Despite Huel and Soylent both offering convenient, complete meals with minimal impact on the environment, several differences occur between their products and ours. We could talk all day about how much we prefer Huel, but we’d rather leave that up to you.
Read on for a fact-based comparison of Soylent and Huel, considering categories such as nutrition and price.
*Please note, we've not compared subjective factors such as taste or texture, as we know they're personal to you.
|Per 2000kcal||Huel Powder (Vanilla v3.0)||Soylent Powder (Original v1.9)|
|Main carb sources||Oats, flaxseed, tapioca||Isomaltulose, maltodextrin|
*Correct as of 02/01/20
Both Huel Powder and Soylent include protein above the Reference Intake (RI). This is because protein has several benefits such as being the most satiating macronutrient. However, Huel contains almost 50% more protein compared to Soylent. You can find out more about protein in our article Guide to Protein Quality, Digestion and Absorption.
Huel Powder contains flaxseed and sunflower oil to achieve a great omega-3:omega-6 ratio of less than 1:1. On the other hand, Soylent uses canola (rapeseed oil).
Huel Powder also contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut, which are not included in Soylent. MCTs are a type of saturated fat which are metabolised differently to the more common long-chain triglycerides and so have additional benefits such as being an immediate source of energy.
Huel Powder doesn’t use maltodextrin or isomaltulose as carbohydrate sources. This is because oats and flaxseed have a low glycaemic index and are naturally high in fibre. Fibre has several benefits including favourable effects on the gut microbiota and digestion[5, 6].
Soylent meets its fibre content by adding ingredients such as resistant dextrin, a type of soluble fibre, and has a lower amount of fibre compared to Huel. Additionally, oats and flaxseed provide a significant source of micronutrients. As a result, a large proportion of the vitamins and minerals in Huel Powder are from the main ingredients or naturally occurring, rather than being added.
For example, 100% of the zinc in Huel is naturally occurring, derived from the six main ingredients.
Where vitamins and minerals have been added to Huel Powder, we ensure we pick the best form available taking into account factors such as bioavailability, interactions with other nutrients and additional health benefits.
For example, it’s widely considered that the amount of vitamin C we’re recommended to consume is too low, so we've reflected this in the Huel Powder formula by including acerola cherries, which are naturally high in vitamin C. The benefits of consuming more vitamin C include a healthy immune system, healthy skin and antioxidant properties.
L-methylfolate calcium is used as a source of folate in Huel Powder, while Soylent use folic acid. L-methylfolate calcium is 1000 times more expensive, but the bioavailability is higher. The vitamin E in Huel is provided by a natural source, d-alpha-tocopherol acetate which is considered to have a higher bioavailability and activity compared to dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate.
Oats and flaxseed also provide several phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are substances that are found in certain plants and are beneficial to health. Additional phytonutrients such as lycopene (a substance that gives the red colour to tomatoes) have been added to Huel Powder as they have been shown to reduce the risk of developing several diseases. Further information on the phytonutrients in Huel can be found here.
Huel Powder v3.0 also contains Bacillus Coagulans MTCC 5856, a probiotic. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria which may exert health benefits, particularly for the gut.
|Per 2000kcal||Huel RTD (Vanilla v1.0)||Soylent Drink (Cacao)|
|Main carb sources||Tapioca starch, oats, flaxseed||Maltodextrin, isomaltulose|
*Correct as of 02/01/20
Huel Ready-to-drink and Soylent drink contain an equal amount of protein. Like the powders, the protein in Huel mainly comes from brown rice and pea protein while Soylent uses soy protein isolate. Both Huel and Soylent are complete protein sources.
Huel Ready-to-drink contains flaxseed while Soylent does not. The presence of flaxseed ensures an adequate source of omega-3 fatty acids and an almost ideal omega-3:omega-6 fatty acid ratio. Huel Ready-to-drink also contains MCTs providing a preferable saturated fatty acid source which again, Soylent doesn’t.
The carbohydrate sources in Huel Ready-to-drink results in a low glycaemic index (GI) of 25 and creates a smooth mouthfeel. A high GI food is digested and absorbed rapidly resulting in a more dramatic change in a person’s blood glucose than a low GI food. There are also differences in sugar content as Huel Ready-to-drink contains approximately half the sugar content of Soylent.
As with Huel Powder, the vitamins and minerals in Huel Ready-to-drink have been carefully considered. Along with L-methylfolate calcium being used over folic acid, the amount of vitamin D in Huel Ready-to-drink is higher than in Soylent to ensure adequate absorption of all 26 essential vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, vitamin A is provided from retinol acetate to ensure the vitamin A doesn’t originate from palm oil.
Hopefully, this comparison has eased your decision-making process. We encourage you to try Huel as well as other complete foods so you can work out for yourself which is your preferred choice.
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