Would you drink it? (Photo: Soylent)
Perhaps you’ve heard of Soylent, the meal-replacement powder that you add to water that claims to contain all the nutrients the human body needs. Well, today (Aug. 3), the makers of Soylent announced Soylent 2.0, which comes already liquified and ready to drink in a bottle.
Half of the fat energy in Soylent 2.0 comes from algae sources, and it has a low glycemic index, which is “the result of 47 percent of energy from healthy fats, 33 percent from slow digesting carbohydrates and 20 percent from protein. This provides an even, sustained release of energy, without spikes or crashes and a macronutrient ratio informed by our nutrition council for long-term health,” according to a description of Soylent 2.0 on the company’s blog. “The protein source is soy, which contains an ideal ratio of amino acids for excellent nutrition, smooth digestion, and offers an exceptional level of purity from inorganic compounds.”
Soylent 2.0 can stay unrefrigerated for one year. It’s not available in stores quite yet, but is available for pre-order at www.soylent.com, at $29 for a 12-pack.
Fascinating, sure. But health experts aren’t exactly jumping to recommend the stuff.
“Typically, I don’t recommend meal replacements for healthy individuals,” notes nutritionist Keri Gans, MS, RD, author of The Small Change Diet. Gans says she usually only recommends meal replacements for people who have trouble physically getting their necessary nutrients, like patients who have difficulty chewing their food or people who are very sick and need added calories and nutrients because they’re not getting them elsewhere.
“But for healthy individuals, I say, ‘Why can’t you just make a meal? Why do you need a meal replacement?’’ Gans tells Yahoo Health.
She also would never advise someone to consume Soylent 2.0 as a weight-loss tool. “I definitely don’t encourage meal replacements for weight loss because it does not teach a person anything about eating,” she adds. “If I want someone to keep their weight off long-term, they need to change their eating behaviors, and that doesn’t mean just grabbing a drink.”
That being said, Soylent 2.0 won’t harm you if you feel like you’re stuck between the option of consuming a meal replacement or not eating anything at all, Gans says. But overall, she does encourage people to eat a variety of foods: “Yes, this drink has X amount of nutrients it provides, but it doesn’t have every nutrient you find in every fruit and vegetable,” she says, “so it’s always good to mix up your food.”
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