The Huel Black Edition Formula Explained

Huel Black Edition is a nutritionally complete powdered food that is high in protein and fibre, reduced carbohydrate, low in sugar and salt, rich in phytonutrients, with an alternative macro split of 17:40:40:3 (carbohydrate, protein, fat, fibre) and all 26 essential vitamins and minerals.

Additionally, like all Huel products, it contains no lactose or any animal products, no soy, and no GMO.

Huel Black Edition meets the UK and EU Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI), Reference Intake (RI) and Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) for macro- and all micronutrients[1], providing fewer carbs, higher protein and an alternative macronutritional ratio for those who are looking for something different to Huel Powder v3.0.

Continue reading to find out more about Huel Black Edition.

The Huel Black Edition Formula Explained

Nutritional Information and Ingredients of Huel Black Edition

Huel Black Edition is 17:40:40:3 Macro Split

The principle macronutrients that we obtain energy from food are carbohydrate, fat, protein and fibre, and in Huel Black Edition we’ve set them at the ratio of 17:40:40:3 respectively; i.e. just 17% of the energy comes from carbohydrate, while 40% comes from fat, 40% from protein and 3% from fibre.

Amino acids are the most basic units of protein, and several amino acids are essential for life, with others being crucial for good health, so any diet should include a significant amount of protein.

There are also fatty acids that are essential for life and good health, so including sources of fat is crucial too.

Carbohydrates, however, are not essential per se. Although carbs do have significant benefits to sustaining even energy levels, some people prefer to have a lower intake of carbs for some meals.

Carbohydrate in Huel Black Edition

The carbohydrate content of Huel Black Edition is 50% lower than that of regular Huel Powder to provide an alternative product for those who desire a different carb intake for a meal. Tapioca is a starch that comes from the roots of the cassava plant and we’ve used this as the primary carbohydrate source as it also provides a smooth, rounded mouthfeel. As Huel Black Edition contains no artificial sweeteners, we’ve used a small amount of organic coconut sugar to compliment the natural sweetener stevia to deliver a subtle sweet taste. The inclusion of organic coconut sugar is at a low level and a serving of Huel Black Edition is low in sugar.

Fat in Huel Black Edition: Flaxseed, Sunflower and Coconut

The fats in Huel Black Edition provide 40% of the total energy and are mainly derived from flaxseed and sunflower seeds to ensure that polyunsaturated fatty acids are included in optimum amounts. We’ve also included coconut for very good reasons: the fats in coconut are known as medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, and these are treated much like carbohydrates[2].

Essential nutrients can not be made by the body so must be obtained from the diet. There are two completely essential fatty acids (EFAs) that humans require: linoleic acid (LA – an omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA – an omega-3)[3]. Using a blend of flaxseed and sunflower oil powder, we’ve ensured Huel Black Edition contains sufficient amounts of both of these EFAs as well as other omega-3 and -6 fatty acids.

Huel Black Edition is High-protein: Peas and Rice

The RDA for protein is 60g and 50g per day for adult men and women respectively[4], but this only covers our very basic needs and prevents protein deficiency[1,4]. Huel Black Edition is high in protein for those who desire a higher intake of protein for some meals. All essential amino acids are included in adequate amounts from two vegan protein sources: pea and brown rice protein. Based on an average 2,000-calorie intake, you’ll be consuming 200g of protein per day from Huel Black Edition. This is an adequate amount for maintaining a healthy body. Furthermore, protein is more satiating (appetite suppressing) than other macronutrients[5].

Amino Acid Profile of Huel Black Edition

Protein is made up of amino acids. There are over 500 amino acids in nature, 20 of which are known as the standard amino acids, as these are the ones that are coded for genetically and are subsequently involved in primary protein synthesis in animals. Of these 20, nine are essential as they cannot be synthesised from other amino acids.

