It’s Not Just the ‘Food’ that Counts; it’s also what’s in the food!

by Deserving Pets on October 12, 2010

We all want our cats and dogs to be and to stay as healthy as possible.  And we know that diet and environment play an important role in health.  Many leaders in the field of both veterinary and human nutrition design diets to improve health and reduce risk of disease.   I’ve found that leaders in the field of human nutrition and disease prevention tend to disagree with certain stances within the veterinary field.  There’s good reason for these disagreements and those in the veterinary field can learn from those in the human field.  It’s not just the ‘ food’ that counts; it’s also what’s in the food.

Comprehensive Research in the Human Field

One of the best books on cancer (which applies to both humans and pets) is the China Study by Dr. T. Collin Campbell.  I mention it in my book, Dr. Khalsa’s Natural Dog. I was recently conversing with an M.D. who has a well known facility for treating cancer more naturally and mentioned to him the veterinary stance on high protein and high fat diet for dogs to slow cancer growth.  We discussed in detail the reasons for this and the metabolic factors involved and he completely agreed that on the biochemical level this is the opposite of what you would want to do and they would never recommend this for people ( or dogs for that matter).  You see, it only works if the dog is thin as a rail without any fat and has one huge tumor you want to carbohydrate starve.   A dog with fat will use his fat to make carbs for the tumor.  Importantly, this kind of diet makes the body acidic which is ideal for cancer growth.

It's Not Just the 'Food' that Counts; it's also what's in the food!

It All Comes Down to the Cell

I keep explaining this to veterinary friends of mine but they keep getting bombarded by the inane high protein mumbo jumbo.   Our dogs and cats have the exact same cells we do and the bottom line is always at the cellular level.   Modern science has advanced in the area of cell metabolism and this is being somewhat ignored in the decisions we are making about canine and feline diet.  Dr. Campbell was part of the largest cancer study ever done.   Percent of protein intake was found to be very important for cancer prevention.  In one segment of the study, rats were given aflatoxins, one of the most carcinogenic substances on the planet and two groups were created.  Aflatoxins, by the way, are very prevalent in peanuts as both peanut hulls and peanuts grow a mold that produces aflatoxins.    Peanut butter has been found to contain significant amounts of this carcinogen as the moldiest peanuts are often used for peanut butter.  And how about the dog foods that contain peanut hulls?  (Why would peanut hull be in dog food in the first place?).  But I diverge…..  Two groups were formed and the rats who were fed a diet of less than 20% protein did not get cancer.  Not a one.  The rats fed a diet of more than 20% protein all got cancer.  Every one.  This work was repeated in vitro ( test tubes and cultures) and with real people in real life in the provinces of China.  In fact, poor areas, where people who ate little protein lived had a 100% statistical difference with rich areas.

It’s All in the Details

I’m not contesting that cats and dogs are carnivores.  I’m not even making a dietary decision for your pet. All I’m saying is that you cannot judge a book from its cover.  We read the fat, carbohydrate and protein content on the label and look for ‘real and genuine’ ingredients rather than by products.  Should we look deeper?  Should we look for peanut hulls?     There is so much information out there and I can only give you bits and pieces with each article or else it would be overwhelming.  The bottom line is that we all have to start turning the pages of ‘the book of health and nutrition‘  and start looking deeper into the matter.   Join me as we all become ‘Columbos’ and  ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and find out what we really need to look for to keep our pets healthier.

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