To fully understand the reason why there is no sugar in 3coty®, we need to remember that the human diet and the feline diet are two completely different things.
We know that fruit and vegetables are good, healthy and full of nutrients when it comes to our diet. In recent years, there is more and more discussion about rye bread being a healthier option than white bread, or potatoes versus carrots when watching our figure.
That is for us, the humans.
Cats, even though they live with us, are different to us. They are 100% carnivores, that means they should only eat meat. Some may argue that, the wild cat living in the woods and hunting mice, birds and small rodents, are the real carnivores, whereas the cat living with us is different. Is it really? Our ancestors domesticated cats, changing their habits, but this change was not physiological. Their metabolic system has not yet adapted to such drastic environmental changes. They are still carnivores and their bodies have not changed to handle vegetables or grains as part of their regular diet.
So what is all the fuss about sugar?
We call the white substance we add to our morning coffee or while baking birthday cake sugar. It is used to sweeten the taste – in this form it is a sucrose. Sucrose is a disaccharide, that means a chemical substance consisting of two monosaccharides, also called simple sugars – glucose and fructose.
There are 3 simple sugars – glucose, fructose and galactose and different combinations of them bonded together create disaccharides (two simple sugars e.g. sucrose) and when a larger number of simple sugars bond together they compose substances that are called oligosaccharides or polysaccharides.
Without going into too many biochemical details we commonly call sugars – carbohydrates or actually the other way around, we call carbohydrates – sugars, which are often used as synonyms in everyday language. In general we use the term “carbohydrate” to describe “sugar” present in our food. We know that foods like cereals, bread, pasta or candy, jam and other desserts consist of sugar/carbohydrate.
We are also more and more aware that sugar/carbohydrate is not good for humans and high consumption of many carbohydrates can lead to numerous illnesses, including cancer, diabetes and obesity.
Monosaccharides, our common “simple sugars”, are the major fuel source for the metabolism. They are used as an energy source, glucose being the most important of them. When simple sugar is consumed but not immediately needed it is converted to polysaccharide – sugar consisting of many simple sugars bonded together. Making it short which consumes less space in the body. In many animals, including humans, this storage form is glycogen which is mostly stored in liver and muscle cells. In plants, it is converted to starch, which is used for the same purpose.
Cats are obligate carnivores, so their diet should be 100% meat based. Carbohydrates are not a required nutrient for obligate carnivores, as they rely on nutrients from animal tissues, protein and fat. Cats’ need for glucose, as the main energy source, can be met by metabolizing, i.e. by breaking down triglycerides and some amino acids which can also be converted to glucose. These components are found in animal tissue. So cats’ diets based on protein and fat are a very efficient source of energy.
Sugars are not required in the feline diet and if included in feeding, will be deposited as fat and stored in the cat’s body. This can possibly lead to diabetes, obesity, and/or other conditions, such as hepatic lipidosis (feline fatty liver syndrome) or cancer.
New trends – grain free
Grains, such as wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal, rich in carbohydrates, should not be present in a cat’s diet. They are much cheaper than meat which is why they became a popular component of many commercial cat food brands.
In recent times, more and more cat food brands have switched to Grain Free options. This is not equal to zero carbohydrates. This is because carbohydrates are not only in grains, but also in starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn or peas – components often used in dry cat food.
Checking the label
This is why checking any food label and understanding the percentage of meat contents versus carbohydrates in the cat’s ready-made food is are so important. Like with humans, a cat’s diet has an impact on health, quality of life and longevity. Long term high carbohydrate food should be restricted or eliminated to avoid potential health risks.
3coty® natural cat food has been developed to meet all requirements of the obligate carnivore diet, thus can be a supporting diet for cats treated for diabetes, obesity or other conditions where sugar/carbohydrate free diet is essential.