Huel comparison to YFood

Both Huel and YFood have the same overall goal; to provide nutritious, affordable food with minimal impact on the environment. We do, of course, have several differences, and we could go on about how much we prefer Huel, but we’d rather leave that up to you.

This is a fact-based comparison looking at objective categories such as nutrition and price. We haven’t compared subjective factors such as taste or texture, as they are personal to you.

The most important facts

  • Huel Powder contains 95% less sugar than YFood’s powder
  • Huel products contain MCTs from pure MCT oil whereas in YFood they come from coconut milk
  • Huel products use milled oats and flaxseed because they provide complex carbs, fibre and several micronutrients
  • Huel products are formulated by Registered Nutritionists and former Dietitian James Collier

Huel Powder v3.0 compared with YFood Powder

Per 2000kcal

Huel Powder v3.0 (Vanilla)

YFood Powder (Vanilla) [1]

Protein (g)

145

130

Fibre (g)

35

35

Fat (g)

64

90

Sugar (g)

4

75

Main Carb Sources

Oats, flaxseed, tapioca

Chicory root fibres, oat fibres, modified starch

Contains Soy

No 

No

Contains MCTs

Yes

Yes

Price per 400kcal meal

£1.32

£1.50

Delivery Charges

Free delivery in UK

Free delivery in UK

*Correct as of 30/12/20. Price calculated on subscription (if available) for a minimum order, not including delivery.

Huel contains a whopping 95% less sugar than YFood. This is because the carbohydrates in Huel are mainly complex carbohydrates from oats and flaxseed which are digested and absorbed slowly over time. This helps to provide a steady release of energy over several hours. 

Both Huel Powder v3.0 and YFood include protein above the Reference Intake (RI). This is because protein has several benefits such as being the most satiating macronutrient [2]. However, Huel contains slightly more protein than YFood. You can find out more about protein in our article Guide to Protein Quality, Digestion and Absorption.

Huel Powder v3.0 contains flaxseed and sunflower oil to achieve a great omega-3:omega-6 ratio of less than 1:1 [3]. On the other hand, YFood uses sunflower and rapeseed oils. Both Huel Powder v3.0 and YFood contain medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut, however in Huel they are provided by pure MCT oil while YFood uses coconut milk. 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 [4].

A large proportion of the vitamins and minerals in Huel Powder are from the main ingredients or naturally occurring, rather than being added. Zinc is one example as 100% of the zinc in Huel is naturally occurring in the six main ingredients.

Vitamins & Minerals

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 [5], so we've reflected this in the Huel Powder formula. The benefits of consuming more vitamin C include a healthy immune system, healthy skin and antioxidant properties [5].

Choline is not considered to be an essential nutrient in the EU, but it is in the US. However, the body can’t produce the amount of choline it requires so we must get it from the diet [6]. Choline is really important for brain health and muscle movement which is why there is over 100mg of Choline per Huel meal [7]. YFood doesn’t contain choline.

L-methylfolate calcium is used as a source of folate in Huel Powder, while YFood use folic acid. L-methylfolate calcium is 1000 times more expensive, but the bioavailability is higher [8]. 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 [9].

Additional Nutrients

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 [10]. 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.

Huel Ready-to-drink compared with YFood Ready-to-drink

 

Per 2000kcal

Huel RTD (v1.0) (Vanilla)

YFood RTD (Vanilla) [11]

Protein (g)

100

136

Fibre (g)

29

30

Fat (g)

93

88

Sugar (g)

22

88

Main Carb Sources

Tapioca starch, oats, flaxseed

Semi-skimmed milk, maltodextrin, rice starch

Contains Soy

No

No

Contains MCTs

Yes

No

Price per 400kcal meal

£2.51

£2.37

Free delivery in the UK

Free delivery in UK

Free delivery in UK

*Correct as of 30/12/20. Price calculated on subscription (if available) for a minimum order, not including delivery.

Macronutrients

Huel Ready-to-drink contains around a third less protein than YFood. Like the powders, the protein in Huel mainly comes from brown rice and pea protein while YFood uses milk protein. Both Huel and YFood are complete protein sources.

Huel Ready-to-drink contains flaxseed while YFood 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 provides MCTs, a preferable saturated fatty acid source which again, YFood 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 75% less sugar than YFood.

Vitamins & Minerals

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 and vitamin B12 in Huel Ready-to-drink are higher than in YFood to ensure adequate absorption of all 26 essential vitamins and minerals. 

