Answering a dietitian's negative feedback


I’m pretty sure that’s what food is… :stuck_out_tongue:


Granted, but Soylent largely separates micronutrient and macronutrient/energy sources. Why not keep the micronutrient “module” the same for everyone, at least initially, and vary the macronutrient/energy modules to produce several versions with different ratios and total energy? I’m sure it’s just not an immediate priority.


I think its worth considering making some micronutrients modular too, especially as we build on our knowledge of how they all function in the body. If Soylent started being a little more racist, they could up the vitamin D for their African American customers for example. Or they could research “Pregnancy Soylent”. I mean for now its fair that they just keep micros the same across the board because they have more important things to do, like building a larger customer base, but it never hurts to plan ahead.


I don’t know that they should go that far with it, I’d say a good baseline is what they should shoot for and then have “DLC” for some level of customization. For instance a “Pregnancy Booster” with the standard prenatal vitamins in it, or a Bodybuilder pack with extra protein… then you just drop that in.

But the base should be built to the average so that anyone can just grab a meal. It really loses a lot of it’s value if you have to always think about what to mix in to get your effective meal.


Exactly. The last thing I wanted when I started Soylent was to immediately be confronted with a lot of confusing decisions.


They wouldn’t need to eliminate their all in one options if they decided to also add modular options. I like LazyVegan’s idea because it would allow people to hit any calorie count and macronutrient ratio they want without sacrificing their micronutrients.


Why is it so hard for you to believe that, that much fat could not be harmless? Given that around 30 % of americans have fatty liver disease and many of them consume alcohol.

@rybecarethdar, in japan the soy is fermented. Not consumed raw. Not sure how that impacts its estrogenicity, but its not a straight comparison. Also the mediterranian diet has a lot of EPA too, not just plant oils.


Does this seem like a friggin joke to you?


As long as your other nutritional needs are met I haven’t seen any evidence that unsaturated fats are harmful.

Answering a question with another question is rather childish.


Fat although does not cause fatty liver disease, too much of it could contribute to it. I had fld and was told to reduce fat intake, and i did and my fld went away. Granted its a single anecdotal evidence.

Edit: Also i havent seen evidence that that much fat is safe either, esp for people with fld.


Not true. Miso is fermented and soy sauce is fermented. Nato is fermented with a totally different bacteria from miso and soy sauce. Edamame is young soybeans that are not fermented. Tofu is made from unfermented mature soy beans. And there are plenty of other soy based foods that are not fermented (I am not sure how common this is now, but unfermented boiled soy beans used to be a pretty large part of the typical Japanese diet). While miso and soy sauce are probably the most frequently consumed forms of soy, there are plenty of other non-fermented forms of soy that are routinely eaten (far more than in the U.S.).

I also am not certain how that affects the estrogen-like compounds, however, I do know that they are not the parts of the soy that are changed during fermentation. This means it is unlikely that there is any difference, however it is possible that fermentation by-products could react with and modify them. Again though, this is unlikely, especially given that the rather more extreme processes used in the creation of common soy products found in the U.S. have no impact (and these U.S. products are the ones that scientists did a significant amount of their research on).

The main oils found in the Mediterranean diet are from nuts and seeds. Fish oils are certainly a larger part of their diet than the average American diet, but also keep in mind that they don’t tend to eat anywhere near as much meat products (including fish) as we do in the U.S. The main fact, however, is that many people in the Mediterranean region consume 40% or more of their caloric intake in oils, and a vast majority of that comes from nuts and seeds, while most of the rest comes from fish. Supposedly some people living in that region consume as much as 60% of their calories from oils, without any noticeable side effects.

I do want to be clear that this is not the only dietary difference from people in the U.S. A larger percentage of carbs in the Mediterranean diet come from whole fruits than in the U.S., where most carbs come from refined grains and starchy vegetables (specifically, potatoes).

My point, however, has nothing to do with that. My point is that high fat diets are not inherently bad. It is more complicated than that. The studies I found when I was researching this were clear that a high fat diet also required more high glycemic index carbs to cause problems. Common high fat diets in regions where people tend to have few of the common health problems found in the U.S. also include far less refined grains and other high glycemic index carbs than the typical U.S. diet that mixes both. The problematic diets are the ones that include a lot of fat along with starchy vegetables (mostly potatoes) and high sugar intake (mostly soda or fruit juices). (High glycemic index diets are also pretty unhealthy even without the fat, but together, they are significantly worse.)


