwasher and being done.

However, my glucose spikes about 100 points mg/dL and that is just not acceptable. So, even if I am at an ideal 80-100, I jump to 180-200, and have to do corrections to come down. I bolus for the carbs, using the ratio that always works for me.

I have even pre-bolus’ed by 20-30 minutes, and
I still get a roller coaster. Before I give up on Huel, does anyone have any thoughts?

Take care.


#2

When are you measuring your post-prandial blood glucose? I.e. at what time frame are you seeing the 180 - 200 level? May I also ask how much Huel powder (or the ready to drink) did you consume to see this? And, may I ask what the specific dose of the Humalog (or Novolog) was dialed in when you consumed this dose?

In general, the target is to have the 2 hour post-prandial glucose at 140 or less. This is ideal. (In fact, the diabetes.org website guides Type 1 diabetics to a goal of 180 or less at the 1 or 2 hour mark.) It is not necessary to always have blood glucose 80 - 100. Even in non-diabetics, a blood glucose can temporarily shoot up to 180 area for a brief time and then (if the person is not also insulin resistant) it should get back under 140 by the 2 hour time mark for the healthiest people.

Not that this directly applies to you, but in the ICU, we target our patients to always have a blood sugar of 140 - 180, to avoid hypogylcemia episodes. Just an interesting fact.


#3

Omg! I JUST came to the forums for the exact same reason! I’m type one and huel seems to not just spike sugars, but sustain the spike for a long while.
I think Huel would be much more fitting for us diabetics if it had less fat (so boluses cover spikes rather than it temporarily covering a sustained spike).

Huel dev team - Is it possible for a future low fat huel powder?


#4

Hi Deron, I’m not the original poster but I also have type one (insulin dependent) diabetes and am facing the same issue. I’ve been diabetic for 24 years now and tend to try to keep my by from 85 to 120 pts. When I drink Huel, I find that my sugars spike (as it does when ingesting food), but doesn’t come down with insulin nearly as easily as other foods. My past experience tells me this is because of the mixture of fat and carbs. Carbs tend to spike sugars and fat sustains that spike. I’ve been waking up with sugars 240+ after my huel dinners ):. I lovee the ease of convenience with Huel and totally believe in the product, but would like a high carb/low fat option so my sugars go down.


#5

Deron, my glucose rises 100 points within the hour, even after prebolusing by 30 minutes. Unless I am hyper, I can not prebolus longer than that before a meal. The line graph on my CGM is a 50-60 degree angle; that is a rapid rise. I have an insulin:carb ratio of 1:5. I bolus for the carbs listed on the label. Unlike any other rise after a meal, my glucose will not come down without a correction, after four plus hours.

I recently tried two scoops Huel, because a full serving of three scoops is too many carbs at one time, and the results are worse. If I go down to one scoop at a time, it will defeat the convenience aspect of using Huel.

Regarding the ICU - while I understand the risk of hypoglycemic episodes in an ICU setting is different, 140-180 is way too high for day-to-life and complications in such people show for it. The newer standard is not a1c, but time in range. At 140-180, I would be close to 0% time in range for goals that are healthier than what the ADA puts out.

It is frustrating, because I could sustain Huel, if it was healthy in all areas. I have been T1 since 1990, so anything to simplify the struggle with this would always help. I appreciate the reply.

Charm - let us know if you find the work-around that helps you. I can’t seem to figure it out, and eating regularly and bolusing keeps my line graph way more stable than Huel . . . sigh.


#6

I only brought up the ICU standard as an interesting aside. Yeah, we don’t want people chronically having 140 - 180 blood sugar levels.

The very tight level of control that you are aiming for will probably not be possible on an oat-based product, it seems. That four hour mark is pretty interesting. I guess the lower glycemic index of oats means that a meal with a significant amount of oats can continue to digest for a while. In an ironic twist, I wonder if a higher glycemic index complete food (like Soylent) would be a better option for you. In this way you’d still pre-meal bolus and the carbs in the meal would digest faster and not continue to keep the blood sugar elevated for 4 hours. You’d still get rapidly digesting carbs, but your bolus would handle it.

It almost seems like the half-life of the Humalog/Novolog is not long enough to properly handle a Huel meal which has a low glycemic index but a fairly substantial glycemic load. There are a significant amount of carbs to digest, but due to the beta-glucans and the fiber, the actual enzymatic digestion of these carbs takes longer.

I know that many of us who eat a dose of Huel report that we feel satiated for many hours, verses something like a sandwich. So the slow digesting formula which is good for many people may not be good for a Type 1 using fast-acting insulin in a pump.


#7

Deron - I meant no worries about your comment on the ICU. I guess I was putting it out there for others reading. Diabetes is a struggle in any hospital setting, and the goal of ICU is to stabilize and monitor.