The nine essential amino acids are:

  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine

The other 11 are:

  • Alanine
  • Arginine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartic acid
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Glycine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine

Amino Acid Content of Huel Black Edition (based on v1.0 Vanilla - amounts will differ slightly for other flavours)

Amino Acid (mg) Per 90g Per 2000kcal RDA* % of RDA
Tryptophan 465 2327 280 166%
Threonine 1519 7594 1050 145%
Isoleucine 1693 8463 1400 121%
Leucine 3452 17258 2730 126%
Lysine 1525 7623 2100 73%
Methionine 1079 5397 1050** 171%
Cysteine 712 3559
Phenylalanine 2213 11065 1750*** 250%
Tyrosine 2161 10805
Valine 2245 11225 1820 123%
Histidine 1431 7153 700 204%
Arginine 2960 14802
Alanine 2345 11724
Aspartic acid**** 3529 17646
Glutamic acid***** 6257 31283
Glycine 1779 8896
Proline 1988 9941
Serine 2066 10331

  • *WHO (2007) recommended daily amounts for essential amino acids for a 70kg adult
  • **Combined total for methionine + cysteine
  • ***Combined total for phenylalanine + tyrosine
  • ****Figure includes asparagine
  • *****Figure includes glutamine

All protein sources are not equal: some are classed as ‘complete proteins’ and some are not. A complete protein is one that contains sufficient quantities of all nine essential amino acids. Generally, proteins derived from animal foods (meat, fish, poultry, milk and eggs) are complete. Indeed, some proteins derived from plant foods (legumes, seeds, grains and vegetables) are often complete as well; examples include chickpeas, black beans, pumpkin seeds, cashews, cauliflower, quinoa, pistachios, turnip greens, black-eyed peas and soya. Many plant foods have insufficient amounts or one or more of the essential amino acids. Some are notably low, such as corn protein, which is low in lysine and isoleucine.

The protein in Huel Black Edition comes from three of the main ingredients: pea protein, brown rice protein and flaxseed. This ensures a good range of all amino acids and that there are sufficient amounts of the essential amino acids. Rice protein is high in the sulphur-containing amino acids cysteine and methionine, plus it contains good amounts of all the others, but is very low in lysine. Pea protein is low in cysteine and methionine but high in lysine. This is why we selected these two sources, ensuring everything was covered whilst keeping Huel Black Edition vegan. Plus there’s additional protein from the flaxseed.

Huel Black Edition is High-fibre

A 2,000-calorie serving of Huel Black Edition contains 110-128% (varies between flavour) of the recommended daily amount of fibre. The fibre in Huel Black Edition is a mixture of soluble and insoluble forms all naturally supplied from the food ingredients, mainly from flaxseed, and provides more than most modern solid diets. The high-fibre content of Huel Black Edition helps to ensure the formation of normal, solid stools in healthy users.

Fibre acts like a sponge, so it’s important to consume lots of water when using Huel Black Edition[6].

Vitamins and Minerals in Huel Black Edition

A bulk of the vitamins and minerals – also known as micronutrients – in Huel Black Edition are from natural ingredients. However, in order to meet the demands of the Japanese lifestyle, we've added a unique vitamin and mineral formula to provide, in some cases, more than 100% of the recommended amounts per 2000kcal while still remaining within safe upper limits.

There has been some concern about phytic acid: a naturally occurring substance in some seeds including flaxseed. Phytic acid can chelate (bind) some minerals meaning that they’re less bioavailable[7]. As flaxseed is a large contributor to the nutrition of Huel Black Edition, we've ensured that there are adequate levels of some minerals, like iron and zinc, to accommodate any issues with phytic acid chelation. Furthermore, the high level of vitamin C in Huel Powder will also further promote iron absorption[8].

Phytonutrients in Huel Black Edition

Phytonutrients are substances found in plant foods which, whilst not essential, may maintain the health of healthy individuals. Junk food diets and many synthetic liquid diets that aren’t based on real food miss out on these phytonutrients[9].

The fundamental ingredients in Huel Black Edition are plant-based foods, which these are already phytonutrient-rich. We've also added some additional phytonutrients to optimise the Huel formula such as lycopene and zeaxanthin. Furthermore, green tea extract has been included as it’s rich in catechins especially epigallocatechin gallate.

Probiotics and Kombucha

Huel Powder contains the probiotic Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856. Probiotics are ‘good’ bacteria which, when consumed in adequate amounts, may have health benefits, particularly for gut health[10-12].

Kombucha is a fermented product that is made using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Kombucha provides B-vitamins which are produced when the SCOBY breaks down the sugars present[13].

