Type 1 Diabetic

JamesCollier, et al, I am giving Huel another attempt, and it is working a bit better now. To begin, I went plant-based, eating whole foods - lots of salads and soups made in a VitaMix. Beans, potatoes, etc. Since the date of this original post, I have dropped about 30lbs.

Due to the weight loss and plant-based diet, I cut my basal insulin in 1/2 and increased my insulin sensitivity. After these changes, I returned to Huel for convenience. It is just nice to make a meal and know the exact carb count meal-to-meal. I pre-bolus by 20-30 minutes. I have read much more on post-meal spikes and gave up on the keto flat-line fantasy. I am now not as worried at post-meal spikes as long as they don’t go too high, and return within two hours or so.

My delivery is due today for a refill, and I look forward to trying the new flavors. I’ll keep you guys posted for future results.

I apologize if I seemed too harsh with my previous judgments. T1 is quite the demon to battle, and I’ve been at it since 1990 at the age of 12. It can be tough to get things worked out while improving overall health.

Thanks for all the help!

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My apologies for bringing back an old post, but type 1 diabetics are rare enough that when I find one sharing information on a forum I tend to get a little ecstatic. If you’re still around (or any other T1D’s using Huel) I have two questions for you:

Has Huel Black worked better for you? And if so/if not, have you noticed this phenomenon, taken from another diabetic’s experiences with Huel:

“Regarding doses, I definitely need to inject more with white - but I agree whereas I’d do 8 for white (2 units per 10g carbs) I do 5/6 for black (2.5-3 units per 10g carbs)”

My question being, even with the reduced carbs in Black, is the insulin ratio for using it a little higher on a unit to carb basis?

Thanks, this post was quite illuminating for me. I have used Huel and Soylent in the past, and the new Soylent formulations with allulose barely spike my sugars at all - the older ones without it certainly DID - but I prefer the higher fiber and nutritional makeup of Huel in general so I’m trying to switch out to Huel and just curious about experiences.

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Hi all, @JamesCollier @Dan_Huel

I am a TD1 based in the U.K. I am so glad I am not the only one experiencing these issues! My Hba1c is 7.1%

I used Novorapid (fast acting insulting) and Tresiba (long acting) and measure my levels real time using libre sensor. I put all my food into fitnesspal or carbs and Cals and so I can eat anything and the ratios work. However it never works for Huel and it send my sugars crazy / dangerously high! See below.

I am the same and I love Huel, I have the premade vanilla ready to drink shakes.

The carbs come out as 39g and with my usual insulin ratio of 10 for mornings, this would be mean a shot of 4 novorapid for a Huel in the AM.

This morning as an example I did a shot of 9, so nearly double what is required, and it has sent my sugars shooting up form 7% to 16%!!! Picture attached showing this spike.

Is someone able to look into why this is? As it is actually dangerously high and I am doing double the insulin I should have to per my ratio.

I love the concept of Huel and really want it to work.!

You didn’t mention which Huel you are using.

I imagine the greater insulin demand is a result of Huel being easily absorbed and that gets more of those carbs converting to sugar.

Huel Black, with fewer carbs, might be a better option?

I am careful to not give diet suggestions because it feels to me like giving medical advice in the context of diabetes. As a programmer, I was part of a development project to implement ADA and Portland protocols for DKA/HHS and CABG/Critical Care in inpatient hospital settings. I learned more about insulin & electrolytes than I ever expected a programmer to know. :slight_smile: It gives me a great respect for the challenge you face with every meal. I am very interested to read what you learn if you are willing to share here.

Hi @cvrc

Thanks for this feedback.

I take it this is with Huel RTD Vanilla - have you tried other Huel products? other RTD flavours?

We have had the GI of RTD measured and it’s 25 (see article for ref).

There’s no reason why this should be an issue, but I am going to have a think and chat with colleagues.

Hi again @cvrc

A few more queries:

  1. What time of day was this and when had you previously eaten?
  2. How many times has this happened?
  3. How long after does it take for your BGL to fall back down?

