Your Questions About Reading Food Labels Activity

Mandy asks…

Question about cat food, can you help?

Please read my whole question before answering, thanks.

I’m switching my cats to all wet food as I read it’s better for them overall than dry kibble.
I went to read the labels on how much to feed my cats. The 2 canned foods I am deciding on are chicken soup for the cat lover’s soul, and Holistic select. I know they are both 2 different companies, but BOTH foods are in 5.5oz cans, but the feeding guidelines are different on each food. On the chicken soup food, they say to feed 1.5 cans of food per 7 lbs of body weight daily, but on the holistic select, they say to feed only 1 can daily. These are both adult formula cat foods, both chicken/turkey formula that I will be feeding, and the ingredients are pretty much similar, so why would the chicken soup brand require you to feed 1/2 can more a day than the holistic select?

Both my cats are indoor only adults, with moderate activity level, and are 6.5 lbs and 7.5 lbs. I would rather go with the chicken soup brand since the cans are only 80 cents, whereas the holistic select cans are $1.29, so if I can get away with feeding my cat the one can a day with the chicken soup, I would rather do so, because when I add it all up with 2 cats at 1 can a day each, the chiken soup brand is going to cost me about $50 a month, whereas the holistic select will cost me $75-80 a month. But if I need to feed my cat as much as the chicken soup brand wants me to, it is going to require me to buy more cans on a monthly basis, so it is going to be more expensive in the long run, than buying the holistic select and only using one can per cat a day. Like I said, in short, I want to know if it is ok to feed my cats only one can of the chicken soup brand a day, rather than 1.5-1.75 cans a day like their label says.

Do not ridicule me on prices and how if I own cats I need to dish out whatever it takes, it’s my check book, not yours, and I take great care of my cats with veterinary care and high quality foods, I just would like to save some money in the long run with the canned food diet, and that extra $25-30 a month will be helpful. Thanks in advance for your advice.

admin answers:

I am glad you made this choice for your cats, it’s great to see more people jump on the train and feed their cats properly! Kudos!

I checked the guaranteed analysis and the difference is that the Chicken Soup has 10% protein and 5% fat, while Holistic had 8.5 protein and 6.5 fat. That may be why the instructions are different, for the cat on Chicken soup to get enough fats. Personally I would go with the one with more protein, 8.5 is just quite low. You could start by feedin 2.5 cans which is a compromise and see how the cats will do. Or just supplement a little raw meat to make up for the fat and protein.

However I read the list of ingredients too and both foods contain grain.

Grain is not good because it’s carbs and cats are not equipped to process carbs. They turn to blood sugar and fat, and contribute to diabetes and obesity. I think you could do a little better with completely grain-free product. I’m not sure about the prices in states, but check out Wellness, Merrick, Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Nature’s Variety… Maybe you can find an economical solution somewhere there.

If not, then I would email the manufacturer to give you a complete analysis to find out just how much grain and rice is in there. If it’s less than 5%, then I’d go for it. In the nature the cat would consume the prey including stomach, that may have some grain in it, up to 5% of the total weight, so that should not be harmful. You can also learn to count the carb percentage from the guaranteed analyses here: http://www.catinfo.org/?link=cannedfoods

I did the math for you on these 2 and here are the results:

Chicken soup: 18% carbs
Holistic: 18% carbs
This is percentage in dry matter of the food, and that should be lower than 10%.

For example, Wellness core has 12% protein and 7% fat, both great numbers. In addition it has 0.2% carbs in dry matter only. That’s great food.

If you find more cheap brands that you wold like to evaluate and are not sure how to, send me an email, I’ll be happy to help.

Good luck!

Betty asks…

again~ my dog~ and dog food……..?

i feed my dog, (husky) which is idiopathic epileptic, purina alpo prime cuts. i was reading the label and there was a few things that alarmed me.

