Looking for a Solution to the Calories from Fat Issue in my Sheet


Continuing the discussion from My Torontonian Formula: 100% Complete @ $4.55 / Day:

Hey folks!

One of the problems I’ve been having with my formula (Google Drive Link) that I want to nail down is the fact that at present, I am obtaining 47% of my calories from an oil ingredient, the Saporito Vegetable Oil (3000ml). I’m doing this because:

  1. I want to keep the cost of my mixture down to under $5.00 / Day.
  2. I want to keep the mixture simple, and ensure there are as few ingredients as possible.

However, I’ve been told that obtaining that many calories from fat isn’t optimal, and my spreadsheet does show that with 91g of fat from the Vegetable Oil, I’m consuming 167.5% of my recommended fat intake for the day.

With that said, other suggestions such as Maltodextrin don’t really work for me; while a suitable replacement for the calories, my Mutant Mass being present in the mixture ensures that I’ll go way over on Carbs, as well as add more than $1.00 / Day to the total Cost Per Day. Even after that, I’ll still need to use the Vegetable Oil to obtain my fat content from.

Are there any other alternatives that can provide only fat and calories but provide a larger number of calories with a smaller amount of fat? If that’s at all possible, that would potentially seal the issue at hand here.

The other issue is that I’m unsure of the Omega 6 : Omega 3 ratio of Vegetable Oil and whether or not it is optimal. There seems to be plenty of good research around this at the moment; if anyone can comment on a solution that both delivers a higher calorie, lower fat option that is better balanced in the Omega department, that would make this much easier.

In addition to this, I’m open to solutions that solve this issue that aren’t oil: anything at this point that gives me the configuration I’m looking for would be helpful.

Thanks in advance guys, you’re all so wonderful and I love the little family of nutritional geeks we are here. :slight_smile:


I think you’re looking at this the wrong way. Take more than your RDA for k/cal and exercise more.


There are 4 types of calories= proteins, carbs, fats, and alcohol. Alcohol processes pretty much as sugar. more of your calories should be coming from carbohydrates. A typical 2000 kcal mix would have 85 g protein, 65 g fat, and 250 g carbohydrates, with about 125 from a starch such as oat powder, and 125 from a sugar such as maltodextrin or … sugar.


Personally, I wouldn’t worry about using high fat in itself. You will have people arguing all day about high fat vs high carb, it hasn’t been properly resolved yet, and I don’t think it ever will be.

That said, vegetable oil, well, it depends what ‘vegetable’ is used :stuck_out_tongue: - I am going to assume it will be one of the high pufa oils (sunflower etc), in which case I don’t think it is a good idea to take so much.

Olive oil is a safer bet, though perhaps a little high 06/03 (around 9/1). Canola (or rapeseed in the uk) has a much nicer 06/03. Personally I use olive and rapeseed, with much less rapeseed because the stuff I use has an ‘eccentric’ taste :wink: - but it brings down the 06/03 to something like 4/1.

There are however potential concerns with getting high quality olive oil (i.e. whether it is 9/1, or 20/1), as well as concerns about processing (which I honestly don’t know enough about to comment).

So to my understanding not only is the type of oil you use an issue, but so might the quality of the oil. Type of oil is easy, weeding through the misinformation and bullshit about concerns over production and quality is much more difficult, in fact I would love to hear others thoughts on this as well.

The best solution might be olive oil (where you are sure of the quality / production) combined with something else to slightly improve the 06/03. Perhaps using taste to suggest quality of the oil (presumably decent olive oil will taste like olive oil ;))

Or take the oatmeal approach, and go with something higher carb with a lower insulin reaction. Either way I would dump the vegetable oil though, its too random in terms of what you are getting fat wise.


No, not really.

As @Silvus says, there are three main sources of calories: carbs, protein and fat:
Carbs and protein weigh in at ±4 calories/gram, while fat gives you ±9 calories per gram. If you’re looking to lower fat without lowering the overall calories, you will have to raise either carbs, protein or both.

As Rob said in one of his earliest blogposts: the human body is quite flexible in what it can take. The body can live of a high carb or a high fat diet equally well, and depending on your body type, your body can handle any arbitrary halfway point between high carb and high fat. The tricky part is: there is no easy way of knowing what your body type is, without just eating high carb/high fat.

I suggest you keep on living of your current recipe. If you feel any aversion to fat or another symptom that would suggest that your fat intake is to high, you know you’re eating too much fat. If you get cravings for carbs, your body could use some extra carbs and you could try to change the mixture.

This is a formula to determine how much of the macronutrients you need: Calories = 4Carbs + 4Protein + 9*Fat. So if you want to consume 2000 calories, 75 gram of protein and no more than 100 gram of fat, you need to take in 200 gram of carbs (I’m assuming most people here know enough math to work with formulas, otherwise let me know and I might write up a more expanding description).
If you want to consume less fat, you need to up your carbs or protein with 9 grams per 4 gram of fat that you eat less, and vice versa.

