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While it might look like a protein powder at first glance, Huel is a complete meal replacement powder. This means it contains the right balance of nutrients to keep the human body healthy. 

It isn’t designed for weight loss, and its flavor certainly isn’t the star of the show, so why has Huel become so popular recently? 

What is Huel?

Huel is a nutritionally-complete meal replacement powder. Unlike protein powders, which are high in protein but not necessarily in other nutrients, Huel contains the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, fiber and essential fats, plus phytonutrients, prebiotics, probiotics and all 27 essential vitamins and minerals.

Although this might make it sound like some kind of futuristic lab-engineered substance, it uses a variety of plant-based ingredients, including oats, flaxseeds and protein from peas and brown rice. 

It comes in a fine powder, which you can either blend with water or mix in a shaker. However, it’s also possible to use Huel powder to make pancakes, cakes, cookies or other baked goods. 

Why is Huel gaining popularity?

It’s impossible to determine the major reason why Huel is gaining popularity, but there are a few possible reasons. Huel appeals to anyone who might not have time to make three nutritious meals a day but still want to maintain a healthy diet. 

With many people still working from home due to the COVID pandemic, the burden of preparing three meals a day at home falls on the individual. In the past, someone might have picked up breakfast on the way to work or eat lunch in the employee cafeteria, but now they need to prepare these meals for themselves. It’s tempting to opt for foods that are quick to make or ready to eat but not nutritionally balanced. Huel, however, is both quick to prepare and nutritionally complete.

Huel is also completely vegan, so it may appeal to people who want to eat more plant-based meals but aren’t sure where to start. 

Can I consume Huel for every meal?

Huel is perfectly nutritionally-balanced, so, technically speaking, you could replace all your meals with Huel, as long as you consume enough to meet your optimum calorie requirements. You’d likely see nutritional benefits compared to eating an unbalanced diet of regular food. Realistically, though, most people wouldn’t want to consume Huel for every meal and it’s probably beneficial to have some fresh produce in your diet, even if you can get the same nutrients from Huel. The ideal way to use it is to replace meals where you wouldn’t have time to prepare something fresh and nutrient-dense. For most people, this means consuming Huel for breakfast, lunch or both but, depending on your schedule, you might have ample time to make breakfast and lunch but little time to make an evening meal, so use it however makes sense for you.

What does Huel taste like?

Original Huel is lightly vanilla flavored, but you can also buy unflavored Huel for a more neutral taste. Oats are one of the main ingredients in Huel, so it has a slightly oaty taste. You can add ingredients to your Huel when you blend or shake it to adjust the flavor, such as berries, nut butter or cocoa powder. Just note that this will adjust the nutrient profile somewhat.

Best meal replacement products

Huel Starter Kit

Huel Starter Kit

This starter kit includes two bags of Huel, enough for 28 meals, plus a bonus shaker that you can use to mix the powder if you don’t have time to blend it. 

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Huel Black Edition

Huel Black Edition

Huel Black Edition is higher in protein and lower in carbs than the standard Huel in white bags. While there’s nothing wrong with consuming carbohydrates, this ratio works better for some individuals. 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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