Processed ingredients and synthetic vitamins/minerals in Soylent


#1

I’m getting so cynical about “X is bad” that I don’t even accept the word of individual research papers anymore. You can find a paper saying that “X is bad” for any value of X in at least one refereed journal. What counts is a general consensus but that takes decades to form. For now, like the joke about outrunning the bear, it doesn’t matter to me if Soylent is the Best Thing Ever and Totally Good For You. It just matters that it be better than what I am doing for food now. Which is a medium high bar seeing as I don’t eat that much junk food, but is not that difficult because I know I take in lots of additives that I don’t understand and have no interest or time to research.

Eve


#2

And since “X is bad” is wrong then it doesn’t matter what they add?

As it stands now Soylent with the final formula is mostly as bad as everything else that people eat. It has too many carbs, contains too much omega 6, contains highly processed ingredients and contains synthetic vitamins/minerals that don’t behave as the forms found in food.

There’s not much difference between eating at McDonalds and eating the Soylent 1.0 formulation. And it’s nearly identical to drinking Boost, although at least Boost doesn’t contain sucralose.


#3

WaitWhat? I think there are some vast leaps of logic here.

the final formula is mostly as bad as everything else that people eat.

Is that anecdotal, or do you actually have some data? Seriously, if you know something we don’t, please provide it - more information is great.

too many carbs

Define “too many”, and provide your sources and/or qualifications. Because some very official people with some very large and accredited brains disagree with this point.

contains too much omega 6

See above.

synthetic vitamins/minerals that don’t behave as the forms found in food

Please provide more detail as to exactly what you mean. Are you referring to specific vitamins which are actually different in Soylent? There’s actually a thread or two about that, which has been addressed. Or, are you invoking the ‘appeal to nature’ or ‘essentialism’ fallacies, and implying that a vitamin or substance will be fundamentally different in benefit because it is not inside of the thing you are used to? In that case, I would direct you to this post from Rob’s blog, which explains the topic far more completely than I could. And please, actually read it - not in order to respond, but in order to actually think, and let it possibly challenge your views.


#4

So by “nearly identical” you mean “not at all”. Boost has Sugar and Corn Syrup as its primary ingredients (28 grams per serving), no dietary fiber, 240 calories per bottle. That’s 8.3 bottles per day to meet a 2000 calorie diet, which of course would put you way over the daily vitamin/mineral requirements.

No, it contains massive amounts of sugar and corn syrup. But I guess if you are comparing Soylent to Boost and McDonalds - maybe you should focus on a DYI recipe. Make sure you add those 6 teaspoons of sugar to equal Boost.


#5

sal​9000 said:
So by “nearly identical” you mean “not at all”. Boost has Sugar and Corn Syrup as its primary ingredients (28 grams per serving), no dietary fiber, 240 calories per bottle. That’s 8.3 bottles per day to meet a 2000 calorie diet, which of course would put you way over the daily vitamin/mineral requirements.

Corn syrup has a glycemic index of 89, whereas maltodextrin (as is in Soylent as the FIRST ingredient) is 105. And maltodextrin may not be classified as sugar, but table sugar (sucrose) only has an index of 64.

And at least with sugar I could use them as a sports drink and potentially burn off the sugar by exercising after or quickly after consuming Boost, but there’s no getting around the sucralose issue.

So, yes, it is nearly identical to Boost Plus. Same sugary junk food with synthetic poison sprinkled in.


#6

The maltodextrin glycemic index horse has been beaten to death in these forums. @rob and @JulioMiles have said countless times that the maltodextrin used in Soylent is a low glycemic index formulation.


#7

Hmmmm… that’s promising, but how did they do that? I assume they’re using longer chained polysaccharides then? Normally those are called dextrin and not maltodextrin. Maybe I’ll look up past conversations on that then…


#8

This is one of them:

Also, from the blog:

As the primary source of energy for the body, carbohydrates are the largest component of Soylent by mass. The starch in Oat Flour makes up the bulk of this nutrient and the rest is provided by Maltodextrin.
[…]Maltodextrins are classified by “dextrose equivalence” or DE. Dextrose, a monosaccharide is the simplest unit of sugar. Higher DE means shorter average chains with a DE of 100 applying to dextrose. Our chosen maltodextrin is derived from corn and has a DE of 10.
[…]Preliminary tests by beta testers and founders abiding by WHO glycemic index testing guidelines have found the GI to be rather low. More formal testing is planned for early 2014.

Or to summarize, GI rating is more complex and depends more on what’s around it than you might at first think. Straight maltodextrin != maltodextrin as an ingredient. Also, maltodextrin != describes one specific substance. The important takeaway here is that they’ve specifically taken steps to be careful of the formula’s net GI, and it isn’t something left by the wayside.

as for

Is there a specific thing you’re actually referring to, or… are you just uncomfortable with synthetics in general? “The heebie jeebies” is really not a scientifically sound reason to call something poison, especially when that thing has been scrutinized and analyzed for months by people whose entire job is “make sure things aren’t poison.” Criticism and concern are certainly valid points to make, but hold much more weight when backed by strong evidence :smile:


#9

I suspect any forum user that deliberately selects an avatar with a frownie face and thumbs down sign has one goal in signing up - to troll.