That being said, I think there is nothing wrong with a little less carbs (especially fructose) in your diet, but that issue is being discussed in other threads on this forum.


I wouldn’t be too worried about fat content. Over the last 50 years nutrition has roughly gone through this cycle:

  • 1960’s through 1980’s: fats are bad, carbs are good!
  • 1990’s through2000’s: carbs are bad, fats are good!
  • Today: carbs are food, fats are food. Unless they’re the bad ones.

As long as your fats have a good balance between Omega 6’s and 3’s—and you avoid trans fats as much as possible—you’re golden. Canola oil is pretty awesome on that front but also can taste kinda funky, but mixing it with some olive oil mellows the flavor out a lot. I actually found that the giant 3L can of olive oil at Superstore (Loblaws in some parts of the country) that cost $15 taste pretty good mixed into Soylent (despite tasting like garbage in other foods).

As a plus, fats and protein tend to sit heavier in your stomach. No hunger problems!


For perspective, people on ketogenic diets get as much as 80% of their calories from fat, and the current scientific consensus is that this is a perfectly healthy thing to do, which won’t make you gain weight, have high cholesterol, or anything like that.


The simple answer is to take in less calories than you need in a day. That way, you ensure any fat you consume will be burned. The only time a fat becomes a “bad” fat is if you don’t burn all your calories.

If you are in maintenance, it becomes a trickier question, but in such a case, I refer you to Rick’s excellent post above, since he nailed it.


@SaladFace, @Rick, @Joshua, @nwthomas and @SuperRob - thanks so much for the excellent advice. I have experimented successfully before with 1500 calorie diets (non-Soylent - well before I learned about Soylent) and thus I think if I feel like I’ll need to cut down my formula to 1500 calories, I’ll be able to do this easily. For now though, I’ll leave it exactly the way it is - the only thing I might change is finding a different oil that is more balanced, because mine isn’t exactly a shiny 1:1 ratio.

Thanks again folks, you’ve been most helpful!


The theory I’m buying into at the moment is that I’m only going to consume as much carbohydrate as I need to fully reload my liver and muscle glycogen. Beyond that, I’m getting only the amount of protein I actually need for muscle (re)building (the body doesn’t really seem to prefer to burn protein for energy) and filling the rest of whatever I feel like eating with predominantly fat.

I’m believing this probably because I’ve lately read too much of the work of Lustig and Taubes but I haven’t come across any literature that suggests that this approach is bad or in any way unhealthy, so long as I pay attention to balancing the mono/poly/sat types of fat as well as omega 3/6.


What amounts of carb/protein/fat does that end up being for you?


@GodRaine, are you actually building and consuming your soylent regularly yet? If not (some of your posts led me to think that might still be the case), don’t you think that going ahead with some testing might help you resolve some of these questions? Just a thought…

The others are right, you know; there are just the three calorie sources, fat protein and carbs; traditionally carbs are used to make up calorie allotments as the easiest most issue-free variable. I can understand your reluctance on the maltodextrin front; the alternative to sugars is the more complex carbohydrates. If you insist on a characterless carb you might consider cornstarch. Personally I prefer whole grain sources. Latest batches of my RFA Soylent have had buckwheat flour at equal quantity with the oat powder and that’s working nicely for me. I think buckwheat is always overlooked for some reason – can’t think why, because it is really great stuff, non-cereal-grain, highly digestible.

Fat’s fat, they all seem to be much the same in caloric value. Looking for a “larger number of calories from a smaller amount of fat” is doubletalk/doublethink – the calories will still come from fat, won’t they! Anyway, I don’t think your desired superfat really exists, or if it does the body might not be too well-prepared to handle it.

All of the popular media controversies about fats and carbs seem to have propagated both carb-fear and fat-fear in most people. Macronutrients are just that, macro nutrients, they are the immediate subcategories of the category “food.” The devil’s in the details but it’s all manageable; the body is a robust system and the issues are not anything like as bad as the scare stuff in the controversy articles makes it sound!


For me: carbs 45%, fats 40%, protein 15%. Almost half of those carbs are consumed immediately after workouts, though, which is to spike insulin on purpose along with taking in ~25g of protein.


One gram of fat always has 9 calories.

You may be able to add calories with less fat and keep your costs low with some of the lower-cost proteins from truenutrition.com. They’re the cheapest protein I’ve found, although I haven’t bought any yet, so I can’t vouch for quality.


Strictly speaking there are more than three sources of calories, and not all fats are 9 KCal per gram.

Medium-chain triglycerides, SOMETIMES, can apparently burn at 7, and alcohol burns at around 7, and alcohol is a source of calories but it screws up carbohydrate metabolism rather hard because it steals one of the metabolic channels while the liver works on it.

No, I can’t give references right now.