Low carb - high fat version of soylent


I really like the idea of soylent but I wouldn’t buy it with the current ratios of macronutrients. I believe there should be a low carb option for people with different dietary needs with ratios on the lines of this:
50g carbs, 100g protein, 200g fat, keeping in mind carbs are not essential nutrients and not everybody is wants to eat 400g of that a day.

Concerns about Soylent -- What is your response?

Once they get the current version up and ready and shipping I believe they have said they would like to pu out multiple version of soylent depending on the individual consumers needs. [quote=“hereth, post:1, topic:10765”]
keeping in mind carbs are not essential nutrients
Where did you hear that? Carbs are indeed essential.


The Soylent team has expressed a willingness to make varying mixtures of Soylent. However they wanted to get a product to market first, then work on making variants/alternate recipes. They hope to be able to release more Soylent variants later this year, so keep your eyes open for new Soylent releases.


there are essential proteins and there are essential fats, never heard of an essential carbohydrate so I’m assuming carbs are not essential.


You know what they say about “assuming”, right? lol


glucose is a carbohydrate, and since its the most available form of energy, yes, it is essential. EVERY cell in your body can turn glucose into energy. Hence there is an essential carbohydrate, so yes, carbs are essential.


“energy” doesn’t mean essential, alcohol is energy too but it’s not essential, also blood glucose can still be achieved without eating carbs and the human body can also use other compound as energy.


I’m assuming for lack of evidence that carbs are essential, eskimos go long periods without carbs and their entire life with very little carbs so I don’t see how that would be essential.


“Most of your daily calories, between 45 and 65 percent, need to come from carbohydrates to provide enough energy to support everyday functions.”

With citations.


Carbohydrates are not essential nutrients. The human body can make the small amount of carbs it really needs from protein and fat. Many people, myself included, follow a ketogenic lifestyle, where daily carbohydrate intake is below 20 grams.

There are essential proteins and there are essential fats, but there are no essential carbohydrates. However, carbohydrates are the most available form of energy in most cultures, so the recommended diet includes ample amounts of carbohydrates.

The references in [quote=“jahhluv101, post:9, topic:10765”]

[/quote] do not state carbohydrates are essential, only the main article does so.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11976176 - Is dietary carbohydrate essential for human nutrition? Westman EC.
And the first few google hits on “carbohydrates essential”:

To steer back to the original topic: I, too, would like to see a low-carb Soylent. But I think such a mix would be a very low priority for Team Soylent. In my own experimentation in discovered that low-carb mixes are really hard to make, let alone letting these include a healthy balance of fats (of which every definition is disputed). I stopped soylent because I had to sacrifice some low-carb related goals.

Tl;dr: carbs are not essential, but highly recommended for most people!


Rick, in my brief experience (I’ve been consuming DIY ketogenic soylent for almost a week now), I’d say it’s not so much that low-carb mixes are hard to make as they are hard to take.

I’ve created two experimental keto recipes (“Induction Phase” and “Ongoing Ketosis”), and they both end up containing around 8% fat by volume (assuming you add enough water to make 2 quarts of the mixture) – i.e., twice the amount in whole milk.

I’ve been downing it, all right, but I can’t say the experience of drinking something with that much fat in it has been altogether enjoyable. I’m going to try some methods for reducing the amount of oil in the soylent (like consuming some of the MCT oil separately in coffee), but this seems to be a difficult issue to get around.

The upshot is that it did what it was supposed to do – i.e., it put me into ketosis quite rapidly.


I actually just started making my own keto soylent based on your recipe. I liked yours because the base recipe was simple.

I’m 1 week in and use the soylent for about half my daily calories. I’m curious, how has it been going for you? How, long have you been doing it? I haven’t yet switched to a “ongoing” type recipe with more carbs.

I found the taste a little hard at first, but with only drinking 1000 calories a day, it wasn’t so bad I found. I also recently tried using this whey: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002QZN8JW/. It tasted a lot better then the zero-carb isolate I was using thanks to the sweetener and chocolate. I wish they made zero-carb hydrolyzed I could add flavors to myself since I think the hydrolyzed is easier to stomach but I don’t wish to use the artificial sweeteners.

I don’t poop very much, but don’t really feel constipated either.

The main differences in my recipe is that for the fat source I use a mix of MCT, butter, and olive oil. I also added MSM powder and will add monosodium phosphate. I switched chia seeds for flaxseeds as well and skipped the psylum husk. From all the research I’ve read on ketosis, the need for fiber is questionable, so I’d thought I try less at first.

ketotic.org is what got me started. Zooko and Amber are great.


patch – I’ve been doing the keto thing for more than a week now, and I’d say it’s mostly going well. The Ketostix have been reading “large” since day 3, for what that’s worth. And the scale says I’ve lost 3.3kg in the past week alone. Some of that is water weight, no doubt, but that’s still quite fast.

The near-zero carb soylent is wearing a bit thin on me at this point, though, and I’m definitely ready to change things up. This weekend I’ve split the daily portion and have been eating eggs, fish, and meat just to get a break from the “fat shakes.” Hopefully where I land with the next recipe feels a bit more balanced.

