Why 1.1? Some things don't look like improvements

I went to the site to re-order some Huel powder, and I notice the formulation changed. I like the fact that there’s less sodium and a bit more fiber now, but I have some questions about why the folks at Huel thought the following differences are improvements over the 1.0 formula

Using original vanilla as an example for a 2000 calorie diet:

5g less fat? That kind of skews the carb:protein:fat balance ratio, doesn’t it?

5g LESS protein? The protein is one reason I buy this.

3g ADDED sugars? Why add sugars? The carbs were fine without.

Almost double the iron? Twice as much as the recommended daily value? That’s OK for women, not not necessarily for men.

Reduction in folate? Why?

I’ve just started drinking the new formula vanilla, but I think I am going to miss v1.0 already. It just doesn’t taste the same to me. :frowning_face:

Less like Cheerios, more like some RTD protein shake.

I’m on my last bag of 1.0, waiting for my next shipment of 1.1. Actually, although I like the 1.0 flavor, if 1.1 tastes less like Cheerios it might make my wife more willing to drink it. I gave her a taste of the unflavored 1.0 variety and she couldn’t stand it.

I was referring to the 1.0 vs 1.1 vanilla. The unflavored is difficult for me to drink without something added.

Great questions! The reason why there is a change in fat, protein and a few other nutrients is partly because of minor (and they are really minor) changes in the amounts of the 6 main ingredients. We also now have better reporting and lab tests so the values are more accurate of the actual content. Additionally US labelling requires rounding of actual values which causes further differences.

The macronutrient split is almost identical, the fat percentage has decreased by around 1%, while carbohydrate has increased. US labelling of fiber also varies from the EU. In calculating the macronutrient split we have not used the labelling exactly as you would find on the pouch.

Added sugars is actually 2.6g for example not 3g (rounding) and even then this due to differences in labelling and reporting. If you look at the total sugars this has actually decreased from 5g to 4g.

Essentially v1.1 has more accurate data behind it that v1.0 and is now more in line with US labelling rather than being a bit of a translation across from EU values.

There’s an article being written by our Head of Nutrition, James Collier at the moment about iron so I will post that when it’s up in the near future which should cover all of that.

I don’t want to fall back on the reporting issue again but, here I am falling back on it which partly explains folate. 400µg is also in line with US regulations which we feel is more than adequate especially as we use L-methylfolate calcium (the biologically active form of folate) over the more common, cheaper syntheic form folic acid used by some competitors.

Hope that clears everything up for now! (Except iron of course).


I’m sorry to hear that @Huel_Hefner. We haven’t changed the taste on purpose if that makes sense? The changes made were purely from a nutritional rather than a taste point of view but this may have resulted in you noticing a change in the taste.

Does anyone have any ideas on anything that could be added to change the taste? Unfortunately I’m not in a position to recommend anything as I have only tried v1.1.

Thanks @Dan_Huel for the detailed response. It seems that some of the differences are due to measurement errors. That’s good to know.

I’d still like to know why you’re adding sugars? Just let whatever natural sugars be there, no need to add more. The flavor is fine without the added sugars, and if I want it sweeter I can always add stevia.

Looking forward to the report about iron.

Hereditary hemochromatosis most commonly affects caucasian men (10%-15% have one gene for it), and excess iron in the diet can build up potentially lethal amounts of iron in vital organs and glands (according to the Iron Disorders Institute).

I have read that other effects on men can include tissue damage, muscle loss, cancer-causing DNA mutations, premature aging, impotence, poor sex drive, and other problems. Huel has 100% DV for most nutrients, but the iron is near 200%, which seems excessive.

I’d like to see it reduced. Anyone who needs more iron can always take a supplement, but don’t force more iron on male Huel users. 8mg/day is enough for men, while triple that is needed for women – and Huel 1.1 even exceeds that.
Recommended intakes: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/

All information I can find say basically “men don’t need supplemental iron” but that is based on iron naturally occurring in foods. A 100% Huel diet will need some iron of course, but I am skeptical that 200% of the recommended DV is required. And it’s likely that most Huel users aren’t on it 100%, which means they’d get iron from other meals.

1 Like

A small amount is added as part of the flavouring system. It’s about half a teaspoon per 2000kcal (so pretty small).