Huel Black Edition and FODMAPs

Huel Black Edition is low in FODMAPs constituents so is suitable for people who follow a low-FODMAP diet..

Summary - Huel Black Edition is Food

Huel Black Edition can be consumed as an individual meal or even as a between-meal snack. In this way, it can be an add-on improvement to your diet to provide nutritional support.

Ingredients of Huel Black Edition

Vanilla

Pea protein, Coarse grinding flaxseed, Brown rice protein, Tapioca starch, Powdered vegetable oil, Coconut sugar, Medium-chain triglyceride powder, corn starch, Kombucha tea powder, Knotted kelp powder, Lactic acid bacterium powder (maltodextrin, lactic acid bacteria), Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Vitamin K2 containing fat powder/Flavouring, Stabiliser (Xanthan gum), Potassium citrate, Potassium chloride, Calcium carbonate, V.C, Sweetener (Stevia extract), Tea extract, Niacin, Calcium-D-pantothenate, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, vitamin A, vitamin B1, Folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B12.

The kelp used in this product is collected in the sea area where shrimps and crabs inhabit.

We recommend one serving a day if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Chocolate

Pea protein, Coarse grinding flaxseed, Brown rice protein, Tapioca starch, Cocoa powder, Powdered vegetable oil, Coconut sugar, Medium-chain triglyceride powder, corn starch, Kombucha tea powder, Knotted kelp powder, Lactic acid bacterium powder (maltodextrin, lactic acid bacteria), Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Vitamin K2 containing fat powder/Flavouring, Stabiliser (Xanthan gum), Potassium citrate, Potassium chloride, Calcium carbonate, vitamin C, Sweetener (Stevia extract), Tea extract, Niacin, Calcium-D-pantothenate, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, vitamin A, vitamin B1, Folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B12.

The kelp used in this product is collected in the sea area where shrimps and crabs inhabit.

We recommend one serving a day if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Vanilla v1.0

Each bag contains 1.53kg

Serving size: 90g x 5 meals per day

Per 90g serving Per 2000kcal Per 90g serving compared to Japanese guidelines (%)* Per 2000kcal compared to Japanese guidelines (%)*
Energy 400kcal 2000kcal 18% 91%**
Protein 39g 196g 48% 242%
Fat 18g 89g 29% 144%
saturated fatty acids 2.6g 13g 16% 81%
n-3 Fatty Acids 6.2g 31g 310% 1550%
n-6 Fatty Acids 5.2g 26g 58% 289%
trans fat 0g 0g
cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Total Carbohydrate 24g 120g 8% 38%
carbohydrate 17g 87g
sugar content 4.5g 25g
fibre 6.6g 33g 35% 174%
Sodium 433mg 2244mg 15% 77%
Salt Equivalent 1.1g 5.7g

Vitamins & Minerals

Per 90g serving Per 2000kcal Per 90g serving compared to Japanese guidelines (%)* Per 2000kcal compared to Japanese guidelines (%)*
Zinc 3.7mg 19mg 42% 216%
Potassium 700mg 3500mg 25% 125%
Calcium 260mg 1300mg 38% 191%
Chromium 9.0µg 45µg 90% 450%
Selenium 30µg 150µg 107% 536%
Iron 7.6mg 38mg 112% 559%
Copper 0.50mg 2.5mg 56% 278%
Magnesium 88mg 440mg 28% 138%
Manganese 1.1mg 5.5mg 29% 145%
Molybdenum 38µg 190µg 152% 760%
Iodine 30µg 150µg 23% 115%
Phosphorus 360mg 1800mg 40% 200%
Niacin 3.2mg 16mg 25% 123%
Pantothenic Acid 1.2mg 6.0mg 25% 125%
Biotin 12µg 60µg 24% 120%
Vitamin A 180µg 900µg 23% 117%
Vitamin B1 0.24mg 1.2mg 20% 100%
Vitamin B2 0.28mg 1.4mg 20% 100%
Vitamin B6 0.34mg 1.7mg 26% 131%
Vitamin B12 0.80µg 4.0µg 33% 167%
Vitamin C 60mg 300mg 60% 300%
Vitamin D 4.0µg 20µg 73% 364%
Vitamin E 3.0mg 16mg 48% 254%
Vitamin K 35µg 175µg 23% 117%
Folic Acid 80µg 400µg 33% 167%

