Purina Diabetic Dog Food: Best Choice For Diabetics?
Diabetes is a disease that affects humans and animals alike. The symptoms vary from person to person, but it usually involves high blood sugar levels, which are caused by excess insulin production. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas (the organ in your body responsible for producing glucose). When too much insulin is produced, the body becomes resistant to its effects. This means that when you eat something with carbohydrates or sugars, the amount of sugar in your blood level rises above normal levels. If there isn’t enough insulin present in your system to lower blood sugar levels, then they will become elevated and eventually lead to diabetes.
The most common type of diabetes is Type 1 Diabetes. This is where the immune system attacks the beta cells in your pancreas. These cells produce insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Without sufficient insulin production, blood sugar levels rise and can cause problems such as blindness, kidney failure and death.
Other types of diabetes include Type 2 Diabetes, which occurs when the body does not make enough insulin; and Juvenile Diabetes Mellitus (JDM), which is a genetic disorder that causes early maturity at birth.
At present, the only way to treat diabetes is with regular intake of insulin injections or by regulating your diet so that your blood sugar levels don’t rise. This can be done by taking insulin injections or by making changes to your diet. There are several ways in which you can adjust your diet.
The easiest way is to reduce the amount of carbohydrates you eat. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars in the digestive system. If you eat a low carbohydrate diet, then the amount of sugar in your blood will be at a healthier level. Some foods with carbohydrates that you should avoid include bread, potatoes and anything else that is rich in starch.
Fruits are also high in carbohydrates so you should only eat them in moderation.
You should also increase your intake of fiber. When you eat a high fiber diet, the carbohydrates that you do eat are broken down more slowly. This means they pass through the digestive system at a slower rate and therefore your blood sugar levels don’t spike as much. High fiber diets also have other health benefits such as lowering cholesterol, reducing your risk of cancer and improving regularity.
Foods that contain a lot of fiber include whole grains, nuts and many vegetables.
The final thing you can do is to make sure you get plenty of exercise. This raises your metabolism and also has a positive effect on your blood pressure, which in turn reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Now that you have an idea of what you can do to treat your diabetes, I will discuss some tips on what food you should and shouldn’t eat.
First of all, make sure you avoid any kind of sugar. This includes foods such as cookies, cakes, ice cream and candy. Also try to avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup since it has the same effect as regular sugar. Fructose is fruit sugar and although it isn’t harmful in small amounts, it is best to just cut out the sweet stuff altogether.
You should also try to avoid “energy drinks”. These drinks have large amounts of caffeine and sugar and will just put your blood sugar levels out of balance.
Alcohol is another type of food that should only be consumed in moderation. Although alcohol does not have a direct effect on your blood sugar levels, it contains a lot of calories and therefore turns into sugar once it is digested. Because your body cannot process alcohol as quickly as it can process food, the calories from the alcohol will be absorbed into your system at a much slower rate. This means that the alcohol will stay in your system longer thus preventing the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
It also increases your appetite and can lead to excessive eating.
Also, if you are trying to lose weight it is not recommended that you eat potatoes since they are high in carbohydrates and have a lot of calories. There is nothing wrong with eating potatoes, but you need to keep your daily calorie intake in mind.
When picking out a salad or a side dish, go with something like green beans or broccoli instead of a food like rice since the first two contain fewer calories and are also rich in nutrients.
One important thing to remember is that although diet and exercise are very important when it comes to lowering your blood sugar levels, they can only do so much. Many other factors play a role as well such as your age, weight and family history. If you are able to properly manage your physical activity and diet then you should be fine.
Now that you have an understanding of the proper foods to eat and the proper way of eating, it is important to learn some basic knowledge of food labels since most of the foods that you will be eating or drinking will contain them.
The first thing you will see on a food label is the serving size. This is important to pay attention to because many times the calories and other nutrients listed are per serving size and not per item. It is always best to compare the per serving sizes instead of just looking at the total amount since someone could be mislead into thinking that they are eating less than they actually are.
On the nutrition facts section, listed are the amounts of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and several other nutrients. The fats and carbohydrates get the most attention since they are the ones that count when it comes to losing or gaining weight. Fats are labeled as saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat and cholesterol.
