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Research Notes
on August 13, 2014

Dietary fiber composition of diets used for management of obesity and diabetes in cats

Crude fiber concentration was not a reliable indicator of TDF concentration or dietary fiber composition.

The objective of this study was to determine the total dietary fiber (TDF) composition of feline diets used for the management of obesity and diabetes mellitus. The survey included dry veterinary, canned veterinary and canned over-the-counter feline diets, and the percentage of TDF as insoluble dietary fiber (IDF), high-molecular-weight soluble dietary fiber (HMWSDF) and low-molecular-weight soluble dietary fiber (LMWSDF) was determined.

Median measured TDF concentration was greater than reported maximum crude fiber content in dry and canned diets. Dry and canned diets, and diets with and without a source of oligosaccharides in the ingredient list, were not different in energy density or concentrations of TDF, IDF, HMWSDF or LMWSDF. Similarly, loaf-type and gravy-type canned diets differed only in LMWSDF concentration. Disparities in TDF concentrations among products existed despite a lack of differences among groups. Limited differences in TDF concentration and dietary fiber composition were detected when diets were compared on the basis of carbohydrate concentration. Diets labeled for management of obesity were higher in TDF concentration and lower in energy density than diets for management of diabetes mellitus.

Diets provided a range of TDF concentrations with variable concentrations of IDF, HMWSDF and LMWSDF. Crude fiber concentration was not a reliable indicator of TDF concentration or dietary fiber composition. Because carbohydrate content is calculated as a difference, results suggested that use of crude fiber content would cause overestimation of both carbohydrate and energy content of diets.

Source:  Tammy J. Owens DVM, et al., 2014. Total dietary fiber composition of diets used for management of obesity and diabetes mellitus in cats. JAVMA online, July 2014. doi: 10.2460/javma.245.1.99.

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