Fat Is Not the Cause of Pancreatitis! Can You Guess What Is?
How often have you heard if your pet has pancreatitis they need a low fat diet? Almost always and fat has been vilified as the cause of pancreatitis for decades! New, but not so new research shows that fat is not the culprit as we were once lead to believe, the true villain is carbs! 🍞
We all know our cats and dogs have no biological requirement for carbs. When they eat carbs, carbs turn to sugar and sugar feeds disease. Well, it's been proven again how detrimental carbs can be in our cats and dog's diets! If we're feeding a dry diet, we cannot avoid the carbs. Kibble requires starch in order to hold its pellet shape, starch equals carbs and carbs equal sugar. But the actual reason carbs become the issue when we're talking about pancreatitis is how they're digested. 👇
There are three macronutrients, protein, fat and carbs. When our pets eat their food, it will go to their stomach where the stomach acid does its job to breakdown the protein into amino acids. From the stomach, the food moves to the small intestine where the gallbladder releases bile to break down the fat. So our protein and fat have been broken down during digestion, what's left, carbs! You know who's job it is to breakdown carbs? You guessed it, the pancreas! The primary job of the pancreas is to digest carbohydrates! The pancreas creates an enzyme called amylase and amylase is a digestive enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates. Because dogs and cats have no biological requirement for carbs, they also produce very low amounts of amylase. 👇
If we have a pet eating a high-carb diet (kibble) and a pancreas that is continually under pressure to produce an enzyme it doesn't produce a lot of, what do you think we're doing to the pancreas by forcing it to constantly try and metabolize carbs? We're making it very angry....that's what! When we add the suffix "itis" to any word, it means inflamed. So pancreatitis means an inflamed pancreas. A pancreas that is working overtime to produce an enzyme our cats and dogs bodies would normally use very little of is obviously a reason the pancreas becomes inflamed. 😳
So if you're told to cut fat from your pet's diet if they have pancreatitis, know that the quality of the fat and protein as well as reducing carbs is a much better option for relieving stress from the pancreas. No dry diet will give you the same quality of protein and fat that a fresh diet will because it has been rendered and cooked at such high temperatures, there is no quality nutrients left in the food. All the nutrients will be coming from added in synthetics. The carbs will also be far higher than a fresh diet and we will continue to stress the pancreas and put unnecessary pressure on it to produce more amylase than it's used to.
Feeding a less processed diet and incorporating a digestive enzyme when we're dealing with an inflamed pancreas will help alleviate the stress and help reduce the inflammation. Ask any pet parent who's had a pet with pancreatitis and switched to a fresh diet how often they have pancreatic episodes! They're glad they cut the carbs, so are their pets and you will be too!