I came across this blog the other day in which the author has created what he believes to be the optimal meal replacement using basic food stuffs, vitamins, and minerals. He calls it “Soylent” of all things. I hesitated before sharing this with you but I know that you’re smart enough not to go trying to make your own batch at home. Right? Right.
As any dietitian worth their salt will tell you, we don’t know for certain that its individual nutrients providing certain benefits or if it’s a more complicated effect of various nutrients in a food (or foods). This is why we promote varied and balanced diet. Long-term consumption of a meal replacement containing primarily synthetic vitamins may have dangerous consequences.
As the author himself points out, “I am not fully convinced of the diet’s safety for a physiology different than mine. What if I missed something that’s essential for someone of a different race or age group?”. This is a very important point: nutrient needs are different for women and men and for different age groups, lifestyles, etc.
I think that most of us enjoy food so a supplement like this would not be a suitable option. It’s nice that he’s being his own guinea pig (although it makes me exceedingly nervous that he’s sharing the supplement to others). Perhaps if this works for him it will be useful in feeding certain patient groups such as those suffering from anorexia nervosa. Or it might be an improvement on many of the “meal replacements” currently on the market.