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"Grain Free" Diseases

Aside from being misled by these products (they are not starch free), pet foods that are “Grain Free” make pets even more vulnerable to the diseases in this list than grain-based pet foods. This is because Grain Free foods still contain starches, and often of the refined flour variety. Unfortunately, people have been led to believe that “Grain Free” is more natural and higher in meat, but neither is true. Because these foods are claimed to be “complete and balanced,” people feed them constantly and thus overwhelm their pets with sugars. Also, the grains that are eliminated are of higher biological value than the substitute starches. Grain-based foods also encourage healthy digestive probiotics. On the other hand, “Grain Free” pet foods decrease beneficial probiotics and increase pathogenic bacteria potential. (Integrative Medicine, 8 (5), 49, 2009)

• “…ileal OM and CP digestibilities were lowest for the potato flour treatment (74 and 64% respectively)…crude protein digestibility was highest for corn (87%)…” Murray, S.M., et al. Evaluation of selected high-starch flours as ingredients in canine diets. Journal of Animal Science, 77 (8), 2180-2186, 1999.

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