Fats and macronutrient contents in Soylent


#1

I have been doing a little internet research lately and comparing products on blendrunner.com. There is one thing that leaves me scratching my head. Why does Soylent have, by far, the hightest percentage of fat content compared to its competitors? I am confident that Rosa Labs knows what they are doing and that what they are selling us is healthy and nutritious - but what are the reasons for the disparity in fat content? Does anyone have ideas or comments on that?


#2

“By far”? Rosa is 47% fats, Mana is 45%, Aussielent is 47%, Saturo is 45%, Nutrifil is 40%. Etc. …really the “default view” on your link shows only one maker who has a lot less, and that’s Jimmy Joy, who tends to be around 25% fats, with most of the “missing” fat being replaced by carbs. Frankly, I’ll keep the fat.


#3

Well OK, it is not the only one with that percentage of fat/oil. But out of the ones I’m interested in, vegan powders that ship to the USA, at 45% Soylent is pretty high. Ambronite is at 32%. Queal vegan is 33%. Jake Original is 31%. Huel is 30%. Anyway, my desire is not to argue about the fat content, but to try to understand why it is what it is. According to a macronutrient calculator that I found online, for my age, body type, and activity level, I should be at around 30% fats, which would make Soylent a high fat food for me. So I’m trying to understand what the story is.


#4

There’s a lot of controversy over whether it’s better to have more fats or more carbs. For a long time high fat diets were seen as bad, but in the past decade or so some research has indicated that fats are healthier than excess carbs. This is made more complex by the fact that some carbs are healthier than others, and some fats are healthier than others. I think what you see is different companies building their product based on different beliefs.


#5

What wms said, plus: Fat has a higher energy density, therefore you need less fat (per gram of food) to fulfill your calorie requirements.

The added benefit of getting more of your calories from fat is that you will stay satiated for longer with a lower insulin spike.

Just remember that health-wise, it depends on what kind of fats and what ratios you are consuming
(Personally I get less bloating and water retention with a higher fat diet).


#6

I wish it had more fat! Why would anyone seeking a healthy diet want more carbs?!


#7

I like carbs myself. It is my favorite food group! But I guess there are different opinions out there re macronutrient levels. Here is one calculator I found, but the results on it are different from the other one that I did. Oh well!


#8

Don’t get me wrong, I love carbs too! They’re just not healthy… look at it this way… if you are and active person and need more than 2000kcal of energy a day you can supplement with delicious carbs!


#9

Somehow I don’t think that “healthy eater” calculator is very accurate. No matter if I put sedantary or extremely active in the calculator it always says 25% fat. All it does is adjust the total calories. The latest dietary science seems to show we should be avoiding most carbs (save for fuel for extreme high HR workouts… but then if I need that I can just chug a Gatorade which is mostly sugar). Over all I think we’re better off with more healthy fats.


#14

I agree. The fat is too damn high. But they seem like good/OK fats. Your hair and nails will grow faster and your skin will glow. I wish it was slightly leaner though.


#15

That’s a false dichotomy. Why not more protein?


#16

That presupposes fat is replaced with carbs. Why not replace it with protein?


#17

That presumes that someone seeks more carbs (which isn’t necessarily bad). What if they want more protein instead? The brain runs on carbs, so more carbs is just fine if you do a lot of concentration. (The brain can also run on fats too.)


#18

Sure, you can replace with protein. But non-athletes don’t need much protein, and it tends to be expensive (compared to fats and carbs), so that’s why you see most soylent-type foods all having the same amount.

I do exercise a lot, and have seen that I need more protein than Soylent provides, so I mix in some whey and everything works well for me.


#19

High protein (esp 45% of calories) will put excessive stress on your kidneys. Again, Fat has a higher energy density than carbs, or protein for that matter. Depending on the source: Carbs 4cal/g, Protein 4cal/g, Fat 9cal/g.

Also a high protein meal will also spike your insulin, it is called neoglucogenesis, your body will convert the protein into glucose (eventually).

There are lot more sources of info on the topic of macros on this forum, just search Macros.


#20

There actually isn’t any proof that high protein diets effect the kidneys in individuals without related medical conditions. I’ve also never heard of protein spiking your insulin, it seems especially weird when you consider that certain carbs (the complex, slow to digest variety) don’t even do that.

… although, there really isn’t any reason for protein to be half of your calories unless you’re trying some weird super low calorie, super high protein diet. There just aren’t any benefits of having more protein beyond a certain point (what your body can utilize), unless you just enjoy those types of foods.


#21

On my club run yesterday I met a PHD student at USC studying high protein diets in older populations. Early indications are excessive protein might increase the risk of some cancers.

I’ve read elsewhere that there’s a ceiling to the useful amount of protein in the diet… doesn’t seem much use in going over 20% for most folks.


#22

The National Institute of Health’s Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range for Total Fat for the Adult life stage = 20-35%. link


#23

Low carb diets could shorten life

Sigh… headlines like this are problematic on so many fronts. What KINDS of fats? Plant or animal? What KINDS of carbs? Soda, OJ and white bread? Or fruits and vegetables?

Fortunately the authors did consider plant vs animal fats and concluded low carb diets using plant fats (like Soylent) are likely more healthy than moderate carb diets.

“When carbohydrate intake is reduced in the diet, there are benefits when this is replaced with plant-origin fat and protein food sources, but not when replaced with animal-origin sources such as meats.”

So really this headline should have been “Low carb diets could shorten life*”

“* unless the additional fat and protein comes from plant sources”


#24

That was interesting, thanks. And it points out the pitfalls of people following fad diets and only thinking in terms of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins - without considering where they come from.