Post-surgery diet requires "low-fat" foods - is Soylent out?


#1

I’m about to have surgery to remove my gallbladder.
My typical diet is 5 bottles of Soylent 2.0 per day (with some regular solid food meal every week or two).

The post-surgery instructions say to eat low-fat foods for 4-6 weeks while my body learns to digest fat without a gallbladder.

Does anyone know if that includes Soylent 2.0? Do I have to stop drinking Soylent for 4-6 weeks?

Sorry to post a new topic instead of searching for hours but I’m strung up in a hospital and not exactly at my peak performance, so I reluctantly ask the group for help. Most doctors here have never heard of Soylent so describing it to them gets weird looks. They get a bit happier when I say I was 261lbs a year ago and now I’m 204, but…

Any help/advice is appreciated. Thanks.

…Jeff Keegan
jkeegan@keegan.org


#2

Not to sound terse or flippant, but if you’re in a hospital can’t you just ask a nearby medical professional?


#3

Considering one of the “complaints” about Soylent is that it is over the 35% of calories from fat recommendation by the FDA I am going to say Soylent is off the menu till your body adjusts to not having a gallbladder.


#4

Trust me I’m doing that, but no one here has even heard of Soylent and I’m not exactly in a position to pull up a nutrition document in front of them.

(Thanks for the suggestion though! :slight_smile: )


#5

On a tangent, that troubles me too. If the purpose of Soylent is to be the ideal nutritional food replacement, why such a high fat ratio?


#6

Fat isn’t the dietary boogeyman it’s made out to be. It’s mostly the saturated and trans fats you need to be weary of. Even then not all saturated fats are bad for you and it seems to depend if you consume carbs or not. Research shows (I can post studies if you want) that diets high in unsaturated fats are in fact good for you, promoting good cholesterol numbers and reducing plaques in the arteries.

The FDA’s recommendation is just that a recommendation. It’s not a rule or a requirement.


#7

I can imagine that might be tricky, but here’s the Soylent 2.0 nutrition facts just in case.

Only the doctors saying it know what they actually mean by “low-fat”. (And I guess they might not know either — I’ve had and heard of plenty of frustratingly vague medical advice.)

Ooh — that said, the FDA apparently has some pretty specific guidelines for what foods are allowed to have a “low-fat” label on them, so maybe they mean that:

And here’s the opinion of our beloved NHS here in the UK: 3 grams out of every 100 grams for “solids”, half of that for liquids.

I’m not sure which is appropriate for Soylent, but I believe millilitres are roughly equivalent to grams thanks to the metric system, so 21 grams in 414ml is roughly 5 grams out of every 100 — higher than both of the NHS’s thresholds.


#8

I believe this is a topic to discuss with your doctor or specialist. They may have never heard of Soylent, but should still be able to formulate a professional opinion based on Soylent 2.0’s nutrition facts( thanks @pauldwaite). Best of outcomes with your surgery.


#9

In regards to unsaturated fats being healthy in large amounts, this is true of monounsaturated fats but less so of polyunsaturated ones.

Whilst omega 3 is good and omega 6 is too (to a lesser extent) for anti-inflammatory reasons (omega 6 is strictly pro-inflammatory, but in small amounts the effects aren’t negative), excesses of either increase the risk of cancer due to their tendency to oxidise easily due to the double bond. This oxidation is what causes fats to go rancid, and they can be very dangerous for health indeed.


#10

Then don’t drink rancid Soylent :yum:

True excessive omega 3 is a problem. You are generally ok up to around 5-6g per day. But seeing as most of the fat in Soylent is monounsaturated I don’t think it’s much of a problem.

Omegas 6 and 3 are essential nutrients and as long as they are not rancid or in excess are in fact good for you.


#11

I talked to a nutritionist and her intern. I showed her the nutrition info for Soylent 2.0 and explained how it removed decisions from my life and made everything simpler.

We eventually agreed on this plan (I wanted a plan nailed down with very little choices or creativity):

Every day have 4 Soylents. Then for the 5th meal I’ll drink 8-12 oz of fat free milk, 1 multivitamin, and 3 fruits or vegetables. Those will either be 3 apples, 3 clementines, a box of Raspberries, or canned corn.