Additional Information

Per 90g Serving Per 2000kcal
Chloride 160mg 800mg
Choline 120mg 600mg
Lutein 1.2mg 6mg
Zeaxanthin 0.1mg 0.5mg
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids 2.6g 13g
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids 12g 60g
MCTs 1.1g 5.5g
Bacilus Coagulans MTCC 5856 200(mn) 1000(mn)
Epigallocatechin Gallate 40mg 200(mn)

*The percentage of nutrients standard values (in 2015) (18 years old or more, standard calorie 2,200kcal)

**Huel is nutritionally complete per 2000kcal and the Japanese nutrition guidelines are per 2200kcal.

Chocolate v1.0

Each bag contains 1.53kg

Serving size: 90g x 5 meals per day

Per 90g serving Per 2000kcal Per 90g serving compared to Japanese guidelines (%)* Per 2000kcal compared to Japanese guidelines (%)*
Energy 400kcal 2000kcal 18% 91%**
Protein 39g 196g 48% 242%
Fat 18g 89g 29% 144%
saturated fatty acids 3.2g 16g 20% 100%
n-3 Fatty Acids 5.6g 28g 280% 1400%
n-6 Fatty Acids 5.0g 25g 56% 278%
trans fat 0g 0g
cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Total Carbohydrate 24g 121g 8% 38%
carbohydrate 16g 82g
sugar content 4.8g 24g
fibre 7.8g 39g 41% 205%
Sodium 472mg 2323mg 16% 80%
Salt Equivalent 1.2g 5.9g

Vitamins & Minerals

Per 90g serving Per 2000kcal Per 90g serving compared to Japanese guidelines (%)* Per 2000kcal compared to Japanese guidelines (%)*
Zinc 3.8mg 19mg 43% 216%
Potassium 700mg 3500mg 25% 125%
Calcium 260mg 1300mg 38% 191%
Chromium 9.0µg 45µg 90% 450%
Selenium 32µg 160µg 114% 571%
Iron 7.8mg 39mg 115% 574%
Copper 0.56mg 2.8mg 62% 311%
Magnesium 100mg 500mg 31% 156%
Manganese 1.1mg 5.3mg 29% 139%
Molybdenum 37µg 185µg 148% 740%
Iodine 30µg 150µg 23% 115%
Phosphorus 370mg 1850mg 41% 206%
Niacin 3.2mg 16mg 25% 123%
Pantothenic Acid 1.2mg 6.0mg 25% 125%
Biotin 12µg 60µg 24% 120%
Vitamin A 180µg 900µg 23% 117%
Vitamin B1 0.24mg 1.2mg 20% 100%
Vitamin B2 0.28mg 1.4mg 20% 100%
Vitamin B6 0.34mg 1.7mg 26% 131%
Vitamin B12 0.80µg 4.0µg 33% 167%
Vitamin C 60mg 300mg 60% 300%
Vitamin D 4.0µg 20µg 73% 364%
Vitamin E 4.0mg 20mg 63% 317%
Vitamin K 35µg 175µg 23% 117%
Folic Acid 80µg 400µg 33% 167%

Additional Information

Per 90g Serving Per 2000kcal
Chloride 160mg 800mg
Choline 120mg 600mg
Lutein 1.2mg 6mg
Zeaxanthin 0.1mg 0.5mg
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids 2.8g 14g
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids 11g 56g
MCTs 1.1g 5.5g
Bacilus Coagulans MTCC 5856 200(mn) 1000(mn)
Epigallocatechin Gallate 40mg 200mg

*The percentage of nutrients standard values (in 2015) (18 years old or more, standard calorie 2,200kcal)

**Huel is nutritionally complete per 2000kcal and the Japanese nutrition guidelines are per 2200kcal.

Huel Black Edition Cautions and Allergen Advice

Huel Black Edition is food, therefore it is suitable for people with most conditions. However, as some conditions require dietary intervention, like with any food, please heed the notes below for the following conditions:

