In 2013, Greg Aldrich wrote for Petfood Industry that the concept of a product possessing a 'low glycemic index' is emerging as a new parameter for evaluating pet foods.
He wrote: “The index is a carryover from the human foods industry, where it is used as a method to help diabetic individuals make ingredient and meal choices in their effort to constantly monitor and control blood glucose levels. Because of its simplicity and the link between glucose metabolism and a host of chronic diseases, such as obesity, the glycemic index has also become more widely recognized as a dietary management tool for the broader population. So, it is no wonder that the idea has found its way into pet food promotions and requests for low-glycemic ingredients and products.
“In pets and other animals (rats and mice), there are indications that avoiding high-glycemic foods might also be beneficial for managing diabetes. This seems quite logical. There may also be a link, albeit not yet a direct one, between the glycemic index and obesity, performance and other degenerative diseases associated with aging in the pet. However, there does not appear to be any direct relationship proposed in the literature to suggest a benefit for managing the dietary glycemic index in normally healthy dogs or cats.”
Recently, Melissa Brookshire also wrote for Petfood Industry about the topic of glycemic index in the pet food industry.
She wrote: “There are several issues of concern surrounding GI as it relates to pet nutrition. First, pets are not people. Humanization of pets has allowed for the explosion of many trends in the industry, with a phenomenal impact on the foods that are purchased. But humanization of pets does not turn the metabolism of a dog or cat into that of a human.”
The concept of a product possessing a low glycemic index is emerging as a new parameter for evaluating petfoods. The index is a carryover from the human foods industry, where it is used as a method to help diabetic individuals make ingredient and meal choices in their effort to constantly monitor and control blood glucose levels.
By Lindsay Beaton
As work continues on creating a new nutrition label that focuses on simplifying information for consumers, challenges remain.
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