Web tool to balance nutrients - create soylent with wholefoods


I built this website a few months ago when soylent first went viral, I thought I could ride the bandwagon. I love the idea of soylent but I dont want to eat a bunch of supplements, so I built this tool to help. I use linear algebra and a genetic algorithm to create the most balanced diet from a list of foods. the program can recommend foods and find similar foods. Its also just an easy way to sort/browse the national nutrient database.

When I first started showing off the site it received mostly negative responses. I tried really hard to make it modern, slick, web2.0ish, user-friendly and whatever (to the best of my abilities, web dev is only a hobby). I dont really care about that anymore, the site failed and gets 0 traffic. Its basically just my own slick interface for a cool(I think) algorithm I wrote… and maybe you guys will like it too

the site: www.nutrientcraft.com

more about how/why I made it: http://www.dannywynne.com/blog/?p=76#more-76


This is interresting, should be very useful for people like me who don’t have the funds or time to try DIY soylent.

This should calculate how much of each “food” should give the most ideal mix, right? Where do I find this information?

From the ingredient list I am missing any kind of bread, salami, bratwurst and spaetzle. (Can you guess the nationality? ;))


yes, it attempts to optimize the list of food you create. By optimize, I mean it tries to get each nutrient to exactly your specified nutrient level, no more no less. Once you get the results, you can click “spreadsheet” to see the exact amounts per food. Sometimes the amounts are absurd, so I added the ability to set min/max on each food item. The min is also useful for if you really want a specific food in the mix, but the algorithm doesn’t think its a good fit. It forces the algorithm to use it, and calculate the rest of the list around those constraints.

to show all foods, click on the settings cog icon just above the nutrient database spreadsheet and you can enable more food groups.

thanks for checking it out!


Okay, played a bit more with it. A few thoughts:

  • The nutrition profiles all have a target amount of water in them. I fear that this might skew the outcomes as it will tend towards recommending items with lots of water in them. Getting the required amount of water should be trivial enough for a person that the diet shouldn’t be affected by it.
  • Fats are completely missing from the nutrition profiles as of now?
  • The spreadsheet and the food list are a bit disconnected. To analyze the situation you have to constantly compare the two.
  • It would be good to know which foods aren’t in the final suggestion at all, for example.
  • Simple solution, an extra field in the food list that has the recommended amount in it.
  • On what are the amounts based? Daily intake? This could be made clearer. Also percentages in additions to the grams would be good.


all your comments in order:

  • just select the nutrients you want to balance, you can turn everything off except vit c, for example, and the program will only calculate for vit c. Water is not on by default so Im not sure what your seeing (the spreadsheet shows everything, the chart shows only what was calculated). The button to select nutrients to calculate comes after the sentence “and select the nutrients you would like to balance”…

  • Yea, you cant caluclate fats. I forget exactly why I took those out from calculation

  • Im not sure why you have to constantly compare the two lists. You can just set a “min” amount for a particular food if you require it to be calculated

  • the first sentence on the page says “Select your daily nutrient goals.” The charts are percentages of that daily goal. You can mouse over the bars in the chart to see exactly what the percent is.


It is possible to use this algorythm with automated mixer which will use as source material freeze dryed slashed wholefoods. IMO.


It is possible to use this algorythm with automated mixer which will
use as source material freeze dryed slashed wholefoods. IMO.

please elaborate


A large number of food becomes useless every year in many respects because producers try to leave “fresher” than it while it won’t get to the consumer. It demands very big costs of the most various equipment and all the same according to researches about 40% of made food go to trash.

There are various ways of preservation of the made food products. One of them is a freeze-drying. At this way of removal of water from the made food in it remains up to 98% of all useful substances as well as it’s flavour (after rehydratation). The main component which in it is absent after freezing in vacuum is water. And therefore it can be stored very long (in comparison with “fresh” food). Astronauts eat such food.

If to use small crumbled powders from freeze-dryied products, can make mixes of wholefoods using your algorithm with needed properties. This process even could be automated in the automatic mixer of dry powders for preparation of different types of a soylent. It could be very convenient.


It seems that it doesn’t consider the amount of sugar at all (even when using a diet with sugar recommendation in it). It keeps recommending fruits, up to a point where fruit makes up the majority of the food, which would result in huge amounts of sugar.


the algorithm just looks for foods that best compliment the sum of what you current have calculated. So say your target diet is (1.0, 1.0, 1.0), and you are currently at (1.0, .5, 1.0), the best recommended food will be (0.0, .5, 0.0). That doesnt really address your point, but knowing exactly how it works might help you leverage the feature better.