Similarly, Huel RTD contains choline because of its many vital roles in the body. Like the powder, YFood RTD doesn’t contain choline.

Comparison with the vegan YFood drink

As an alternative to the classic YFood drinking meal with dairy products, they offer a vegan ready-to-drink.

Huel Ready-to-drink compared with YFood Vegan Ready-to-drink

Per 2000kcal

Huel RTD (v1.0) (Vanilla)

YFood Vegan RTD (Vanilla) [12]

Protein (g)

100

104

Fibre (g)

29

37

Fat (g)

93

96

Sugar (g)

22

17

Main Carb Sources

Tapioca starch, oats, flaxseed

Maltodextrin, tapioca starch, rice flour 

Contains Soy

No

Yes

Contains MCTs

Yes

No

Price per 400kcal meal

£2.51

£3.19

Free delivery in UK

Free delivery in UK

Free delivery in UK

*Correct as of 30/12/20. Price calculated on subscription (if available) for a minimum order, not including delivery.

Macronutrients

Huel Ready-to-drink and YFood Vegan contain a similar amount of protein. Like the powders, the protein in Huel mainly comes from brown rice and pea protein while YFood uses soy protein. Both Huel and YFood are complete protein sources.

Both YFood RTD options are lacking an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids. The presence of flaxseed in Huel Ready-to-drink ensures an almost ideal omega-3:omega-6 fatty acid ratio as well as ample amounts of alpha-linolenic acid. Huel Ready-to-drink also provides MCTs, a preferable saturated fatty acid source which again, YFood doesn’t.

The carbohydrate sources in Huel Ready-to-drink results in a low glycaemic index (GI) of 25 and creates a smooth mouthfeel. Maltodextrin has a high GI and provides little nutrition beyond calories which is why we don’t use it as a source of carbohydrates. 

Vitamins & Minerals

The same micronutrient forms in the classic YFood RTD are used in their vegan version. Huel Ready-to-drink uses L-methylfolate calcium over folic acid and the amount of vitamin D and vitamin B12 in Huel Ready-to-drink are higher than in YFood to ensure adequate absorption of all 26 essential vitamins and minerals. 

Similarly, Huel RTD contains choline because of its many vital roles in the body. Like the powder, YFood RTD doesn’t contain choline.

Summary

We hope this comparison has made your decision a little easier. We encourage you to try Huel, as well as the other products on the market so you can see what suits you best, from nutrition to sustainability.

Ready to try Huel? Check out our product range.

References

  1.       YFood. Complete Meal Powder Vanilla. Date Accessed: 08/12/20. [Available from: https://uk.yfood.eu/collections/homepage/products/yfood-powder]
  2.       Hermsdorff HH, et al. [Macronutrient profile affects diet-induced thermogenesis and energy intake]. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2007; 57(1):33-42.
  3.       Simopoulos AP. The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie. 2002; 56(8):365-79.
  4.       Schonfeld P, et al. Short- and medium-chain fatty acids in energy metabolism: the cellular perspective. J Lipid Res. 2016; 57(6):943-54.
  5.       Frei B, et al. Authors' perspective: What is the optimum intake of vitamin C in humans? Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2012; 52(9):815-29.
  6.         Zeisel SH, et al. Choline: an essential nutrient for public health. Nutr Rev. 2009; 67(11):615-23.
  7.         NIH. Choline. Date Accessed: 18/10/19. [Available from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-HealthProfessional/]
  8.       Scaglione F, et al. Folate, folic acid and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate are not the same thing. Xenobiotica. 2014; 44(5):480-8.
  9. Lodge JK. Vitamin E bioavailability in humans. J Plant Physiol. 2005; 162(7):790-6.
  10.       Zhang YJ, et al. Antioxidant Phytochemicals for the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Diseases. Molecules. 2015; 20(12):21138-56.
  11.       YFood. Ready-to-drink meal 500ml, Vanilla. Date Accessed: 08/12/20. [Available from: https://uk.yfood.eu/collections/yfood-drinks/products/yfood-500ml-meal-replacement]
  12.       YFood. Vegan Ready-to-drink meal 500ml, Vanilla. Date Accessed: 08/12/20. [Available from: https://uk.yfood.eu/collections/yfood-drinks/products/vegan-ready-to-drink-meal-500ml]

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