I’ll skip the “regular” meals that I usually have once every week or two - no Brazilian BBQs for 6 weeks - and I have a list of other meals if I need a solid variety day (or even at a restaurant like Chili’s they have low fat menus).

I’ll report how it goes. She said I might even be able to just do the five Soylents, but it depends on my body and I need to see how it all plays out.


#12

Hey man, don’t try to force your stultifying system of rules and restrictions on me! Also excuse me as I think I need to visit the bathroom immediately.


#13

I’ve had my gallbladder removed and to be blunt, you will know if it is an issue. (Here is the blunt and a bit gross part) After surgery some people can respond poorly to fat in that they get constant “dumping syndrome” or aggressive diarrhea. This can last for a few weeks, months or years. I am 10 years out and I still have issues. I am on DIY because I still can’t tolerate as much fat as regular Soylent has. The best way to know is to try it. If your healthcare professional has said that it is ok to continue the soylent then I say test it out. If you have no adverse reaction then great.

Something to note. It was never an issue of daily fat intake for me. It has always been an issue of how much per meal. So if you find yourself having trouble then perhaps cut down to 4 a day but add low fat milk to each serving and drink it a bit slower. Adding a bit of fiber to the soylent might help too.

I have struggled for years to find a proper balance. Fortunately, my DIY has done wonders. I used to take calcium citrate supplements before they started to give me headaches. The calcium would bind to the bile and help bulk things a bit. My issue was that, without a gallbladder, I had a steady bit of bile constantly dumping into my stomach so if I went for a long period without eating my digestive track was gunked up with bile in between meals. That caused for me to have urgent bathroom moment. Eating small amounts throughout the day helped. I currently eat my DIY 5-6 times a day in smaller amounts.

Another thing I had heard of whs people supplementing with ox bile when they eat. Without a gallbladder some don’t have enough bile to digest larger meals properly. I have tried it but didn’t notice a difference.

Of course, your health care provider will know best what to do but this was my experience. Be mindful of what is working for you and against you. Fat won’t necessarily kill you but you can have a really bad time. That is why they recommend restricting it. Be prepared to need the bathroom after each meal. I didn’t have soylent but I am curious if it is a blessing or a curse after because I had a rotten time before I learned to balance things a bit. It would have been awesome to have something so convenient during recovery. The pain after isn’t that bad but it is a bit tiring.

Good luck and let me know how the soylent works for you!


#14

I’ve spotted another gross part!


#15

You can sense excess of fat by taste. Fatty is one of fundamental taste units https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taste_receptor#Fat.


#16

Ok… doesn’t mean it’s bad for you :blush:


#17

What I would do is complement Soylent with some other low or no fat product, and also take some emulsifier such as lecithin.


#18

An optimal diet should be based on fresh whole plant foods and include fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. Considering that, among all the stated foods, legumes are usually the fattiest ones, I’d say all you have to do is ditch beans and lentils for a while. :slight_smile:

Nuts and seeds also contain fats but they are usually consumed in much smaller quantities than legumes.

Of course you’ll need to avoid animal foods completely, as they can be extremely high in fats and those fats also happen to be quite unhealthy.

Hope this helps.


#19

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/07/5-ways-to-avoid-discomfort-after-your-gallbladder-removal/
This is info from The Cleveland Clinic. They give some practical advice
TL;DR: 30% of calories from fat and stay under 60gm/day. Avoid really big fat French fries cheese meat etc. keep a diary and introduce foods slowly record effects. L
I would say 1/2 bottle of Soylent drink slowly and see how you feel.
Just an opinion


#20

So far, for the past 8 days, I’ve gone with the limited fat diet that I worked out with the nutritionists at the hospital. Pasting from above:

Every day have 4 Soylents. Then for the 5th meal I’ll drink 8-12 oz of fat free milk, 1 multivitamin, and 3 fruits or vegetables. Those will either be 3 apples, 3 clementines, a box of Raspberries, or canned corn.

So far it’s gone well - I’ve had one of each type of day. I probably should have more Raspberries than I’m having (now I have one 6oz pack, and I’m still a bit hungry after that), but other than that I feel fine with the 4 Soylent 2.0 bottles each day vs my usual 5.

I’m skipping my occasional regular food meals until 4-6 weeks is up. Then back to my regular diet.

Thanks for all of the feedback/suggestions everyone!