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Is Soylent Healthy?
Updated on January 11, 2023
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Meal Replacements
Is Soylent Healthy?

Soylent is one of the first total meal replacement shakes to reach mainstream success. And Rob Rhinehart, its inventor, envisioned it to become an option that could completely replace food altogether.

Throughout its many revisions, Soylent has strived for a product that fuels the human body with what it needs to thrive and be healthy. Their product line includes:

  • Mixable powder — the original Soylent
  • Ready-to-drink bottles
  • Handy meal squares — Soylent squared

I will explain the only three reasons why Soylent IS truly healthy. But my explanation may shake up your idea of “healthy.”

Before I explain the three key reasons, we first need to understand what Soylent contains and where it came from.

Is Soylent Healthy? 5

Why Trust My Review?

My name is Adam Andrewjeski. I was what someone in the tech world would call an "early adopter.” I've been using soylent since its very early stages. The first time I saw a true meal replacement product was when I read about it in the first VICE soylent article back in 2013.

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I've tried just about every brand of meal shake that you could think of. I've also done a lot of research to figure out which ones have the highest quality ingredients.

You can count on me for solid advice on which meal replacements work best. I want to help you reach your nutrition goals just like I have.

Nutrition and Soylent's Ingredients

Before we ask what makes Soylent healthy, we have to decide what makes ANY food healthy since Soylent is a food.

Soylent was designed to be a complete food that mimics some of the healthiest natural vegetarian or vegan meals you can find. The Soylent formula is high in nutrition, like:

  • Protein
  • High-quality carbs
  • Healthy fats

You can consume Soylent drinks, Soylent powder, or Soylent squared and have a healthy diet. They have all the nutrients you need to survive, like vitamins and minerals.

Let’s take a look at the nutrition facts:

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Soylent Nutrition Facts for Chocolate Flavor (similar to salted caramel, mint chocolate, citrus berry, etc.)

These nutritious meals come in powder form or as a ready-to-drink shake.

Soylent has been in product development since 2014 and has undergone many changes. Their first flavors include cafe drinks, berries, and chocolate.

3 Reasons Why Soylent is Healthy

People choose Soylent for several reasons. Here are some of them:

1. Soylent Drinks are full of Healthy Fat

As mentioned, Soylent is a meal replacement shake that attempts to mimic the macronutrients from the normal meals you consume on a daily basis.

In their current iterations, Soylent meal replacement drinks and Soylent powder roughly have the same nutrition benefits.

Recent health studies show that some fats are better than others. Some kinds of fats, like saturated fats, increase your risk of heart disease.1

With Soylent, you aren’t eating a high-fat diet, you're avoiding saturated fats. It doesn’t contain any trans fat and is low in saturated fat.

Instead, it’s full of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats that you would find in whole foods.

Soylent is full of oleic acid, other healthy fatty acids, and none of the trans fat found in unhealthy, ready-to-eat junk food.

High oleic sunflower oil and canola oil contain oleic acid. Health experts consider these oils the healthier oils. They contain plenty of omega 3s and omega 6.2 

Check out what makes fats like sunflower and canola oil healthy on the Soylent Blog.

2. Soylent Drinks Contain a TON of Protein — Soy Protein Isolate is healthy!

The main Soylent meal replacement drink has 20g of soy protein isolate and soybeans. Soy protein isolate is a healthy plant-based complete protein.

Contrary to popular belief, balanced consumption of soy protein isolate is NOT shown to increase estrogen levels.3

Soybeans are one of the few plant-based protein sources containing all essential amino acids, making them an ideal addition to Soylent.

3. The Carbs in Soylent are high-quality

The carbohydrates in Soylent are slow-digesting and low on the glycemic index. These carbs give you energy while keeping your blood sugar level even.

Soylent helps you avoid the feeling of crashing from a sugar rush. Instead of sugar, Soylent adds an artificial sweetener called sucralose.

Sucralose is derived from sugar and is as sweet as sugar. However, it has fewer calories and doesn’t affect your blood sugar level.

Soylent also added allulose recently, which provides sweetness at only 1/10 of the calories in sugar. Allulose is a naturally occurring sugar from many plant food sources, like maple, fig, molasses, etc.

I certainly wish that Soylent contained more fiber and higher-quality carbohydrates. But in an effort to make the product easier on the average stomach, it seems they have standardized its carb content.