If you’re not a fan of the added sugar try the unflavoured and unsweetened which you can sweeten yourself. That has less added sugar as there is no flavouring system at all.

That’s interesting, thanks for sharing.

I don’t want to steal James’ thunder but because of the use of natural ingredients such as oats there are anti-nutrient present e.g. phytate so the amount of iron taken into the body from Huel will be less than the amount stated. There’s more to it than that, so my lips are now sealed.

If you take a look at this link you can see we don’t supplement Huel with iron, it all comes from the main ingredients in Huel: https://huel.com/pages/about-the-vitamins-minerals-in-huel

1 Like

I am going to have to make a side-by-side comparison of 1.0 vs 1.1 and decide if Huel made a wise trade off from my perspective.

I haven’t yet tasted the Vanilla 1.1, but I can say with conviction that the berry and chocolate 1.1 powders taste pretty darn good.

I don’t know if my opinion is worth anything on this, but 2.6 or 3 grams of sugar per serving ain’t nothing, IMO. And I’m the guy preaching on these boards about the evils of insulin resistance and how bad too much sugar is. I ingested more fructose from that in the 4 pieces of fruit I ate today (although fruit and added sugar aren’t the same thing). But this is magnitudes less than many processed or restaurant food. Just 3 Oreo cookies has 14 grams of sugar. A 12 ounce can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar. So for perspective, you would have to drink almost ten 400 calorie servings of Huel 1.1 to equal the added sugar in a can of Coke.

Soylent has 15 grams of added sugar per 400 calorie bottle. Which is rather shocking. I assumed human flesh is low carb.

@Deron I agree that a few grams more or less of sugar, fat, and protein isn’t a big deal, and Dan’s comment above says those differences are due to slight changes in the main ingredient quantities and measurement method differences between 1.0 and 1.1. I am curious why any sugar needs to be added at all in 1.1, when 1.0 had none. But I’m more concerned about what seems to be excessive iron content in 1.1.

My guess is the sugar was added to make it more palatable due to the formula change. Side-by-side I detect a bitterness in the 1.1 even with the added sugar. 1.0 is smoother and tastes more natural to me.

I thought that they had a winning combination with the 1.0 vanilla. (umpteen million servings sold) A couple months in to a x16 bag subscription, it became the foundation of my diet. I can suppliment any dietary components that I desire knowing that my RDA and macros are basically covered. If I want more omegas I can get flax/fish oil or eat some salmon. More protein? Plenty of options there.

Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to remove the .1 ingredients, and sadly, I don’t think that formula will ever come back.

Sorry if I didn’t make this clear. There is actually no difference in the amount of added sugar between v1 and v1.1. There was around 2.6g of sugar in v1.0 but due to better testing, reporting and labelling this was not apparent on the label and now is.

The taste has not changed on purpose, due to adding flavouring, sugar or any other ingredient. There may be slight differences in taste due to the nutritional changes we have made. On top of the ones mentioned on this post you can see the other improvements here: https://huel.com/pages/huel-version-1-1-the-changes

The whole point of Huel is it is nutritionally complete. If you need to get omega 3 or any other nutrient from a food then Huel is no longer nutritionally complete. We are will constantly improve the nutritional profile in line with new research being released. As a result we will not go back to v1.0 as this is an inferior nutritional profile which has hopefully been explained now.

We will release new flavours but it is unlikely we will drastically change existing flavours. This is apparent in the U.K where we have two vanilla flavours because so many people loved the original vanilla flavour we have kept it as part of our product range.

Thanks @Dan_Huel for the explanation. The page https://huel.com/pages/huel-version-1-1-the-changes still doesn’t explain why the iron was doubled to nearly 200% the recommended %DV. Unless you’re a menstruating woman or you’re anemic, you don’t need (and shouldn’t consume) more iron than the %DV.

1 Like

I know which is why James is writing an article on it to be posted soon! Until then my lips are sealed.




Iron in Huel and the Effects of Antinutrients and Vitamin C


I just got around to reading this article. It made me feel a lot better about the iron content, thank you. I did notice a typo you might want to fix though. Near the end it says that the RTD bottles contain 5g of iron per bottle instead of 5mg lol.

1 Like

Hi @Cellcubed - thanks for the flag! Fixed :blush:

1 Like