Hi @JamesCollier

  • it was first thing in the morning and no previous meals.

  • it used to happen each time, so I stopped having Huel, it is only because my wife still has it, that I gave it another go, but sends my sugars soaring. Then I thought I would flag on the live chat and they directed me to this forum, where I can see others had similar effects.

  • it normally takes 4-5 hours for it to come down, but 24 hours to get my sugars fully stable again as a TD1.

It was the RTD vanilla. I’ve not tried any others.

I wonder if it is to do with the carbs and fat mix?

Might be worth trying out on some TD1s with Libre sensors, with good control.


@JohnB I am not diabetic, but have been using single scoop meals from the get go. I haven’t had a problem with convenience because Huel is already so convenient. I make it all in the morning in less than 15 minutes and I keep a day’s supply in a cooler ready to go. I have it timed, so whenever my alarm goes off I consume one scoop of pre-prepared Huel. Granted I have tweaked the time intervals moving forward based on previous energy levels and results. I have it pretty down pat now.

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Since Huel is not “officially” studied in Type 1 Diabetes use, can you share the thought process around your inquiries?

I was curious if other foods eaten was trying to guage glycemic load from late breakfast before an earl Huel lunch. I wonder if the normally awesome energy levels due to readily available nutrition is actually a problem for diabetic glucose response. (Ex: units per 10g carbs ratio for non-Huel is insufficient for Huel because it’s easier to digest and more of the goodstuff gets to blood and cells in less time)

Is time to recover an attempt to guage insulin response ?

Are there other nutrient/electrolyte levels that shed more light on diabetic dietary glucose/insulin response?

@macrobano how many single scoop meals
do you consume in a day and what intervals. Just curious, I am drinking RTD currently and have used various flavors, but can’t get a “system” to stick.

@Friday13th 8 or 9 on staggered hour intervals. I top load the early parts of the day and space towards the end. That being said I can’t tolerate RTD anymore once I started hand blending all my shakes. Everything I drink is blended salted caramel standard issue Huel.

Hi @cvrc

Thanks for the info. @Charlotte_Huel is also going to chime in as her clinical experience is more recent than mine (I left clinical dietetics in 2002 and insulin protocols may have changed since then).

  • Has a similar result happened previously from other foods whilst you’ve been on this insulin regimen?
  • what’s your dose of long-acting insulin?

It’s not really feasible for us to ‘try out’ with other T1DM patients in this respect as this would be a formal trial that would involve ethics approval.

Hey Richard!

If it’s alright with you, I have a few additional questions to see if I can help at all too!

  • Have you had Huel at other times of day and if so, does it have the same effect?
  • What was your blood glucose prior to consuming Huel in the morning when you woke up?
  • I know you mentioned you didn’t consume any other foods prior to Huel in the morning - did you have any beverages?

Let us know!

Hey @miked!

The questions can help us to understand a bit more and possibly help us to provide a bit of additional insight too!

Blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c are the labs you’d want to look at in this scenario, if available.

I’m a T1D with a Dexcom G6 CGM and good control (under 6.5 A1C) - I can say that Huel is an interesting adventure to figure out how to dose for. I have learned that you need quite a decent amount of insulin for Huel, with a carb-per-unit ratio that is higher than for other foods. Huel Black is usually what I consume and I still need 3-5 units (depending on my activity afterward, etc) to drink a standard serving of Black, probably closer to 4-6 units for a RTD or “White” version of Huel; these standards for a 400 calorie typical serving. I have been on the same long-acting insulin (Tresiba now) 14 units a day for many years, only really altering my bolus insulin (Novalog) as needed for meals etc.

It’s harder to dose for Huel than some other non exactly-measured foods which is interesting but I am guessing at this point it’s the mix of fat and carbs (which cause insulin resistance when mixed, anyway) as well as the protein which you also have to bolus for as it seems very easily digested. That is my experience as a T1D, anyway; it’s not medical advice. :slight_smile: