Queal Standard Review | The Gold Standard ?
The 'almost' perfect meal replacement for anyone and everyone
Queal Steady Standard at a glance
Queal Steady (Standard), recently renamed from Queal Standard is a meal replacement targeted to the overall population. For less than $2.5 (€2.33), you can enjoy a delicious 700kcal meal in up to 7 different flavours. All within minutes. Is Queal Steady what you need to balance your diet and get the quality nutrients that you need?
However, the question remains: is Queal Standard the meal replacement for you? Let’s find out. We discussed some of the details of Queal’s philosophy when designing their food replacements: high protein profiles and each serving providing you one third of your daily macro and micronutrients.
This is the Queal Steady Standard v5.0 iteration where there have been significant changes to the formula, most noticeably:
- The main source of carbohydrates becomes an even split of isomaltulose and maltodextrin, which lowers the GI to 50.
- The amount of protein per serving is lowered to 35g per serving from 49.2g (33% reduction) in favour of more fats (from 18.4g to 24.3g)
- This changed the macronutrient split from 46C/29P/25F to 46C/20P/34F.
- Palm oil has been removed as fat source (which we critiqued before).
Macronutrients per serving (g)
% of Energy from each macronutrient
% of Recommended Intake per serving
- RI based on 2,000kcal
- RI based on 2,500kcal
Queal standard is beautifully balanced in both macros and micros. Therefore it is a very healthy meal replacement, for anybody looking to improve their lifestyle and their diet. Just for this reason alone, we would recommend this product to most people.
Queal Standard provides 700kcal per serving, for a total of 2,100kcal if all your food intake came from it. If you have moderate or low activity levels, as a male you will aim for 2,200 to 2,400kcal a day – 5% up and down depending your height and weight- and between 1,800 and 2,000 as a woman. Thus, Queal Standard could be the ideal lunch or dinner, without compromising the other meals (you could even have 2 or 3 Queal’s a day, if you wanted!). For those with more active profiles or between the ages of 19-30 (especially, if male), we would recommend the Athletic version.
Hey! Nutrition is not only about getting the calories you need, but ensuring they are quality calories packed with nutrients. USDA, HHS and EFSA recommend that between 45-65% of the energy you take during the day comes from carbohydrates (acceptable macronutrient distribution range or AMDR, remember this!). Queal Standard contains 80.4g of carbs per serving (31.9% of RI). Based on a diet of 2,000kcal, you would get 48% of energy from carbs. This is in the lower AMDRs set for carbohydrates.
The main sources of carbs for Queal Standard are oat flour, maltodextrin, isomaltulose and soy flour. You should get your carbs preferably from complex carbohydrates, such as, starch or whole grain, as opposed to simple sugars, like glucose, fructose or galactose (often names as added sugars).
Queal Sugars are high, but GI is 50; why?
Saying that, each Queal Standard serving provides with 25g of sugars, why? This is due to isomaltulose, a disaccharide (two simple sugars attached to each other), that behaves like a complex carbohydrate. It takes longer for the body to break it down and it has less impact in blood sugar what you would expect. As such, isomaltulose is widely used in the industry (Soylent, Next Level Meal, Saturo…); also backed up with recent findings on how isomaltulose helps preventing insulin resistance.
That said, the GI of Queal v5.0 is 50, which is fairly high for a meal replacement with so many fats (which tend to lower the GI) and higher than many of its competitors, such as Pulve, or Huel (GI 27); but medium in the GI scale. Not something that should cause much problems in the long run.
Each serving of Queal Standard does also provide with 11.7g of fiber (58% of the RI), which should be plenty to help you with a healthy bowel.
Between 20-35% of the total daily energy should come from fats (AMDR!). Friendly reminder: fats are necessary for maintaining body temperature and as secondary energy source, among other things. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFA), are the good guys. Saturated fats are recommended in moderation and trans-fats should be avoided.
Queal Standard provides a very healthy split of fats. Each serving provides with 24.3g of fat, which would equate to 31% of kcal income; and 3g of saturated fats (15% of RI). The main sources are sunflower oil, whole grain oat flur, soy flour and flaxseed oil (from most to least). Sunflower oil (heavy in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids) and flaxseed oil (rich in omega-3 fatty acids) is a combination that is often used in order to balance the omega-3/6 ratio. In fact, Queal v5.0’s ratio is 1/2, which is within the ideal 1/1-1/4 range.
