Concerns about Soylent -- What is your response?


#1

I’m considering using Soylent, so I’ve been asking around about it. I asked some friends that know more about health than myself, and the main objections raised are that there are too many carbohydrates, a lack of good omega fatty acids, and a lack of phytonutrients. My friend recommended that if I use Soylent I also incorporate vegetables and fish. Most people that I have talked to that are on Soylent, however, seem pretty happy. So what are your thoughts about these concerns? Thanks for the help.


#2

This has been discussed at length. Have you searched for information on these topics here? To kick things off, here’s a summary of an article from today’s Science Daily.

Dietary guidelines for Americans shouldn’t place limits on total fat intake
Posted: 23 Jun 2015 08:31 AM PDT
Researchers call on the American federal government to drop restrictions on total fat consumption in the forthcoming 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.


#3

Your post didn’t really tell me anything, no offense.


#4

It might be more useful if you linked to the article too.

(Although seeing as he asked about “too many carbohydrates, a lack of good omega fatty acids, and a lack of phytonutrients”, I’m not super-clear on the relevance of an article about recommended total fat consumption limits.)


#5

I’ve personally got no idea, but here’s the results of a quick search on these forums about the issues you mention — there might be some informative stuff in these threads (equally, there might not):

Soylent’s FAQ page about carbohydrates has a bunch of details, including how much Soylent you’ll need to charge your iPhone, although it might not actually answer what I think your question is (i.e. is there too much carbohydrate in Soylent).


#6

Thanks! This is much more useful.

EDIT: It sounds like what I heard for the most part was correct. Soylent is lacking in Phytonutrients. I could probably drink tea as well as the Soylent to get those phytonutrients. I always feel better when I drink hot tea anyways.

On the omega fatty acids, it sounds like most of what Soylent has is omega 6, which is the omega most people get too much of from what I heard. I don’t really know if that is enough omega 3 or not, though, and I don’t know if the other omegas would be beneficial. Maybe someone else would know that kind of stuff. The omegas does look like a weakness of Soylent at first glance, though.

On the Carboyhydrate part, that one didn’t really answer what I was looking for (as you expected). General theory is that too many carbs is bad, and Soylent sure does have a lot of carbs. Also, almost all of the fiber looks to be soluble, while very little of it looks to be insoluble. These things are necessarily deal breakers for me, but I was hoping these objections weren’t true.


#7

Well, “lacking” suggests it should have them, and at the risk of making unfounded assertions, the third sentence of Wikipedia’s phytochemical article says they’re not established as essential nutrients.

It must be bad then!


#8

Lacking does not necessarily imply that Soylent should have them. It simply means that Soylent doesn’t have them. I could even say, “Soylent is lacking rat poison.” That would be a good thing for Soylent to lack, and my comment in no way implies that Soylent should have rat poison in it.

As for phytonutrients not being established essential nutrients, that doesn’t mean they aren’t good for you. If someone is to have nothing but Soylent, it would certainly be nice to get beneficial things that may not be essential for the body to function, so I don’t think going down the path of arguing about whether phytonutrients are essential or not is the correct path.

As for your sarcastic comment about how Soylent must be bad because it has too many carbs, I wasn’t not necessarily saying that at all. I’m not anti-Soylent. If I was, I wouldn’t be considering getting the product. If I am to get the product, I want to know how many meals I should plan on using it for. So please don’t get me wrong: While I am raising concerns, I am not saying that Soylent is inherently bad. In fact, I’ve already come to the conclusion that it would be better than my current diet.


#9

Not to be pedantic about English but: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/lack — it does carry at least some implication that the absence is undesired, like “free” carries the implication of a desired absence.

But: cool cool, I get your meaning now. Have you got any specifics on the benefits of any phytonutrients?

Sure, and I’d be fine if you did say that Soylent was inherently bad. It’s just that you’re phrasing your concerns in a really vague way, which makes it a bit difficult to discuss them usefully. Then again, I am very il-informed about nutrition. Hopefully someone more in the know than me will come along.