I’m going to be doing some more experimentation, but I think you may be right that a flavored protein powder is the way to go when it comes to very low carb mixes.

You may also be right about the fiber – there’s plenty of conflicting information out there on that point, so it’s kind of hard to sort out what’s truly appropriate in this context.

Are you sure that you need the MSM powder? We had a discussion of this in another thread – the short version is the dietary requirement for “sulfur” actually refers to the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cysteine (not elemental sulfur or other sulfur-containing compounds), and the SAAs contained in your protein powder almost certainly exceed the requirement.


Just to clear up some confusion here, when talking about nutrition, “essential” means something that the body cannot produce. In that regard, carbs are not “essential”, as the liver can perform “gluconeogenesis” to convert protein into glucose to meet the body’s carbohydrate needs. Glucose is necessary for the production of mucous and other parts of the body’s defenses, as well as to provide some of the energy for proper brain function (about 1/3 of the brains energy needs in a starvation diet are met by glucose, the other 2/3 by ketone bodies IIRC).

There’s a very detailed discussion of this in “The Perfect Health Diet”, with lots of attributions to follow up on your research. Very informative book, IMHO.

Of course, after you read this book, you’ll likely question the value the Soylent product as more than emergency survival food. :^) Cave-man soylent anyone?


QuidNYC – I’m completely unsure if I need the MSM powder. I’ve read the thread you provided, but i’m I don’t know where to get the information to calculate how much more sulfur I might need.

My main concern is that rob noticed physical effects from lack of sulfur and that adding sulfur (presumably MSM?) almost immediately corrected it. We may get sulfur through whey, but maybe this shows that whey will not provide enough sulfur since that is the protein I think he used at the time. How much does cocoa powder provide?

I think for now I will cut the MSM in half to be cautious. 3g for the entire day.

Also, I think keto soylent can definitely taste good. More water and little flavor can go a long way. For some reason I also think the protein can really affect that stomach feel. I don’t have direct evidence that hydrolyzed whey is better but I suspect so. I’m going back to plain isolate and trying more flavors starting tmrw.


@patch Maybe read the thread again? The key here is to understand that “sulfur” in this context does not refer to elemental sulfur, but rather to SAAs.

I understand where your original concern came from (i.e., rob’s early reported experience with needing “sulfur”). But rob himself came into the thread in question and more or less stated what a number of us had already suspected:

When I was starting out I must have either not been getting enough protein, or the joint pain was caused by something else. This is the danger of a sample size of 1.

So rob has pretty explicitly recanted the notion that he was ever suffering from a “sulfur deficiency.” And there is no MSM or other “sulfur” supplementation in the official Soylent (nor should there be). Unfortunately, much of the resulting confusion and misunderstanding has persisted in the DIY community – not at all helped by the fact that the nutrient profiles on the DIY site still display a 2g/day dietary requirement under the label “Sulfur” (it should be labeled “Sulfur-Containing Amino Acids” or “SAAs” if anything).

Better yet, such a requirement should not be displayed on the site at all, because you would be hard-pressed to create a recipe that is both adequate in protein and which also falls short of the IOM’s adequate intake definition for SAAs. Dietary SAAs can be calculated by adding up the amount of methionine and cysteine in your protein sources – the reason nobody does this in real life is because nobody really needs to do this in real life. If you are eating enough protein, you should be getting enough SAAs.

There is really no reason to be supplementing with MSM – at least not in a dietary context for normal, healthy adult human being.


@QuidNYC Thank you for the clarification, that makes more sense now. I was confused around what I thought was the disparity between Rob’s experience and the research from that thread.

What do you think about phosphorous? Is there a source in your recipe?


@QuidNYC and @Rick, DIY soylent is really the best option in this case. My mix isn’t completely ketogenic (I still use oat flour), but I cut out most of the empty carbs and kept the fibers (which are essential, btw). If you’re looking for a keto solution that’s easier to consume, you might want to consider cooking your soylent instead of using a shake.

I’ve been enjoying baked soylent basically since I’ve started, and I’ve really enjoyed it. For the most part, it doesn’t even take much extra time, and it vastly increases the ease of storage, shelf life, and portability of my soylent.
Baked soylent can last for several days without going bad. It takes a couple minutes in the microwave, or about 20 in the oven. You can tailor it to meet whatever flavor profile you’d like, and you don’t have to worry about carrying around and gulping down large quantities of brownish liquid.


Phosphorus is an essential nutrient, so you need to make sure you’re getting the RDI recommended by the IOM (0.7g/day). That said, you don’t want too much, either. The main trouble here is that phosphorus from plant sources tends to be in the form of phytic acid, which has anti-nutrient properties that inhibit the absorption of certain other vitamins and minerals (see the notes section of my recipe for more info on this).

There are a number of ingredients in the “Superfood” recipe that contain phosphorus. You can see which ones they are, and the estimated amount they contain, by moving the horizontal scrollbar to the right until the appropriate table column heading is visible.


@isaackotlicky, thanks for pointing this out – I think I may well do some experimenting in this area. Though I’d imagine it could be hard to get a decent result without incorporating carbs at least in the range of ~100g, having an alternative format might not be so bad…