Omega-3 comes from ALA
Each serving has 2.5g of alpha-lineolenic acid (ALA, omega-3), which is necessary to convert into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These two omega-3 fatty acids are primordial for essential body processes and decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The convertion rate of ALA into DHA is about 8-20% and to EPA 1-9%. Thus, even if the combined intake of EPA and DHA is 0.25g to 0.5g, the ALA intake needs to be much higher.
Polyunsaturated and Monounsatured fatty acids
Each serving provides with 8.4g of MUFA, which represent 19% of the total energy per serving; and 4.0g of PUFA, 8.6% of the energy. The WHO recommends that 15-20% of the energy should come from MUFA and that 6-11% fom PUFA, hence Queal Standards fits perfectly within the recommendations.
AMDR for protein are between 10 and 35% of total kcal consumed during the day. This is, between 50 and 175g based on a 2,000kcal diet. Queal Standard provides 20% of the calories from protein.
Queal uses 82% whey protein concentrate that is derived from cheese. Whey protein is the golden standard of proteins, since it provides plenty of essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids, linked to stimulation of protein synthesis and recovery after exercise.
Queal used to characterize for very high protein meal replacements, and for me this was one of their selling points. However, after the protein content has been lowered to 35g per serving from 49.2g (this is a whooping 33% reduction) I feel this is no longer the case. In fact, you will “only” get 105g of protein per 3 servings now, which might not be enough for sportier people.
Beside sportiness, there are other reasons why I support high protein diets. Firstly, high protein diets have not been linked to major negative health effects, unless it is coupled with incorrect intake of the other two macros (which is not the case in Queal Standard). There is very little evidence of harm in the kidneys due to excess work from long-term high protein diets. Secondly, protein helps with the feeling of staying full for longer and decrease overall food intake. Lastly, higher protein intakes have been recommended in the elderly for healthier bone structure and decreased risk for osteoporosis.
All this said, 105g are 1.31g/kg of bodyweight for a 80kg individual (which is above the 0.8g/kg of bodyweight recommended), which means that for most it will be enough protein.
Queal standard is optimized with a mix of vitamins and minerals, custom for each variation of the meal replacement products. Each serving provides you with a third of the recommended dietary allowance set by the EFSA or the Dutch government. You will be able to get the fool range of vitamins (A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K), as well as, the mineral needs (iron, copper, manganese, potassium, selenium, zinc, etc.).
So after all the gibberish about nutrition, let’s get down to the real question, does it taste good? The short answer is yes, Queal Steady Standard tastes amazing in all its variations.
“The sweet aroma of smooth peanut butter and chocolate made my tastebuds dance with excitement. It has a nice light fragance that reminds you of nice chocolate. I was gladly surprised to see a correlation in the taste, smooth, chocolaty, without being overly sweet with some hints of nuts. I did not find myself willing to finish it as quickly as possible, quite the opposite, I was sad when I drink it all. The crazy chocolate peanut has a very nice aftertaste as well.” (Excuse me for the poor effort to embelish the tasting trial).
While I was in the clouds, enjoying the taste of my meal, I was brought down to Earth due to its texture. As some other customers have pointed out, it was clumpy. The standard powder version does not mix as well as we would like in the shaker. There were small lumps, while they did not affect the taste, they were a nuisance.
Another correlated problem is the consistency. It striked as powdery, specially at the back of the throat. Maybe, increasing the amount of water added might solve this problem. However, I personally enjoyed the thickness of the drink, since it made it feel more solid or food-like.
All in all, it was a very pleasant meal, easy to drink and with a nice aftertaste. I felt slightly hungry, straight after finishing, but that feeling went away in less than 5 minutes and I did not think about eating in the next 4 hours. Which is quite an accomplishment, since I’m used to eat every 3h! I would like to remark that I did not feel bloated or overly full, but rather re-energized and refocused.
What Queal Standard tastes best?
I have to say that all the Queal flavours are sweet. I found the Queal’s chocolate options to be some of the best of the market, while the vanilla and the fruity ones were OK. Most shakes improved a lot with some milk (30milk/70water upwards) and I would strongly recommend it.
