Complete foods: 3 Common Myths Debunked

A meal that gives you everything you need - complete foods are becoming more and more popular! But with innovations come questions: are complete meals really that great? 

This big question derives from smaller questions, and we’re going to answer them once and for all.

So just sit back, relax, and enjoy some knowledge while you sip your Plenny Shake. Ah, that leads us to the first question!

You need to chew your food… Right?

Chewing is a pretty essential part of eating: if you don’t chew before you swallow, you’ll choke. But you also have to chew properly - chunks of food are hard on your digestion. The food will stay in your stomach longer, which can lead to bloating, gas, constipation, and loss of energy [1].

But what if you don’t need to chew the nutrients... What if you can drink them?

Because our Plenny Shake and Plenny Drink are liquid meals, it raises the question whether you should still chew or not. Let’s first take a look at what chewing does for your body.


Chewing is part of the digestion process. It turns big chunks of food into smaller chunks and increases saliva production to allow your food to go down without irritating your oesophagus. However, making your food go down easily is not the only function of chewing: chewing triggers the production of hydrochloric acid in your stomach (which aids digestion)[2], and the produced saliva contains an enzyme that helps digest starch. 


Digestion is divided into two processes: mechanical digestion and chemical digestion. Chewing is part of the mechanical digestion: grinding bigger chunks down to smaller chunks. After you swallow your food (or should we say drink?) it goes down your oesophagus into your stomach, where the chemical digestion takes over. All the nutrients in your food, such as proteins, carbs, and fats, are broken down by enzymes into parts that are small enough to be absorbed by your body. Without chemical digestion you could chew until your jaws were sore, but your body wouldn’t be able to absorb the nutrients, leading to malnutrition or vitamin deficiencies [3].

Liquid Meals

So, chewing releases saliva with enzymes to help with the process of digestion, but since some of our meals are liquid and not solid, chewing is not actually necessary.

Luckily the stomach has all the enzymes you need to chemically digest our nutritionally complete meals, and profit from the 172 proven health benefits

Just take a look at Lee’s 6-month Plenny Shake diet and the results of his blood tests. 

Or check out this guy who’s lived on Plenny Shake for 3 years and counting. So far so good!

And if you don’t want to give up on chewing, no worries. We still have the Plenny Bars and Plenny Pots.

Synthetic vitamins and minerals aren’t absorbed by the body!

The second concern we often came across is about synthetic vitamins and how useful they actually are. Synthetic vitamins are isolated nutrients that are made artificially. Whole food supplements, such as for example our freeze-dried fruit, do not fall under synthetic nutrients. Glad we got that out of the way.

Vitamin Pills

Synthetic vitamins are usually found as pills. You eat one of those a day to supplement your daily diet. Synthetic nutrients can offer benefits to all kinds of different people. For example the elderly, who are at higher risk of a vitamin D deficiency [5, 6]. Also vegans and vegetarians, who frequently lack vitamin B12 [7, 8], and other people who - for whatever reason - might suffer from nutrient deficiencies.

Too Much of a Good Thing

That synthetic vitamins aren’t absorbed by your body simply is not true. They get absorbed by the body perfectly well! They should be used with caution though: certain vitamins can be harmful when taken in excess, such as vitamin A [9]. If you want to do it right, make sure you do regular blood tests to determine your body’s vitamin and mineral make-up before supplementing.

Working Together

The reason vitamins from whole foods over synthetic vitamins are usually recommended, is because most foods contain a mix of many different vitamins instead of isolated vitamins, which is the case with single-vitamin pills. The mixture of vitamins and minerals usually complement each other and work well together, causing your body to absorb and use them in the most optimal way possible [10]. For example: vitamin C enhances iron absorption [11].


If you’re looking for a handy meal with a balanced mix of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, proteins and fibres, and ensure they’re absorbed and used well by your body, you might wanna knock on our door. Jimmy Joy offers just exactly that. The ingredients we use, such as oats and flaxseed, contain naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, and the rest of the vitamins are fortified by our highly bioavailable vitamin and mineral mix.

In case you’re curious about the exact bioavailability of the vitamins and minerals that are in our products, we wrote up this article for you. 

Carbs are bad for you!

Bread, potatoes, biscuits, pasta… Mmm, so yummy! But some believe carbs are evil and avoid carbs more than they avoid eye-contact while eating a banana. So: how bad are carbs, really? 


First, let’s establish what carbs are. Carbohydrates are macronutrients, and alongside fat and protein, they form a large part of our diets [12]. There are three different types of carbs: sugar, starch, and fibres. 


Overconsuming sugar can lead to health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease [13]. It can also cause tooth decay [14]. Sugar is what we call a simple carb [15]: quickly digested and turned into a short burst of energy [15].


Starch is often found in foods that come from plants, like veggies, legumes, and grains. Most starches are broken down in the body by digestive enzymes, [16] which turns them into glucose. Your blood carries the glucose to your cells, to use for energy. Starch is a complex carb, meaning it’ll gradually and slowly release energy.


Fibre is also a complex carbohydrate, but the difference between fibre and starch is that fibre can’t get digested by the digestive enzymes [15]. Fibres are great because they keep your digestive system healthy and help prevent constipation [17]. They can be found in cereals, fruits, vegetables [18], and - of course - Plenny-meals: 100 grams of  Plenny Shake contains more than 8 grams of fibre! 

Simple & complex Carbs

The difference between simple and complex carbs is that complex carbs take longer to digest and offer more energy throughout a longer period of time [16]. Say you eat a cube of sugar and a similar sized cube of wholegrain bread - you’d benefit more from the latter. Simple carbs have shorter molecule chains than complex carbs [19]. Those molecule chains get broken down and are turned into glucose, which your body uses for energy. Shorter chains get broken down faster, so it’s no surprise sugar gets broken down and absorbed faster than starch or fibre. 

Carbs are your body’s main source of energy [20]. Sure, consuming tons of sugar everyday isn’t the best idea, but starchy carbs and fibres definitely have their benefits!  

Luckily, Plenny meals contain plenty of complex carbs and fibres: oats, flaxseed, soy, tapioca starch, rice starch, and inulin provide a minimum of 5.9 gram of fibre per meal

So complete foods really are that great...? 

Simply put: yes!


Chewing is not exactly necessary when you’re having a drinkable meal, since you still make the enzymes to break down your food in your stomach. 

Synthetic Vitamins

Synthetic vitamins do get absorbed by the body, but unless you have a serious deficiency it is best to consume your vitamins & minerals with high bioavailability and in a balanced mix to ensure optimal absorption. 


Carbs are necessary to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. They’re great as long as your carb intake involves complex carbs and doesn’t consist of spoonfuls of sugar.  

Complete foods

Complete foods are pretty great,  especially if you don’t have a lot of time to prepare perfectly balanced meals. Instead of having to prepare your carbs, proteins and fibres separately while also fumbling about with supplements to get your daily dose of essential micronutrients, how about a Plenny Drink instead? Just twist off the cap, take a few sips, and you’ve consumed your needed nutrients. Convenient, healthy, and tasty!


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