"Bad" Grain-Free Food Ingredients
Since many pet parents have learned that grains are NOT good for dogs and cats, many grain-free foods have come to market. However, many of the grain substitutes are problematic as well.
What's a Pet Parent to Do?
1) Familiarize yourself with these "new" ingredients.
Cellulose is added to increase fiber. However, Dr Becker reports, "Powdered cellulose is actually wood pulp (sawdust), believe it or not. The only fiber wild dogs and cats ingest is whatever is found in the already-digested stomach contents of their prey, plus fur, tendons and ligaments. When your dog or cat consumes unnecessary fillers, like wads of fiber, it inhibits digestion and absorption of many vital nutrients. A small amount of fiber is very important, but a diet loaded with fiber is very detrimental."
Peas: I learned something new from Dr. Becker. The peas in pet food are not lovely green peas or even frozen peas. They are dried peas (legumes). Yes, they may be high in vegetable protein, but they are a poor substitute for the animal protein dogs and cats are designed to eat. However, the peas in the food will be counted in the protein measurement, thus skewing the usable (absorb-able) protein your dog or cat requires. In addition, these legumes contain lectins and phytates that interrupt absorption and increase inflammation.
Soy: Soy is an expensive GMO crop that is indigestible by dogs and cats. Period. It's presence in the food will also skew the protein profile on the bag or can, making you think you're providing adequate protein for our companion.
Alfalfa and Potatoes: Alfalfa sounds like a great green addition to the food. However, it's in the pea family and has some of the issues peas do. It also contains "several saponins, which are glycosides with a foaming characteristic. Saponins are anti-nutrients, meaning they interfere with absorption of essential nutrients." (Dr. Becker)
White potatoes are in the nightshade family, along with tomatoes and eggplant. These too are high in lectins which irritate the body and cause inflammation. Sweet potatoes are NOT in the nightshade family, and in moderation, can provide beneficial fiber and nutrients.
2) Be certain to examine EVERY food you consider purchasing to find out what ingredients are in the food and why.
3) Get help finding prepared foods that contain wholesome ingredients that actually promote health for your cat and dog. Do you want to create a meal plan that provides your dog or cat the best, wholesome ingredients for them personally? I can help! Please click here to learn more.