#10

Not to be pedantic about English but: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/lack — it does carry at least some implication that the absence is undesired, like “free” carries the implication of a desired absence.

I already gave you an example that refutes your point. Again, if I say that Soylent is lacking rat poison, I’m not saying or implying that Soylent should have rat poison in it. If you look up definitions of the word “lack”, you’ll see definitions like “without OR deficient in”, “absent of”, etc. The word lack does not have to imply that being absent of that something is undesired whatsoever, not matter how badly you want that to be so.

Sure, and I’d be fine if you did say that Soylent was inherently bad. It’s just that you’re phrasing your concerns in a really vague way, which makes it a bit difficult to discuss them usefully. Then again, I am very il-informed about nutrition. Hopefully someone more in the know than me will come along.

Well, my concerns are pretty vague concerns. I think I adequately asked the question .I’m really getting the feeling that you have a problem with anybody that gives Soylent any criticism whatsoever. Criticism is how find faults in things and improve them, so we shouldn’t be scared of criticism of a product we like, especially if that criticism is valid. I’m not quite sure how you want me to be more specific to be honest.


#11

I would recommed a multistage approach to your questions.
1 use the search at the top of the forum and you will find multiple treads discussing in detail the topics you mentioned.
2 visit the FAQ page of Soylent.com. They have provided not only well researched and easily understandable information, they give the citation for the info provided.
I will mention that as for the omega 3 my personal physician is good with the 2.46 in 1.5. (Strictly 1 data point )


#12

Sure, I can understand how you’d feel like that. I just don’t think vague criticisms help much to find faults, because it’s difficult to evaluate whether they’re valid.

I’d love to see more specific criticisms, for example:

  • On phytonutrients, how are any of them good for you? What do they do?
  • On carbohydrates, how much carbohydrate is bad, and how is it bad?

If I saw some criticisms with that level of detail, I could decide a) whether Soylent lacking (let’s go with your definition) them was relevant for me, and b) whether Soylent had too much carbohydrate.

But you’re right — you don’t actually need to provide that level of detail to ask the question, hence me hoping someone more informed comes along.

It’s just that without a more concrete basis for your concern, you might well be worrying about nothing.


#13

Crikey, you’re better at science than me. The carbohydrates page made my brain want to cry.


#14

They aren’t. Soylent has a good amount of both carbs and omegas for a normal person.


#15

Btw, I meant they aren’t deal breakers. Do you know how much of each omega a person is supposed to get?

I found this article: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-supplement-guru-omega-3-vs-omega-3-6-9.html

It states that having a 4:1 omega 6 to omega 3 ratio (or higher) is unhealthy, and that a person should aim for 6 grams of omega 3 per day.

From the discussion Paul linked about omegas in Soylent 1.5, they stated that there are 2.46 grams of omega 3 and 15.61 grams of omega 6. That’s a ratio of just under 6.5:1, which is well over the 4:1 ratio recommended by the article I posted. 2.46 grams of omega 3 is also well under the recommend (again, in the article I posted) 6 grams of omega 3. Even some posters in the discussion voiced some concerns about the omega fatty acids in Soylent 1.5.


#16

It told you that these topics have been discussed. Did you find them?


#17

Do you not see me talking about them? Yes, I found a few, but they were not as extensive as you made them out to be. In fact, my points were not directly discussed. I would find it much more helpful if you just gave the response directly, but I believe you refuse to do that because you don’t have the answers. What I did find only served to legitimize the concerns my friend raised to me about Soylent.


#18

That “6g recommendation” is from some random person.

http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/DRI/DRI_Tables/macronutrients.pdf

1.6g omega 3

Recent research is showing that the omega-3 level is more important than the ratio, and Soylent exceeds the official recommendation by the USDA.


#19

You’d expect that. Not everyone around here has a problem with anybody that gives Soylent any criticism whatsoever. That’s pretty much just me.


#20

Thanks! Finally, someone who actually has some sort of answer. That helps.