  • Diabetes mellitus - Huel Black Edition is suitable for type 1 and type 2 diabetics. As with all food, if you're using medication to help control your diabetes you should structure your intake of Huel Black Edition appropriately.
  • Coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis - Huel Black Edition is gluten-free and is made with no gluten-containing ingredients.
  • Inborn errors of metabolism - if you have a glycogen storage disorder (GSD) or other inborn error of metabolism where you require dietary manipulation, you must consult your doctor or specialist clinician before having Huel Black Edition.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease - if you suffer from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or proctitis, and are experiencing a flare-up, we advise caution when having Huel Black Edition. However, if you’re in remission, Huel Black Edition may actually be beneficial.
  • Pregnancy & lactation - One 400kcal serving of Huel Black Edition per day is fine to include during pregnancy and for nursing/lactating mothers. Above this amount is not advised due to the different nutritional requirements to the general population.
  • Children - Huel Black Edition is not suitable for children under 4 years of age. However, older children may include Huel Black Edition as part of a balanced diet that includes a variety of other foods, but Huel Black Edition should not be their sole source of nutrition as they have different nutritional requirements to adults; for more information see our Children, Adolescents and Huel article.
  • Eating disorders - Huel Black Edition may be consumed by individuals with anorexia or bulimia nervosa as a useful source of complete nutrition. However, we recommend that individuals with eating disorders only use any Huel products after discussing their inclusion with their doctor or relevant clinician.

Huel Black Edition is not suitable for those who suffer from phenylketonuria (PKU).

Medication Interactions

Huel Black Edition is fine to consume if you’re using most medication. Although there are no obvious reasons why Huel Black Edition should be an issue, there may be specific drug-nutrient interactions relating to a particular medicine you're using, so we recommend you read the drug information provided with your prescription, and if you have any further concerns, please discuss them with your doctor.

Allergen Advice

All Huel products are 100% vegan. We thoroughly assess our ingredients and the processes we use to make Huel and whenever we identify potential routes of allergen contamination we will first take steps to eliminate the possibility of any contamination of our product. However, where it is not possible to remove the risk we will clearly highlight any allergens that might be present on our product packaging in line with current UK and EU food safety guidelines.

However, we recognise that individuals can have allergies to any protein in any ingredient therefore if you have a specific allergy that is outside of the remit above, please contact us directly and we will do our best to guide you on which products are suitable.

Huel Black Edition is gluten-free. It’s also avenin-free: it does not contain any oats so is also suitable for those with an oat intolerance and coeliacs who have an adverse reaction to oats.

Further reading

References

  1. Dietary reference values for food energy and nutrients for the United Kingdom. Report of the Panel on Dietary Reference Values of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy. Reports on health and social subjects. 1991; 41:1-210.
  2. Marten B, et al. Medium-chain triglycerides. International Dairy Journal. 2006; 16(11):1374-82.
  3. Institute LP. Oregon State University Essential Fatty Acids. Date Accessed: 25/11/19. [Available from: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/essential-fatty-acids]
  4. MHLW. Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese (2015). Tokyo, Japan 2018.
  5. Weigle DS, et al. A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2005; 82(1):41-8.
  6. Gallaher D. Dietary Fiber. Washington, D.C: ILSI Press; 2006.
  7. Schlemmer U, et al. Phytate in foods and significance for humans: Food sources, intake, processing, bioavailability, protective role and analysis. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 2009; 53:S330-S75.
  8. Teucher B, et al. Enhancers of iron absorption: Ascorbic acid and other organic acids. International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. 2004; 74(6):403-19.
  9. Leitzmann C. Characteristics and Health Benefits of Phytochemicals. Forsch Komplementmed. 2016; 23(2):69-74.
  10. Majeed M, et al. Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 supplementation in the management of diarrhea predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome: a double blind randomized placebo controlled pilot clinical study. Nutr J. 2016; 15:21.
  11. Hemarajata P, et al. Effects of probiotics on gut microbiota: mechanisms of intestinal immunomodulation and neuromodulation. Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2013; 6(1):39-51.
  12. Nagpal R, et al. Human-origin probiotic cocktail increases short-chain fatty acid production via modulation of mice and human gut microbiome. Sci Rep. 2018; 8(1):12649
  13. Jayabalan R, et al. A Review on Kombucha Tea—Microbiology, Composition, Fermentation, Beneficial Effects, Toxicity, and Tea Fungus. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 2014; 13(4):538-50

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