Answering a dietitian's negative feedback


Maybe men convert less because they aren’t as fat?


Not sure if that’s a joke or not. :smile:

Estrogens cause higher DHA concentrations in women than in men


I think it makes them sound honest, not fancy. Many brands shy away from chemical names so as not to sound scary, and only provide them in brackets when necessary to meet legal guidelines after first listing a fluffy, safe-founding name to appease the people who won’t eat anything that they can’t pronounce.


This is one dietitians opinion. RL has a prominent physician who specializes in nutrition. I have first hand knowledge they consulted with a Registered Dietitian in the development of Soylent. So -grain of salt :smirk:




Yes. And I trust her opinion. She did early consultation. She also is aware of the current formula and has not expressed any concerns. She is not a part of RL.


I am ‘guessing’ she didnt express any concern as the formula is not that concerning for women. 21% of ALA is converted to EPA/DHA in women not in men, and estrogenicity of that much isoflavones in soy might be a smaller concern for women than for men. She must have looked at it from a women’s health perspective.

This is just a guess though.


Um… yeah. Don’t you know that’s Matt’s mom? Shame on you! Soylent will now postpone shipping to Europe indefinitely so as to deny you easy access. Don’t mess with the mama. An old timer like you should know these things, and you call yourself a soylent enthusiast, pfft. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I’m sorry I’m sorry I forgot to check my genealogical records for RL employees. My bad.

@leecauble1 Saying “yes” doesn’t exactly count as proof of claim to someone who doesn’t know who you are. :laughing:


So? The last 10 years or so of research suggests that fat is harmless unless it’s trans fat. The latest massive meta-analysis suggests that even saturated fat is harmless. The USDA food guidelines have stopped warning healthy people to limit cholesterol because that’s harmless too.

…and ingest double the sugar. Need I say more?

Sounds to me like this nutritionist isn’t keeping up with the science.

CSPI summary from 2014. TL;DR: Soy won’t make you grow moobs, don’t worry about it unless you’re allergic.


@horsfield point taken. Just being brief. @kennufs Been a while since I’ve been in a discussion. Give a boy a break. :wink:


I dont know why but i feel that in a few years, even transfat will be labelled harmless.I wonder if there is a chance the fast food/meat lobby might have influenced those organisations to alter their findings.


:smile: Why is it so hard for you to believe that fat may be harmless?


I wonder if there is a chance that an advanced alien civilization might have influenced those organizations to alter their findings.


The reason they use chemical names for the vitamins is that there are different chemicals they can come from. I don’t know all of the details on this, but there are several chemicals that can provide vitamin A (the digestive process breaks down or converts them). Retinyl palmitate is primarily found in animal sources (a potential concern for vegans). Vitamin A also comes from several carotenes (alpha, beta, and gamma, specifically), usually found in plant sources. Alpha tocopherol is a form of vitamin E that comes from olive and sunflower oils. Gamma tocopherol is another form of vitamin E that comes from soybean and corn oils. I don’t know what other vitamins have multiple forms like this, but I know that many do, and even minerals have multiple chemical forms.

Anyhow, the FDA requires specific chemical names to be used because of this. A good nutritionist would know this and might even know things like how well the body absorbs each. A dietitian might not know the specifics, but in my opinion, if she does not even know that vitamins have multiple chemicals sources, she is in the wrong profession. Don’t even take it with a grain of salt. Ignore her “advice” completely, and trust the real nutritionists and dietitians employed by Soylent.

As far as the soy thing goes, I would not worry. In Japan, they have been consuming large quantities of soy for centuries, without any problems (just for the record, recent discoveries have shown that the lower average height of Japanese people is primarily caused by the fact that they live on an island, not because of diet). Yes, soy does contain estrogen mimicking chemicals, and when you feed rats more of these chemicals than the average human would consume in a lifetime, it can cause problems. What it comes down to is that even a diet of pure Soylent will provide less of these chemicals than a typical Japanese diet, and quite frankly, I am going to trust the thousands of years long “study,” on a huge population (Japan) of real humans, at realistic rates of consumption, over a few very short studies, using a small number of rats, at absurd rates of consumption.