Your comments regarding the fast action of Novolog/Humalog (and now there are even faster), are probably on point. The sustaining power of oats and peas could actually be a detriment for me.

I am going to shop around for low carb options, with reputations similar to Huel. If Huel ever offers such, I’ll run back for a try. For now, I just can’t afford to sacrifice the control I am after.

Thank you for the help and the replies.


#8

Hey @latestfuels , might you have a lower carb suggestion for our guy here. I know we’re on the Huel forums, but sometimes Huel cannot work for certain people. So if you know of a good alternative, feel free to chime in.

I know there is an Ample K formulation, a low carb complete meal in a bottle. It’s a little wasteful in that the powder only comes unit dosed with their plastic bottle. But, I guess it can be tossed in recycle bin afterwards. Do a google search for Ample K.

A simple alternative might be to blend some raw cashews or almonds into your Huel, and lower the huel dosage. Basically, tilting the overall formulation to have less carbs, while retaining a plant-based and healthy formation. This would require blending and a little more effort, but still relatively easy to make. I’ve used raw cashews and raw sunflower seeds in my Huel and it tastes pretty good. Seeds/nuts are mother nature’s low carb food. The Ample stuff has dairy and egg in it, if that’s an issue for you.


#9

Hi guys

Interesting feedback as previously we’ve witnessed really good control of blood glucose levels (BGL) with Huel powder. (Excuse me, I’m British, and over here we use mmol/l for BGL and I’m unfamiliar with how much out of sink the levels you state are).

Huel is low GI at 27 (read more here), so shouldn’t be adversely affecting BGL. Indeed, with the EU formula, we have tested the BGL response to Huel and the results were very favourable (see here, but click ‘United Kingdon’ in the top right to be able to read the page and don’t forget to click back the US afterwards!).

Could it be the case that you need to adjust your insulin regimen?


#10

Hey @Deron and @JohnB

I am no expert in Diabetes so I would do no assuptions on what is causing you this. However, I can guide you on other choices:

Low Carb:

  • Superbodyfuel Super Fuel and Keto Fuel. Both are powders where you are required to add your oil of choice. Like Huel, Super Fuel is 25C/20P/55F when adding 2 teaspoons of oil. Carbs are gluten free oats and cellulose for fiber. Protein from Organic rice.
  • Ample O (25C/27P/50P) and Ample V. These are considerably more expensive and come in powder in a bottle format (quite convenient). Protein sources are rice and pea for vegan/milk based for original. Another issue with Ample is that their shakes do not have a full micronutrient profile.

Non-low carb (>40% of energy from fats; Saturo and Soylent on the edge)

  • Soylent (obviously). GI of around 45-50. No oats. Powder has 38C/19P/43F. 41g per 400kcal, 15g sugar (mostly isomaltulose).
  • Saturo (similar to Soylent). Only available in RTD form and in Amazon.
  • Parachute Shakes. Not sure about the GI but above 50. Carb source Tapioca maltodextrin and maltodextrin; protein source soy. 47C/28P/25F 50g per 400kcal. Price is more expensive than Huel, particularly at lower orders.

There are other brands from Canada, but usually works out more expensive or they use pea + oats and are no better than Huel.

This is just a “shortlist” of available brands. There are more. Particularly if you are willing to spend more. However, because I do not know what is causing the issue and don’t know much about diabetes type 1; I cannot really recommend you one in particular.

You could just try around and see which one works best for you, it is just unlucky that Huel is not working out for you.


#11

James, while I would love to read through the testing done with Huel, I have to figure out what it actually does for me; a study of n=1. Also, the only way to adjust my insulin regimen is to add more insulin. That is not an option, as I use quite a bit already and am working on reducing the total dosage. More insulin adds to a wider margin of error, weight gain, and a host of other issues. I would not adjust my insulin regimen simply to fit Huel’s current formula and requirements. While I know you are trying, and you are proud of your product, people who have had type 1 for some time should at least be aware that it may not be a perfect fit. It could be a case of diabetics of different durations with different carb sensitivities that have not yet been tested.

Yesterday, I ate regular foods - coffee, salads with olive oil, lean animal proteins. My glucose stayed close to my goal range with a near flat line throughout the day. I only variated 10 mg/dL up or down throughout 24 hours.

latest fuels - I’ll check these out. It may be a bit, because I pay the price every time I experiment and may take a short break from these ideas. However, I will look into them soon and resume experimentation. Thank you.


#12

See, it’s examples like this that have me questioning my beliefs that all people would be best on an all-plant diet, or that a starch-based diet is good for all people, or that a ketogenic or very low carb diet is harmful for everyone. Or that everyone would benefit from IF.

