My wife is planning on getting pregnant shortly. We both eat soylent for 2/3 of our meals. During our first child - she ate normally (healthy) and also added in some great prenatal vitamins. I am curious if anyone here is able to give feedback on the composition of a soylent diet and having a child. I want to ensure there are no developmental issues.
This is definitely a ‘talk to your doctor’ scenario, so take everything below this line with a bag of salt.
Prenatals are great because they give you what you may be missing in your regular diet (I use them for my soylent formula just because), with a couple extras for good measure. However, I think taking prenatals on an existing soylent diet might be going overboard, especially if your formula is set up to give you everything out of those 2/3 meals; so this is where a physician can point out what may be too much or too little.
Like most will say; it’s regular food, so theoretically there shouldn’t be a danger in it, especially if you have more regular meals thrown in the mix. But, human-replication-factories are a complex system of 'wat’s that we’re still trying to figure out, and I’m definitely hesitant (admittedly due to my own lack of knowledge on the subject) on saying a powdered food formula is ‘safe’ for both the new human and the existing one.
Kind of parroting mrob here but having had a child already I’m sure your wife is familiar with the long list of “things better avoided”. A lot of the time if I press our physician she will say it comes down to the what we don’t know rather then what we know methodology of taking precaution. Many things women are advised to avoid aren’t known to be dangerous but at the same time aren’t known to be safe (with certainty). So I think the grand scheme for most folks is, what aren’t you willing to sacrifice for 9 months to insure a healthy lifetime? As hard as it would be, we would abandon Soylent (and DIY) in a heartbeat because potential risk simply can’t be ruled out.
Talk to your OB/GYN. But a partly Soylent diet is probably better than most expectant mothers’.
I foresee the issue the same as her personal trainer/nutritionist. She says “This stuff is horrible for you! Just eat food.” I see it as uneducated responses to the actual issue. I actually think this may be better for her to have than an uncontrolled diet (normal food).
This being a forum on soylent, you are liable to get biased responses.
TL;DR: add fat and protein to soylent to help build a new human, supplement unknown vitamin and mineral requirements while limiting toxins with old fashioned for in small doses. Determine the risk of Sucralose for yourself, ask rosa labs if you could get a special Sucralose free batch. When you get a craving, drink soylent, then if it persists, supplement with craving in small doses.
This is how I see it: Soylent is GRAS, as with essentially any other foods she will be eating. so I think it is on fairly neutral ground, starting with this. two things come into play: soylent may not have nutrients necessary for child gestation, conventional foods may have toxins harmful to children in gestation. I put these two possibilities as both highly likely.
This is how I would mitigate both circumstances:
Consume soylent for the vast majority of the calories, this ensures a good balance of nutrients for a healthy non pregnant state. As the body is rapidly using energy and generating cells I would consume a bit of excess soylent calories. HOWEVER, I would also add the purest protein powder to soylent as well, since amino acids are the building blocks of life. And add some additional fats as it will also be used in greater demand (the oil that is best I am unsure about, this requires some added research) Adding protein and oil would also reduce the sugar spike from the carbs in soylent, just in case.
We do know that the vitamin and mineral requirements of pregnancy change, but how is not perfectly documented. Additionally, we wouldn’t want to miss out on “phytonutrients” (i am a skeptic of their benefits on adults, but seeing as how birth defects, as horrible as they are, are at one of the best levels in history and we do not know if eliminating photo nutrients would swing that probability one way or another, I would be for leaving them in the diet). For these reasons, I would supplement soylent with small amounts of fruits and vegetables daily. But, we want to avoid toxins and anti-nutrients associated with conventional food, so I propose this:
To eliminate possibility of toxins ingested via traditional food, I would limit intake of regular food. Since it cannot be completely eliminated, I would stick to a small variety of the most nutritionally varied foods (fruits and vegetables) raised via methods with as little pesticides/herbicides as possible. (obviously since the quality of soil varies, if at all possible to determine the source of the food, aim for something far from chemical plant operations. The goal of this is to eliminate as many known non-nutrients from the diet. I suggested a small veriety so as it is easier to determine the source and quality and attain a sustainable supply for the duration of the pregnancy.
Don’t forget added sodium, soylent does not have enough and neither do plants.