Studies like this are great for learning the possible uses of chemicals found in foods. They are horrible for choosing what you should eat. The only real risk found in any soy studies was that feeding infants soy formula exclusively (far more than even the average Japanese adult diet) could theoretically have negative side effects (I don’t know of any cases where this has actually been observed). Given that you should not be feeding infants Soylent in the first place (and, I actually suspect that Soylent has significantly less soy than soy based infant formula), there is nothing worth being concerned about.


Transfats won’t ever be labeled harmless. The actual chemical reactions and pathways by which the harm is caused are well known.

The reason most other forms of fats were considered harmful is the theory that the body is more likely to deposit them as body fat than other calorie sources. This was disproved when it was discovered that this is only true when the diet also contains a lot of high glycemic index carbs (which get converted to glucose by the body very quickly). And, high sugar (well, high glycemic index carbs; some sugars don’t do this) intake even without high fats leads to more fat storage, so the problem was the high glycemic index carbs, not the fats.

Saturated fats were originally seen as bad, because a chemical pathway leading to harm was discovered. It turns out, however, that only a few specific fatty acids in this classification actually go through that pathway. The problem is that they are mixed in food sources of saturated fat. So, saturated fat is not as bad as they thought, but its intake should still be limited. (I doubt the meat lobby has had any influence on recent findings that fat is not bad, because it does not apply to their kind of fat.)

The most recent data on unsaturated fats I have seen is based on the common Mediterranean diet, where they consume large amounts of plant oils. This is one of the healthiest populations on Earth. It turns out that sometimes the evidence is right in front of our eyes.

That said, I understand how you feel. Despite mountains of evidence, the FDA still won’t admit that aspartame is harmful, because so many candy and soft drink companies rely on it (and because there is a lot of mixing in employment between the FDA and food companies).


Have you ever seen the old Woody Allen movie, “Sleeper”? Woody plays a health-food store clerk who’s thawed out in the distant future to find his doctors eating steak and smoking cigarettes. Turns out, it’s the best thing for you.

This has been my impression of trends in thinking about nutrition over the past four decades. One thing or another (meat, sugar, fat, carbs, soy, wheat, etc.) is demonized only to be redeemed a few years later, and then maybe demonized again, and so on. Which isn’t to say that we’re not making progress, only that it doesn’t seem to be linear.

A fairly recent trend in pharmacology is “personalized medicine,” accepting that we’re all unique, so what works for some, even most, might not work for others. I’d be surprised if this wasn’t also the case for nutrition.

I feel best with almost no added fat in my vegan diet - just a tablespoon of an omega-3, DHA supplement. (I have high cholesterol, BTW.) If I were younger or more active or had a different genetic background and history, more fat might be fine, even preferable.

I’d like to see Soylent become truly modular, instead of one-size-fits-all, allowing users to personalize macronutrient ratios and calories.


Since a lot of diet advice suggests to get 20-35% of calories from fat, it does seem strange to me that Soylent has elected to go a more experimental route. Reading the FAQ also doesn’t inform me as to why not use the 35% value. Is it for cheaper calories?


It’s not really that experimental. As that link notes, the recommended 35% top end is not intended to limit fats, it’s intended to limit the unhealthy fats which are inevitably mixed in with healthy fats in typical diets.

Since soylent is made by choosing fats, the unhealthy fats are still avoided.

RL has said in several places that the ratios are targeted to optimize satiety. You can also read into the statements the idea that they’re also trying to limit glycemic load and insulin spikes, but they don’t say that directly (perhaps because that might imply that earlier Soylent was “bad.”)


As MentalNomad said the 35% limit on fat is to limit saturated and trans fat not healthy unsaturated fats. Page 24 of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans says as much. The American Heart Association suggest that all Americans get less than 7% of their calories from saturated fat. Soylent does this. Studies also show that diets high in monounsaturated fat, like Soylent, improve cholesterol numbers.