- Chocolate Hazelnut Happiness (A+). Best out of the two chocolate flavours, because I personally enjoy the touch hazelnut gives to it.
- Cool Chocolate (A+). With milk it tastes like a good chocolate milkshake, just slightly thinner and without the factory-blend smoothness (which I do not mind).
- Awesome Apple Pie (A). For me it is the cinnamon touch, which is king in this flavour. It is fairly sweet and actually tastes like apple pie.
- Morning Macchiato (B). Enjoyable coffee touch, which I would recommend consuming with at least 50/50 milk-water mix.
- Super Strawberry (B). Do no expect to be a strong strawberry shake (For that I would recommend Next Level Meal Strawberry). However, the shake itself is really nice to drink.
- Smooth Vanilla (C). Reportedly, many users like this. I personally enjoy stronger vanilla flavours (like Huel and Pulve). In my opinion, this is the closes you can get to a neutral flavored Queal Standard. While not unpleasant, I did not think much of it.
- Funky Forest Fruit (C). CSimilarly to Vanilla, I found the flavour to be to plain and not distinguishable enough. I would have liked some more character (like added bitterness).
- Banana Mania. This flavour is probably great if you like Banana. I just simply do not enjoy it.
- A+ Stand-out/Favourite
- A Very Good
- B Good
- C Nothing special (not bad, just average)
Delivery, Unboxing and Packaging
I ordered Queal Standard Taster Bundle. It was shipped the same day -which is usually the case if ordered before 7pm GMT. The delivery costs were €3.03 (£2.6 or $3.27); but note that if the order was over €50, it would have been cheaper. Unfortunately, the customer needs to select each country individually when checking out for detailed shipping costs, so we cannot ensure shipping cost to be the same.
The box containing the taster bundle arrived within two days. The items were carefully laid out and wrapped with protective plastic. For first time buyers, Queal includes nice surprises, such as, a free shaker (sadly they do not give away the cool t-shirt that they used to). They also provide an informational booklet.
We need to praise the quality of the bags in which the meal replacement powder comes in. They are beautifully designed, with the logo and the flavour at the front; and nutritional information, plus instructions at the back, in both Dutch and English.
The bags have an easy open top and resealable velcro-like zip for multiple uses. The velcro provides easy sealing and I have not had any problems with spilling or odour scaping.
On this note, Queal standard is only delivered in packs of 3 meals (502g). This produces unnecessary waste, and there should be options to upgrade your bag or have your meals delivered in bigger pouches that contain several meals. I find out that not many people will make use of the “daily serving bags” and they end up being too big to carry around, but too small to be fully practical to store at home.
Who is Queal Steady Standard for?
Anybody who is looking for a healthy, balanced and quick meal. We personally think it suits sedentary and moderately active people more (people who consume 1800-2400kcal a day), and if we were fairly active we would look to buy a meal replacement richer in calories (see Queal Athletic) or increase the recommended serving. Alternatively, if you believe this to be too much for you check Queal Agile.
Does it taste good?
Yes, it tastes amazing. If you do not mind the small clumps or you have a blender in which to blend it, you will love it!
Will I get all the nutrients I need?
Definitely. Your diet will be high in protein and relatively low in carbohydrates, but you will not be getting much added sugar or saturated fats either (awesome!). However, you will have to look to consume a calcium rich product to fill for the minimal calcium and riboflavin deficiency of the product (a coffee with milk should do!).
I want to buy it. How much will it cost me?
2.33 euros or £2 per meal, plus shipping costs. You can buy it through the Queal website and you will have it in your house within 2-5 days.
I can’t get enough of it!
Make sure you take full advantage of their 30-day subscription option and safe time and money.
Wait a moment, is it perfect?
No, it is not. The powder does not mix completely when mixing with 350ml of water, it has a slightly powdery feeling (nothing uncomfortable), and the name is far from original and catchy. Also, with the lowering of protein content, I would recommend to those who have a more active lifestyle to look at Queal Athletic instead. On the opposite side, if you do not move around too much, 2,100kcal might be too much and Agile might be a better fit for you.
We love it, we strongly advise to try it; despite some minor improvements would enhance the product to be a golden standard of the industry. Great range of flavours and very tasty in most variants. I spent one week on Queal and it was a great week; I felt fully energized, satisfied with my meals and I had no problems at all. That is why I recommend it.