It only contains 1g of added sugar to keep sugar levels low. The food industry tends to abuse how much added sugar they include in their products, so it's refreshing to see Soylent do the opposite.

But How Can Soylent Be Healthy If It Isn’t "Real Food"?

Soylent offers complete nutrition and is a suitable meal replacement for everyday life. People can also consume it for purposes like weight loss and sports recovery.

Compared to the average American diet in the U.S., it does an excellent job of addressing health concerns.

Soylent products have a relatively low glycemic index thanks to low-calorie sweeteners and slow-digesting carbs. These are ideal for maintaining lower pressure and blood sugar levels.

A Healthy GMO Diet

If you are turned off by the words "GMO" or "processed," Soylent is probably not for you. Soylent uses six ingredients that fall under the GMO or genetically-modified organism category.4,5

Soylent is the practical man's nutrition solution, and there is no convincing evidence that GMO or processed foods are anything but a boon to modern nutrition.

Some people have problems with the drinks because they believe they're “unnatural.” Think about something like a protein shake or almond milk.

Are they "natural"? Something you would find ready to eat off of a tree? 

No.

But they are healthy, at least in the correct context, just like Soylent.

Soylent Products and a Balanced Diet

Soylent helped me during my weight loss journey. It eliminated the hassle of preparing food. A meal replacement drink is a healthy option inside your pantry or fridge. It's a quick alternative that helps you eat healthily without cooking.

The average American diet contains far too much sugar and lacks important micronutrients, essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and protein. 

Soylent makes good nutrition easily accessible. Meal replacement shakes are often an easy way to eat a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Soylent and the Body: Energy, Mood, Hunger

In my experience, substituting heavier foods in your diet with meal replacement shakes makes a huge difference in your body's energy level for the rest of the day.

The data shows that the carbs used in Soylent drinks do not spike blood sugar and cause crashes.

When I replace a meal with a shake, I don't need to nap like I normally do after lunch. My energy greatly improves.

Soylent also keeps me about as full as a snack and a generic protein-enhanced drink combined, keeping me from snacking unnecessarily.

Is Soylent suitable for a healthy diet to lose weight?

Some people, including myself, have used Soylent to lose weight. It makes the calorie-counting process during weight loss easier.

Keeping a Soylent drink in the house instead of snacks or ordering junk food is an excellent way to avoid cheating on a diet.

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As you can see, my data shows I lost a lot of weight. And part of what got me there is using at least one meal replacement shake daily. It prevented me from eating fast food or snacks during the day.

I even gave up whole foods and got my calories from NOTHING but drinking Soylent and other meal replacement drinks for almost two months and felt great.

So, I feel confident telling you that Soylent is a healthy food, contains all the nutrition you need, and that you can live and thrive on it while also losing weight.

Are Liquid Meal Replacements Healthy Food?

Yes.

Many common misconceptions exist about food. The myth that food that isn't natural or organic isn't healthy is just that: a myth.

All of Soylent drink's calories come from food. Soylent is food, and the body will recognize it as such.

Does Soylent increase estrogen?

Soy protein is an excellent source of protein. But a myth has circulated that soy contains phytoestrogens that may contribute to your own hormone balance.

I did my research and found that with normal consumption, products with soy protein have no effect on the body.3

Can you live off of Soylent Meal Replacement?

Yes!

Regarding meal replacements, Soylent drinks are some of the best you can find. In fact, I did a Soylent-only diet while dieting at the same time for almost two months.

A Soylent drink contains real foods, so you can get all your calories from it. Soylent contains enough macronutrients and vitamins for a person to get by.

How many bottles of Soylent should I drink?

You can do what I did and try drinking only Soylent without eating whole foods, but that’s pretty extreme.

Soylent recommends occasional meal replacement, like one to two meals a day. But you can drink Soylent as much as you like because it contains everything a healthy diet would.

Is Soylent as good as a regular meal? The answer is an unequivocal yes.

Updated on January 11, 2023
Adam Andrewjeski
Adam Andrewjeski
Content Contributor
’m Adam Andrewjeski, a self-improvement and health-obsessed writer from Las Vegas. I love experimenting with new supplements, diets, exercises, and personal development. I’ve been interested in health and fitness trends ever since I started working out 15 years ago and went to UC Berkeley for Chemical Biology. Last year I decided to go on a journey to lose weight, get fit, and become the best version of myself.
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