If you understand the following core physiologic principle, it will be very clear to you why consuming processed carbohydrates leads to obesity for humans and pets:
Eat some starch or sugar.
Glucose enters the bloodstream and cells absorb the sugar.
Insulin facilitates the storage of this sugar as triglycerides(fat, weight gain)
Eat some more sugar and the cycle repeats.
Skipping meals is a physiologic stressor which causes cortisol release, hunger, sugar cravings, and additional weight gain.
If instead, at times of low blood sugar, one intervenes with protein and fat, one achieves satisfaction.
The ingestion of protein and fat stimulates gluconeogenesis, the breakdown of stored energy reserves.
This feeds the body’s little mitochondrial furnaces, which leads to increased energy, not a carb coma!
Foods with a high glycemic index(GI) are rapidly digested and absorbed resulting in wild fluctuations in blood sugar. Low-GI foods, digest and absorb slowly, producing gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health. Low GI diets help diabetics and others with weight control by controlling appetite and delaying hunger. Cravings mean insufficient protein and fat in the diet. Starches are a source of cravings. Low GI diets also reduce insulin levels and the development of insulin resistance.
The American Diabetes Association explains, “meats and fats don’t have a Glycemic Index(GI) because they do not contain carbohydrate. Fat and fiber tend to lower the GI of a food. As a general rule, the more cooked or processed a food, the higher the GI.” So, if humans should eat less processed, protein, fat and fiber diets, what should our carnivore pets ingest? Surely not processed, high carbohydrate, low protein, low fiber kibble diets!
Unfortunately, millions of dogs and cats are fed twice daily or even free-choice, highly processed, starch filled diets every day, every meal! Read your ingredient labels! Dogs and cats should not be fed corn, wheat, soy, rice, potato or tapioca. Just because a bag of kibble has a dog or cat photo on the bag, does not mean it is an appropriate food meant for a carnivore!
The best way for your lazy cat or your fat dog to increase energy and lose weight is to eat a species appropriate, prey-concept, high protein/high fat, meat-based, low glycemic, unprocessed, fresh diet!
Any dry kibble in a bag must contain starch to be manufactured. “Grain-free” diets are NOT starch free. This is a bit of a marketing trick. The starch is usually in the form of potato or tapioca. This may be a beneficial step in the right direction for some individuals, but don’t be misled to believe that this kibble product is low glycemic!
Feed foods which are low glycemic. A piece of meat is better than a green bean which is better than a carrot, which is better than a wheat biscuit. The “goodness” of food is relative.
Not only will decreasing processed carbohydrates in your pet’s menu facilitate weight loss, but this change can prevent or help manage several other common pet ailments. A lymphoma study performed on dogs with this type of cancer demonstrated that dogs fed meat-based diets had better quality of life and longevity than those similarly afflicted who were fed a conventional kibble diet. Removing starch from a pet’s menu commonly improves or eliminates symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease, allergies and even epilepsy.
Resolve to research how to home-prepare a balanced, species-appropriate diet for your pet or to purchase a commercial balanced raw diet. You will witness healthy, rapid weight loss and quality, longevity of life by feeding your pet companion as nature intended! Feeding your pet well may cause you to feed yourself and your human family members better in 2013 as well!