I can certainly read the studies and can come up with something that would likely work for a large group of people. And I seem to have found something that works very well for me. But I need to remain flexible and also understand that some people may operate better by doing a low carb diet or incorporating some animal foods in the diet. Or that IF can be detrimental to some people.

@JamesCollier curious if Huel was specifically studied in Type 1 diabetics?

Certainly, Huel seems a good choice for Type 2. But in a Type 1, using rapid acting insulin from a pump, or using a long-acting once daily basal insulin plus rapid acting insulin injections with each meal, perhaps the slow digesting carbs in Huel are not ideal. Or they can create a potential problem for these patients. The glycemic index is indeed around 30. But glyemic index is measured from a fixed amount of total carbs and compared to a standard. The actual glycemic load of a full 500 calorie Huel meal is like 55 grams of total carbs. If the starches are slowly digesting over a period of, say, 4 hours, but the rapid acting insulin only lasts about 2 to 2.5 hours, I can see how the blood sugar would still be elevated at the 4 hour mark. Or at the very least, would require a second bolus around the 2 hour mark.

And John is indeed correct that the more total insulin he injects, the more potential weight gain. Insulin is our body’s main anabolic hormone and has potent influence over fat storage.


#13

Do know your other metabolic numbers like ph, sodium, potassium?

I worked on insulin advisors based on protocols from ADA and Portland. The DKA and HHS tools are very sensitive to fluid management (correcting water deficit as well as anion gap) those extremes use insulin for more than just blood sugar control.

I am curious if you are dehydrated as I frequently am because I forget to drink water. If your other electrolytes are outside the ideal ranges, the feedback and control mechanisms the body uses to adapt might have to work much harder to compensate. Maybe keto would be easier to manage blood sugar goals, but you should also be aware there are more numbers in a basic (or complete) metabolic panel that you might need to gain a better understanding of your total health situation.


#14

Mike - Thank you. My labs come back all within acceptable ranges. My kidneys especially come back with near perfect functionality, to the surprise of doctors. I always look at eloctrolyte results because I have always sweat heavier than everyone around me. I drink water throughout the day, and do my best to keep up during our hot, humid summers.

I’ll review the info again, and continue to keep an eye on things. The endo I work with wants me keto, but there are stories on both sides for T1 management.


#15

I would agree what works for the individual i.e. you is really important. A ketogenic diet is extreme and not without its drawbacks but there is growing evidence that a low carbohydrate diet may be more suitable for some type 1 and 2 diabetics.

Keep us updated @JohnB as it’s great to help us learn too.

@Deron I don’t believe Huel has been specifically studied in Type 1 diabetics practically.

The glycemic load of 100g of Huel (400kcal) is around 10.


#16

Hi @Deron

Huel has not been studied in diabetics.

Slow digesting carbs should be ideal for type 1 or type 2 diabetics, though the insulin regimen may need to be adjusted for the carb amount. Someone on rapid insulin should also be on a long-acting dose as well. (Disclaimer: forgive me if this is not always the case, I left clinical nutrition 16 years ago, so my knowledge is far from up-to-date).


#17

The endo I work with wants me keto, but there are stories on both sides for T1 management.

Correct - it’s very confusing. I’ve seen benefits and negatives for keto in T1DM


#18

From my experience, either a high-carb/low-fat or low-carb/high-fat diet is optimal for decreased insulin use. Carbs spike sugars; fats sustain sugars. I came to huel from a very high-carb/low-fat diet and find my sugars being sustained at a spike b/c of the fat amount in huel. I do believe keto works as well (which is why there are indigenous peoples all over the world thriving on a meat only diet), however, I do high-carb because I refuse to support the meat industry. Also, I believe keto can be risky when transitioning out (for T1s) since it can exacerbate ketoacidosis.

Unfortunately, due to these reasons, I probably won’t reorder until there is a new product. Love the idea and taste though.


#19

Charm - I am probably with you in regards to not reordering. I have also found that we have to choose between LCHF or HCLF to get our glucose leveled out. If Huel acknowledges the need for a range of products, I’ll come back. T1 is certainly a pia to live with, and I wish you the best.

James - T1s who use injections use a bolus and a basal. T1s on a pump only use short acting insulin. The short acting drips into us, acting as a basal. We then add extra for meals and corrections to act as a bolus.

In order to figure out how to keep glucose stable, I would have to continue to adjust my pump settings until it met my goals. Then, I would have pump settings specifically for one food - Huel. This is not something I would want, as I would have to do changes to settings every time I chose to take a day off of Huel. Also, eat what carbs you want and take insulin to cover it has been shown to be a horrible idea. Insulin dosages should be as minimal as possible, as synthesized insulin comes with its own set of problems.

I really appreciate the time people took to help. If options are created for different products, I’ll try again. Though, I obviously wish we would just find a darned cure before that even happens. Take care.


#20

Thanks, both for your feedback. We will look into this more.