REVIEW: Soylent Complete Snack

April 8, 2024
REVIEW: Soylent Complete Snack

In my quest to find the best protein bar on the market, today I’m breaking down Soylent complete snack - peanut butter chocolate chip.

But first things first…

Who is Soylent?

I think almost all of us have already heard of Soylent. Almost every video on YouTube that talks about meal replacement shakes talks about them.

In fact, the name Soylent comes from a 1973 movie called Soylent Green. And the plot of the movie isn’t really that great. Let me give you a brief rundown:

The movie is set in 2022 and due to overpopulation, global warming, and pollution there’s worldwide shortages of food, water, and housing. Most people can’t afford any real food and have to eat highly processed food wafers made by the Soylent Corporation, the largest food processing company. Their main products, Soylent Red and Soylent Yellow are a staple food, and the latest product, a new, more nutritious and flavorful wafer derived from plankton, Soylent Green, is introduced to the populace.

So far so good?

[Spoiler Alert]

Well, it turns out the oceans are dying and there aren’t enough plankton in the ocean to make Soylent Green. So, they use humans instead.

I’m dead serious. That’s the plot of the movie.

This makes me wonder why the founders even chose the name Soylent, but let’s not take the movie too literally. Here’s what Soylent say on their website:

Soylent started with the basic idea that complete nutrition shouldn’t be difficult or expensive. Our co-founders met in 2013 in Silicon Valley, working under the same roof and eating the same diet of frozen meals and ramen noodles. 
After a lot of frustrating meals, founder Rob, alongside co-founders Matt, John, and David, developed Soylent as an experiment. 
Their hypothesis: Food can be simplified for the better. They were software engineers after all so they wanted to engineer better food for themselves.

Seems like Soylent’s product will be much better than the ones in the dystopian movie, because this is a message I can agree with.

So, does Soylent make high quality, clean protein bars?

Well… only one way to find out.

Soylent Bar Ingredients 

“delicious and nutritious. the world's most perfect snack.”

At least that’s what Soylent says on their product page.

But 6g protein, 28 vitamins & minerals, 1g sugar, and only 100 calories, makes me think that there should be some merit in their claim.

Is that really the case?

Only their ingredient list will tell us the true story.

I immediately see soy protein isolate, peanut flour, and vegetable oil — which they don't even tell us which one. Not a good start.

If only there were a better way to create protein bars that aren’t just candy bars in disguise. (Foreshadowing)

So, let’s break these ingredients down into an easy to read list.

  1. Soy Protein Isolate
  2. Peanut Flour
  3. Vegetable Oil (Canola And/Or Sunflower)
  4. Peanut Butter
  5. Glycerin
  6. Soluble Corn Fiber
  7. Tapioca Syrup
  8. Allulose
  9. Maltodextrin
  10. Rice Syrup
  11. Vitamin And Mineral Premix
  12. Natural Flavors
  13. Modified Food Starch
  14. Tapioca Starch
  15. Filtered Water
  16. Salt
  17. Soy Lecithin
  18. Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali)
  19. Sucralose

As might already know, the FDA requires food manufacturers to list their ingredients in order by weight.

Which means that the ONE Bars Peanut Butter Cup Protein Bar is filled with soy protein! 

Soy Protein Isolate: I’ve already discussed why soy protein is a bad option many times. Soy is high in phytic acid which inhibits nutrient absorption. It contains high levels of phytoestrogens.

Lots of contamination with pesticide residues. The majority is grown on large farms using glyphosate. 94% of soy is GMO which is heavily sprayed with round-up ready glyphosate.

Peanut Flour: Peanut flour has the same problem as peanut butter: aflatoxins. Most peanut butters, like JIF and Trader Joe's, are under the FDA limit of 20 mcg/kg (JIF has 6 mcg/kg of aflatoxins). So, it must be the same for peanut flour. But if you want to avoid aflatoxins altogether, then you might wanna skip this.

Vegetable Oil (Canola And/Or Sunflower): What does And/Or mean? Do they not know which oil they’re using in their own products? 

But more importantly vegetable oils (seed oils) are almost always made from cheap low quality ingredients, use solvents for extraction, and go rancid very easily.

Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is usually a good ingredient. But after my conversation with Chris (founder of LyfeFuel) I realized most peanut butter has vegetable oil and emulsifiers in them. And if these ingredients are less than 2%, companies don’t need to disclose them.

Glycerin: Glycerin helps preserve moisture, prevents sugar crystallization, and adds bulk, smoothness, softness, sweetness, and texture to foods. But it’s a sugar alcohol which means too much of it can give you gut problems.

Soluble Corn Fiber: I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to get fiber from fruits and vegetables over processed corn, especially if it is not even organic. 

Corn crops are one of the most mass produced in the USA, meaning they’re produced using heavy amounts of pesticides and herbicides… the last thing you want in a protein bar with healthy ingredients.

Tapioca Syrup: I’m guessing this is where the 1 gram of added sugar comes from. This bar is only 25 grams whereas most other protein bars are around 50-60 grams. But this bar still has 10 grams for carbs (8 grams of net carbs). 

Allulose: Allulose is a low calorie sweetener like stevia. But unlike stevia, allulose is made from high fructose corn syrup. And I don’t know how much pesticide and herbicide was used and how much remains in the allulose, but the amount of processing needed to make allulose should remove almost everything.

Maltodextrin: Maltodextrin is a highly processed white powder made from corn, rice, potato starch, or wheat. And manufacturers use it as a cheap filler that also increases shelf life. But it’ll shoot your glucose sky high because it has a glycemic index of 110.

Rice Syrup: More sources of sugar can’t be a good thing. But considering this bar only has 1 gram of added sugar, this should be fine.

Vitamin And Mineral Premix: What exactly is the point of adding just 6% of your daily vitamin and mineral needs in this bar?

Filtered Water: This might be the first time I’m seeing water in a protein bar. Most manufacturers avoid water because it can oxidize the fats in the bar. I don’t know how water can be a good thing in this bar.

Soy Lecithin: Soylent is using soy lecithin which is usually GMO, processed with chemicals, and is the cheapest on the market. Organic sunflower lecithin would be a much better choice.

Soylent Bars Final Verdict

Yeah… I can’t recommend Soylent’s protein bars. Too much soy, vegetable oil, and cheap fillers like maltodextrin and corn fiber.

But if you’re looking for a real protein bar without sugar alcohols and sourced from 100% real food ingredients, see below. 👇

Tejesh Reddy

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