It is widely known that certain industries pay such individuals to negatively affect the competition, and swing the PR/social networking stakes in their favour.

If vernalex is one of these individuals working for “big food” or “big pharma”, i suspect over time we will see a pattern in his/her posting.


#10

That may be, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt to start :wink:


#11

Just gives us more practice in using proper evidence to tear apart the claims of haters.


#12

.[quote=“vernalex, post:22, topic:11115”]
As it stands now Soylent with the final formula is mostly as bad as everything else that people eat. It has too many carbs, contains too much omega 6, contains highly processed ingredients and contains synthetic vitamins/minerals that don’t behave as the forms found in food.

There’s not much difference between eating at McDonalds and eating the Soylent 1.0 formulation. And it’s nearly identical to drinking Boost, although at least Boost doesn’t contain sucralose.
[/quote]

The only questionable ingredient, in my mind, is the synthetic vitamin E, and I’m not too concerned about it. In light of the formula as a whole, you have a low glycemic index, diabetic friendly meal replacement with literally everything you need for a complete nutrition 2000 calorie diet. And it’s palatable. You can drink it without having to gag it down, unlike some juicing recipes or raw food diets I’ve encountered.

Instead of attacking the product, look at the concept as a whole - it’s not designed for paleo, mediterranean, ketogenic, Atkins, or any of the other fad diet profiles, it’s designed around the best “common” nutritional profile derived from population studies and biochemistry.

It’s not going to be 100% perfect for every individual, but it’s a massive improvement on McDonalds. Or Slimfast, or Boost. Or even those fad diets. It’s based on rigorous science. Some people will need more calories, others will need less. Bodybuilders and ahtletes can continue to supplement protein or other nutrients, but with a precision heretofore impossible without a hefty investment of time.

Weight loss takes on the mantle of science - calories in, calories out becomes a much more realistic measure when you can be confident that you’re getting everything else you need.

You mention too many carbs - from what perspective?
You mention too high an amount of Omega 6 - show us why you think it’s too high.
You mention the ingredients are highly processed. This idea is meaningless. “Processed” is not a universal qualifier with any meaningful relationship to the quality of a food.
You mention synthetic vitamins and minerals - what synthetic minerals? Did Rosa Labs source a fusion lab and are utilizing exotic elements in their formula, now? Vitamin E is the only synthetic vitamin, and is currently being debated among the community. If you have some concerns and think the discussion is worthwhile, start chipping in.

Your concerns have been addressed. I know the search function for discourse isnt the best in the world, but you can always use “site:discourse.soylent.me” in your google searches, and you’ll find that every single one of your concerns is addressed, and that Soylent goes quite a lot deeper than your initial perception.


#13

It’s “common knowledge” in Britain that corn syrup is the main cause of American obesity. That’s not to say that it’s true, but rats fed on high-fructose corn syrup get fat was a big thing in the media a few months ago.


#14

Well, while I won’t disagree with the statement on its own, I feel that it’s always missing some context:
Corn syrup does not cause obesity because it is corn syrup. Corn syrup causes obesity because it is being crammed into everything in enormous quantities.

While there is a little bit of debate as to whether it triggers quite the same hunger response as sugar (and I don’t actually know which camp is “winning”), I think the general consensus is still that it is no more “bad for you” than eating the same amount of regular table sugar. Corn syrup isn’t unhealthy standalone - it’s just in everything. And if you constantly consume sugar, all the time…

(note: if someone has more data and wants to pursue this in either direction, a new thread would be great, have at it)


#15

This is my reading of the situation also. Some organizations are beginning to realize it, but the food industry is harder to nudge (i.e., lots of lawyers) than consumers so they will tax them to make them skinny. In the meantime, the general palate has shifted so much consumers will be willing to pay the tax and the cycle continues.

Anyway, one of the draws for me to Soylent is to be able to control my base amount of both sugar and salt.

Eve


#16

It’s important to distinguish between regular corn syrup and the high fructose variety. Regular corn syrup is mostly glucose and is not used for sweetness (glucose is not as sweet as table sugar) as much as it is for texture and body.


#17

I’m beginning to feel this has kinda split from the original post into being a thread entirely based off Vernalex’s post. Is there any way to turn that post and the following arguments based on it into its own thread?


#18

@vernalex at least try to back up any of you clames


#19

@codinghorror has split threads before. Something like “Processed ingredients and synthetic vitamins/minerals in Soylent” would probably be a good thread name, drawing from @vernalex’s initial post.


#20

You can’t say the glycemic index of soylent must be bad, because it contains maltodextrin. It’s already said, but I think this is an important point. Not only the fibre, but also the fats will slow down the absorption of the carbs in maltodextrin and oats. So I won’t be suprised when the GI of soylent is low.