We don't know yet whether Soylent is bad for you. It can give you gas, it’s bland, and it includes essential nutrients but nothing more: it’s not intended to be a complete replacement for food, and treating it as such might be bad for your body or mind.
Soylent is a powdered meal replacement that's designed to include all the nutrition that you would normally get from a meal. It’s a beige, pancake-batter-like sludge with specific caloric and nutritional content with all of the essentials of a daily diet.
Soylent not intended as a wholesale replacement for eating food; Soylent marketing material distinguishes between eating for function and eating for pleasure, saying that the product is designed to replace the former but not the latter. Soylent does not explicitly claim to improve your health. If you’re consuming Soylent, remember to consume other things as well.
Many people who decide to try Soylent complain that they deal with initial indigestion and gas. This problem sometimes gets better as their bodies adjust to a Soylent diet. The recipe for Soylent has been tweaked to include less sulfur in an effort to mitigate this problem. If you have pre-existing issues with your bowel or gut, however, Soylent might not be right for you.
Soylent does include soy lecithin. If you're allergic to soy, read the label carefully before consuming Soylent or a similar powdered meal replacement.
Soylent is designed to include essential nutrients identified by the FDA and the USDA. The science of nutrition, however, is still young - we don't fully understand the complex and subtle interactions between nutrients in food. Similarly, the ways in which different foods fit together in the contexts of meals and diets are not entirely understood. There’s more to nutrition, in short, than a list of ingredients. There's a chance that Soylent is based on an oversimplified understanding of nutrition and that consuming too much of it denies the body the benefits of whole foods and meals.
Soylent is a relatively new product, and the exact ingredients are still subject to change. There's not yet a scientific consensus around the long-term consequences of regular, long-term use of Soylent or similar powdered meal replacements. That doesn't mean that Soylent is bad for you, per say; it means that we won't know what science has to say about it for years or decades yet.
Consuming food is not just a physical activity. It also has a significant psychological aspect. Soylent is deliberately designed to be bland in texture and relatively tasteless. Be careful if you're you're replacing many meals with Soylent. Understand that cutting taste and texture out of your diet might have an adverse impact on your mental health. If you have a personal or family history of mental health problems, you may want to consult with your doctor before switching to a Soylent-heavy diet.
Possible short-term side effects
Possible long-term side effects
- side effects still not well understood
- nutritional problems
- deprivation of the psychological benefits of food
Ingredients to be aware of
- weight loss
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Written by Sean McNulty | 09-18-2016
Written by Sean McNulty
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