Cravings: a mothers cravings are not to be ignored. Cravings are as close as our body can tell us to get specific nutrients. We can however, mis interpret them. My suggestion for cravings would be immidate consumption of at least a serving of soylent. At this point if the craving persists, and you have been adding the aforementioned small veriety of fruits and vegetables, your body should have them on tap as cravings and would likely crave one of those, in which case supplement with them as needed. If however something else is craved entirely, make the judgement yourself. some guidelines I would go by, are, if pickles are craved for, try more salt. if meat is craved for, try more protein. if ice-cream is craved for, try more fat. I think that would cover most things but sometimes you might get a red herring, who knows, you might crave pickled herring, in which case, try a bit to satisfy the craving.
I covered as much as came to mind. I would appreciate @MentalNomad 's input on this.
I’m 24, male, no children now or near future. If my girlfriend and I were having children now, we both agree this is the route we would take. I do have an OB/GYN friend (who is not on soylent), I will ask her for her advice and post any response here.
Personally, I don’t think sucralose can be justified as dangerous during gestation, as it does not enter the blood stream and the baby would not be exposed to it. And there are no significant findings of sucralose being hazardous to adults.
Also, on the topic of immunity. Some may argue that exposure bacteria and viruses in natural foods will foster a healthy… etc. However, the process during pregnancy is more dangerous. A baby will inherit the mothers immune system without exposure to any new bacteria. However, certain bacteria and viruses have been documented with causing such an immune response in the mother as to cause harm to the fetus, and for that reason, I would try to avoid exposure to bacteria and viruses in natural food as much as pesticides and herbicides. Again, the baby will inherit the mothers immune system, and the risk of being exposed to a bacteria or virus that could cause damage to the fetus out weighs the benefit of possibly improving the mothers immune system a little bit during this 9 month period as effects to the fetus have a compounding effect due to the rate of development.
Phytoestrogens from soy causing damage? Very doubtful as soylent does not actually have soy.
I wouldn’t dare suggest a course of action here, but I will say that if you do proceed with Soylent through the pregnancy, then you would be doing a great service to society by collecting data and observations before and especially after the child is born.
I second the data collection and it being a great service, though my primary motivation is for the optimal health of the baby. I edited my previous post.
I’m an adult male, and my wife and I have no kids. I have read almost nothing about neo-natal nutrition, so my only comment can be, “listen to your medical professionals.”
I was hoping you would post links to studies you were familiar with, but alas, thanks for responding.
Something to consider is that babies seem to develop a liking for foods that the mother eats during pregnancy and/or during breastfeeding. http://www.parentingscience.com/prenatal-learning-about-food.html It’s only one study, and a small one, but it’s an interesting idea. If true, your child would be predispositioned to a soylent diet.
This could be seen as a positive, and possibly the first human 2.0 that requires no vintage food and consequently has a steady mental focus. That gets my vote. (speculative)
Speaking of breast feeding, I would propose the same for that as during pregnancy. My mother got a bacterial infection while breast feeding me and despite treating it in time, it affected my gut bacteria for the duration of my life. Soylent actually makes it a better, more consistent. but I would have advised my mom to do what I proposed if i had the chance.
This is just an anecdote of what I referred to in my post.
On the topic of immune responses, it’s generally seen that having pets in a house is good for a new child; it helps develop their immune system and generally prevents autoimmune diseases down the line. Though I’m aware this is accepted as the case for the already-born, are there studies that show this is also the case for the still-loading-human? (With the understanding of cats being a risk because of toxoplasmosis).
If this is the case, is there something to be said to having at least a relatively active immune system, just not an over- active or under- active one for a developing fetus?
Talk to your doctor.
I can agree with that sentiment, we don’t need to keep an already born baby in a bubble. I was recommending minimizing immune activity while the baby was in development. Even without added bacteria in food, the mother’s immune system will remain active thanks to bacteria in the environment.
My doctor has told me (and I think I’ve seen it elsewhere on these forums) that it’s fiber that will balance out sugar spikes. My understanding is that protein & fat will just help you go longer before getting hungry again. Can someone confirm?
Don’t do it. Soylent is an experimental product and $deity knows what it will do to a foetus. Your wife should eat what she ate during her first pregnancy.
I’m happy to offer up and observe the impacts on my own health for this experiment in new food, but in your shoes I wouldn’t experiment on an unwilling subject and expose them to the same risks regardless of potential benefits. I’d suggest she consult her doctor, and if they see it as a useful partial supplement then great.
Seeing as Soylent is designed to follow the FDA’s DRIs you may be interested in looking at the FDA’s recommendations for nutrition during and after pregnancy. Of course these are just recommendations not hard rules to live by and anything your doctor says automatically overrules these recommendations. If you do decide to go with Soylent I would recommend going DIY and use actual food to meet the recommendations.