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Blood Glucose Response to Huel Vanilla Powder v1.1

Aim

To investigate the blood glucose response to Huel Vanilla Powder (US v1.1) over a 135-minute period.

Background

A food containing carbohydrates will be given a Glycemic Index (GI) number. 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.

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 has been shown to have a GI reading of 17(3).

This trial was designed to analyze the inter-individual differences in blood glucose response following the ingestion of Huel Powder Vanilla v1.1.

Why is this important?

It is advised that a portion of our meals should be made up of low GI carbohydrate sources, such as vegetables, lentils and beans(4). One example of this is the dietary guidelines which suggest a healthy eating pattern includes grains, of which at least half should be whole grains(5).

Method

Nine 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.

Before the trial, participants fasted for 12 hours overnight during which time they could only consume water. On the day of the trial, a small finger-prick sample of blood was taken using a glucometer (Accu-Chek®Mobile) to record the participants’ fasting blood glucose. Each participant subsequently consumed a 400kcal serving (100g) of Huel mixed with water within a 5-minute time window. A postprandial blood glucose test was taken immediately after ingestion, and every 15 minutes after this reading for 135 minutes, giving a total of 11 readings. Blood glucose levels were recorded in millimoles per liter (mmol/L) and converted to milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) using the Society for Biomedical Diabetes Research blood sugar converter.

Results

Figure 1. Graph to show the average blood glucose response of nine participants when 100g of Huel Vanilla Powder v1.1 is consumed.

Blood Glucose results

Figure 1 illustrates that there was a small increase in blood glucose response with a peak of 100.8mg/dL at 30 minutes from a fasting blood glucose value of 81. A higher GI food would have a much taller peak representing a higher blood glucose response. It would also take longer for blood glucose levels to return to pre-meal levels following consumption of a high GI food.

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. Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health. Glycaemic Index Value for Huel Vanilla Powder v2.3. 2018.
  4. Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Glycaemic Index and Glycaemic Load. Date Accessed: 03/25/19. [Available from https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/glycemic-index-glycemic-load].
  5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition; 2015. [Available from: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/]

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