Blood Glucose Response to Huel Powder v3.0 and Huel Black Edition

Aim

To analyze the blood glucose response of Huel v3.0 versus Huel Black Edition powders over a 135-minute period.

Background

A food containing carbohydrates will be given a Glycemic Index (GI) number. The GI is a ranking system determined by how slowly or quickly a food raises blood glucose levels[1]. This is calculated as eating the specified food only. The higher the GI value of a particular food, the faster the carbohydrates are digested and subsequently absorbed, and so the more rapidly blood glucose levels rise. Low GI foods tend to release carbohydrates gradually, resulting in a more delayed and smaller peak in blood glucose levels. You can find out more here.

The standardized GI ranges from 1 to 100. Foods are compared to pure glucose (also called dextrose), which is given a score of 100. Foods given a value above 70 are considered to have a ‘high GI’ value, between 56 and 69 a ‘medium GI’ and below 55 a ‘low GI’[2]. Huel Powder (v3.0 Vanilla) has been shown to have a GI reading of 16[3].

This trial was designed to analyze the inter-individual differences in blood glucose response following the ingestion of Huel v3.0 Powder and Huel Black Edition Powder.

Why is this important?

Generally, we are encouraged to base our meals around low GI carbohydrate sources, such as whole-grain foods, vegetables, lentils and beans[4]. Low GI carbohydrates are broken down slowly and gradually release glucose into the bloodstream over the course of a day.

Method

Twelve participants of varied age and gender volunteered to take part in the study, none of whom reported medical conditions or were using medication that may have affected the blood glucose level response.

The trial took place over two separate, non-consecutive trial days: Part I & Part II. Huel v3.0 (Vanilla) was consumed on Part I of the trial, and Huel Black Edition (Vanilla) on Part II.

In preparation for each trial day, participants were asked to fast for 12 hours overnight and arrive for the trial having consumed only water during this period. A fasted blood glucose sample was taken with a small finger-prick sample of blood using a glucometer (Accu-Chek®Mobile), immediately before the serving of Huel was consumed. Each participant was asked to consume a 400-calorie serving, approx. 100g of Huel v3.0 and 90g of Huel Black Edition, mixed with water in a Huel Shaker within the time window of 5 minutes following the initial finger-prick sample. A postprandial blood glucose test was taken immediately after ingestion, and at 15-minute intervals up to 135 minutes after consumption, giving a total of eleven readings. Blood glucose levels were recorded in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

Results

The following illustrates graphically the comparison of blood glucose response between Huel v3.0 and Huel Black Edition.

These results indicate that there was a small increase in blood glucose response to Huel v3.0 and an even smaller increase to Huel Black Edition. The difference in results is mainly due to the difference in the amount of net carbohydrates. Net carbohydrates make up 37% of the total calories of v3.0 while for Black Edition it’s 17%. Black Edition also contains more fat which slows the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates[5].

The results of Huel v3.0 (Vanilla) are similar to those that were reported on a previous trial using Huel v1.1 (Vanilla)[6].

References

  1. Brouns F, et al. Glycaemic index methodology. Nutr Res Rev. 2005; 18(1):145-71.
  2. Brand-Miller J, et al. The New Glucose Revolution Complete Guide to Glycemic Index Values: Marlowe & Company. 2003.
  3. Lightowler H, et al. Glycaemic Index Value for Huel Vanilla Powder v3.0. Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health, Oxford Brookes University; 2019.
  4. Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Glycaemic Index and Glycaemic Load. Date Accessed: 12/16/19. [Available from: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/glycemic-index-glycemic-load#table-1].
  5. Moghaddam E, et al. The Effects of Fat and Protein on Glycemic Responses in Nondiabetic Humans Vary with Waist Circumference, Fasting Plasma Insulin, and Dietary Fiber Intake. The Journal of Nutrition. 2006; 136(10):2506-11.
  6. Huel. Blood Glucose Response to Huel Vanilla Powder v1.1. 2018.

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