The other important part is that everyone is different. If you had a problem that went away when you reduced fat intake, then you should probably not have a high fat intake. Similarly, I know people who tried vegetarian or vegan diets, with all of the research to make sure they did it right, and they got seriously sick. A diet that works for the majority of the population will not always work with everyone. (I am hypoglycemic, so I have to be more careful about high glycemic index carbs. This means that my diet needs more protein and fats than the average person.)


You dont seem to comment a lot but when you do, my god, the substance. Not complaining im learning a lot :smile:


I understand that. A diet with 5-25% calories from fat is low fat, with some consequences. But the 35% limit is what any clinical dietician will be aiming for, since it is established in the scientific consensus (meaning that the medical community has determined that it’s the advice to give). And unless I’m reading incorrectly, your study doesn’t show any diet with more than 36% of the calories from fat. The replacement of saturated fats with unsaturated ones does not mean to increase the amount of fats. Simply changing the diet to a higher proportion of fats without any other modification to diet or exercise would result in higher proportion of fat in the body, at least in the short to medium term.

Because Soylent is aiming to be complete and balanced nutrition, I find it interesting that in this area of fat content, Soylent is higher than the 35%. Is it just because fat’s cheaper, as many have suggested? If there’s a compelling reason that could convince clinical dieticians to deviate from the current medical advice, why isn’t it in the FAQ??


Calories becomes body fat, dietary fat is not more likely than dietary carbs to become body fat.

RL hasn’t deviated from the current medical advice, Soylent doesn’t have trans fat and doesn’t get near the saturated fats limit. Dietary guidelines set a maximum fat percentage to reduce occurrence of those two fat types, as they state if you look for their reasoning.


Which type of fat did you reduce?

Lots of people seem to be quite healthy on keto diets, and I suspect many of them are far above 35% fat.


That study wasn’t really intended to advocate higher than 35% of calories from fat. It was only meant to show that diets high in monounsaturated fats improve cholesterol numbers. For that I should of posted this study. It shows that a diet with 56% fat had no ill effects compared to a high carb diet and in fact improved cholesterol numbers. This study also seems to disprove your theory that a high fat diet will make you fat because the body composition numbers between the two groups where close enough.

Carbs are by far the cheapest form of calories. As others have said the fat content of Soylent is to lower its GL and GI and to improve satiation.

See the above study.

I too find some of their FAQs to be sparsely sourced and wish they did a better job of proving their point and answering questions like yours. I’m sure there are other people that have the same concerns.


The current scientific consensus is just that: consensus. It is based on unproven theories. Specifically, it is based on the theory that consuming more fat causes the body to store more fat. More recent research has shown that this is only true when blood sugar is consistently high.

The problem that we are looking at is that it takes time for research and knowledge to propagate from the research community to the educational community. Public schools still teach physics principles that were proven false in the 70s and 80s. The most recent research on fat intake was in the mid 2000s, so it is no surprise that even the most recent graduates in the field of nutrition are not up to date on the most recent discoveries.


I don’t comment a lot because when I do, it takes a lot of time (I have gotten sucked in too many times, so I am more careful now). Sometimes things just need to be said though, and I have a lot of research under my belt from trying to come up with my own soylent recipes that are food stamp friendly. (I even wrote a simple program to do some of the math for me. Eventually, I want to make it come up with formulas for nutritionally balanced recipes, given a list of ingredients with their nutritional properties, which is part of the reason I did so much research on IOM recommendations, upper limits, and macronutrient recommendations. I don’t know if I will ever have the time to finish it though. I hope so.)


Do you happen to remember what your cholesterol, blood sugar, and weight were like then? Have those numbers improved since the diet change?

You may not be too far off base about fat causing fatty liver. Fat is higher in calories than protein and carbs which would make it easier for someone to gain weight if they don’t control their calorie intake well. Being obese is one of the conditions associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

It’s not impossible that your doctors advice was aimed at lowering your weight and saturated/trans fat intake. Both are believed to help people with NAFLD.

The study I linked to in my reply to twocsies suggests that it is beneficial to people without NAFLD. The study didn’t even remotely look at people with a fatty liver. One of the conditions associated with NAFLD is high cholesterol. High cholesterol is associated with saturated and trans fats and negatively associated with unsaturated fats. So while that is not proof it is suggestive.