For carbohydrates there is the amount of fiber and then the rest are just classified as simple or complex. This is why it is always important to pay attention to the serving size since this will have a direct effect on the amount of each nutrient found in a single item.
On the bottom of the label, you will find listed the vitamins and minerals that are found in the food or drink. These are important to consume since your body requires them each day to perform a variety of functions.
The final section is for any allergen warnings and then right below it is the ingredients. The ingredients are listed in order from the item that is in the greatest amount to the ones that are in the least amount.
Now that you have a better understanding of food labels, it is time to learn how to read the nutrition facts on the back of exercise drinks. This is important to learn since most of these drinks contain a lot of sugar and will dehydrate you if you consume too much of them.
The first thing you will see on the nutrition fact label is a serving size. This is the entire bottle even if it says it contains 16 servings. It is always best to pay attention to this since someone could be misled into thinking they are drinking less of it than they actually are.
The other two things you should pay attention to is the number of calories and the amount of carbohydrates since these two are the most important when it comes to choosing an exercise drink.
The list of ingredients is given in order of how much is found in the drink.
Next you will find a break down of the amount of vitamins and minerals contained in the drink. This information is also listed in order from greatest to least amount. The benefit of reading this part is that it shows you what nutrients are lacking from your daily diet so you need not take multivitamins or other supplements.
When you are done reading the nutrition facts on the back of the bottle, it is time to learn about what goes into making an exercise drink.
Despite being marketed as a sports drink, Gatorade is nothing more than a flavored sugar beverage that happens to contain some sodium and potassium. The sugar content is so high that it could actually contribute to dehydration by drawing water out of your body through your urine.
Gatorade’s formula was based on a bodybuilding drink called “Muscle Meltdown”, which was designed to help people put on weight fast. The problem is that they left out the protein, and some of the other ingredients that helped prevent kidney failure due to all the sugar, so they had to add the stuff back in along with some flavor so that people would actually want to drink it. Gatorade was originally called “G optical Radiant Ade” and was a green colored drink when it was first introduced.
In the beginning, Gatorade was only sold to professional athletes but eventually it made its way into high schools and then colleges. Today it is found everywhere and many people consume it on a daily basis. These people are missing the point of drinking it. Gatorade was designed for people who are engaging in physical activity or work that makes heavy demands on their bodies since it provides quick energy to replace that which is lost.
Since it is so sweet, it also helps reduce your desire for other foods that are high in sugar content.
Gatorade is also useful for people who are sick and have a fever since the sodium in it helps reduce the amount of water loss through sweat.
The electrolytes present in the drink are what Gatorade uses in place of protein and other nutrients to help people put on weight. If you are an athlete who is trying to gain weight then I guess it works, otherwise there are better ways.
For people like runners or those with a fast paced desk job, a better drink to have would be one that is all natural with no sugar or artificial ingredients. These types of drinks can be found in most health food stores and online. These drinks usually come in cans or plastic bottles and the ingredients are printed directly on the container.
This concludes our crash course on food and meal planning. Now you have everything you need to know to make good food choices for your diet. Its all about finding a balance between eating and your lifestyle.
And that’s it folks! I hope this e-book has helped you accomplish your goals. Remember to stretch and stay hydrated!
Sources & references used in this article:
- Evaluation of a quality‐of‐life tool for dogs with diabetes mellitus (SJM Niessen, S Powney, J Guitian… – Journal of Veterinary …, 2012 – Wiley Online Library)
- Untargeted metabolomic analysis in naturally occurring canine diabetes mellitus identifies similarities to human Type 1 Diabetes (AL O’Kell, TJ Garrett, C Wasserfall, MA Atkinson – Scientific Reports, 2017 – nature.com)
- Sweet success: Managing the difficult diabetic patient (Sponsored by Purina Veterinary Diets) (D Matter, F Form, C Fiber, RCV Diet – dvm360.com)
- Home monitoring of the diabetic pet (MA Mathes – Clinical techniques in small animal practice, 2002 – Elsevier)