Soylent and Sugar

Since June, I have been drinking my breakfasts in the form of Soylent, the famous meal replacement popular among people who don’t think cooking is worth the time. As of September 17, I stopped. What happened? I drank a glass of Soylent 1.6.

A little background. The selling point of soylent over other meal replacement brands for me was always that they didn’t try to make some candy-milkshake product but actual nutritionally-designed food for regular consumption and long-term health. With that in mind, I switched to Soylent 1.5 for my breakfasts and was very happy with the price and the convenience. I became concerned when I noticed how much sugar they put in their product. Each serving of Soylent 1.5 has 15 grams of sugar. Soylent brags on its website:

Soylent’s nutritional makeup is comprehensive. It contains all of the elements of a healthy diet, with limited contribution from less desirable components such as sugars, saturated fats, or cholesterol.

Yet, one serving’s 15 grams of sugar is more than half of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s recommendation  of 25 grams. The FDA’s recommendation of 50 grams is based on science from the 50s and 60s that is now being cast into doubt as unduly influenced by the sugar industry. Nevertheless, 1.5 tasted fine and was so convenient I was willing to look past the dubious nutrition. I figured that they’d probably tone down the added sugar in later versions, so I was excited when I learned of Soylent 1.6.

All this good feeling evaporated when I looked at the nutrition for the new version. Instead of reducing the sugar, they added four more grams per serving for a whopping 19 grams. That’s like drinking more than half a can of Coca Cola every morning!  It tastes like cake batter.  If I wanted candy for breakfast I’d buy Lucky Charms!

Needless to say, I cancelled my recurring order. I hope that sometime in the near future they get their act together and stop imitating soft drinks to make a real, nutritious meal replacement beverage.

Now I’ve got to figure out my breakfasts again.


2 thoughts on “Soylent and Sugar”

  1. Sam
    Is there a problem with a whole grain, low sugar cereal with fresh fruit? Tastes better anyway and doesn’t take any longer to put together.

    1. A no-sugar option like shredded wheat is better than raisin bran. I love shredded wheat and it used to be my go-to breakfast. Now, though I think that cereals present too many carbs all at once and may not be the best choice for me.

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