1) animal digest
2) copper sulphate
3) sodium selenite
and there is a box that says: adult level of dry food indicated fed ONCE daily to HEALTHY, dogs with normal activity.
should i just start feeding him home-cooked meals?
well, he is on phenobarbital, for now. i dont know if i mentioned this or not, but he had 6 seizures on saturday, and i think he lost his memory. he does NOT respond to his name anymore. he is not as love-able as before. i just dont know. the aggression has stopped though… :-P
i am getting him bil jac or innova today which is better?

admin answers:

Lol what you are feeding your dog is basically a death sentence. Honestly you could feed your dog dirt from the ground and it would be more nutritious.

I would not recommend home cooked meals, without research you will not be able to balance the nutrition and will do far more harm than good. Just get a high quality dog food, you will feed less, have less health problems and way less poop

Innova
Solid Gold
Wellness
Eagle Pack
Canidae
Blue
California Naturals
Chicken Soup
Merrick

Richard asks…

Need someone to answer these questions?

I need 2 people to answer the follow question, does not have to be very detailed, just short, sweet and to the point. Thanks!

Exercising

1. What would you give yourself on a scale from 1 to 5, 1 being not exercising at all and 5, doing exercises on a daily basis and why?

2. Do you think performing any type of physical activity is important and why?

3. Do you prefer doing exercises indoor or outdoor and why?

4. What forms of physical activity do you perform regularly to improve agility, balance, cardio-respiratory, endurance, coordination, flexibility and muscular strength?

5. Do you face any problems when performing simple physical activities like jogging or skipping?

6. What aspect of fitness do you feel you are most strongest in and why?

Eating

7. At what time do you eat throughout the day and are these time constant?

8. Do you have a choice to what you want to eat during your meals? If so, what do you prefer eating?

9. Can you control yourself from eating any types of unhealthy food?

10. When eating, do you follow Canada’s Food Guide, why or why not?

11. Do you think it is important to read the labels on packaged good products when grocery shopping? Why or why not?

12. What do you or your parents consider when grocery shopping, price, expiry date, food label or amount?

Relationship/Self-Reflect

13. How is your relationship between friends and family? Describe any types of problems/conflicts,

14. What do you usually do when you feel stressed, depressed, pressured or lost? How often do you have these feelings?

15. Have you ever been bullied or criticized because of your physical appearance? If yes, how d id you deal with it?

16. How often do you weight yourself and measure your height?

17. How often do you get a regular check up by your doctor?

18. What are your worries and concerns about going through puberty? How do you plan to go through these worries and concerns?

admin answers:

1.2 Iwalk back and forth from work on the days i work, and I walk and lpay with my kids, but don’t do any other exercises really.
2. Yes. Physical activity of at least some sort is extremely important to keep bones and muscles working properly as well as good circulation and what not!
3. Outdoor as long as it is not extremely hot. I feel to cooped up indoors and don’t feel motivated to do it.
4. I walk regularly, play with my children, and do fitness on the wii :) if that counts
5. No
6. Doing so for a good length of time (once motivated to do so)
7. Breakfast in the morning, lunch of some sort at sometime throughout the day, dinner in the evening and usually a snack before bed. Mostly consistant within 1/2 hr or so
8. Yes, since i prepare the meals. Usually a meat and grain and vegetable of some sort.
9. Yes, I often splurge on snacks but I am able to control myself if I wanted to stop.
10. No. I don’t live in Cananda, but I stick pretty closely to the food pyramid (a little over in fats and a little under in fruits)
11. Somewhat…I read them sometimes, but usually prepare things from scratch so don’t worry so much
12. Price, freshness, season, amount, brand, etc…
13. Good. A few great friends, some aquantences. My husband and 2 children. I speak regularly to both parents and siblings
14. Talk to a friend, read, scrapbook, walk…Occasionally, not alot but moer than some I would say
15. Yes. In high school for being overweight and wearing glasses. I just let it go by. I had people who cared regardless of what I looked like and I was happy with myself for the most part
16. Hardly ever. I did regularly during my pregnancies, but thats all.
17. I try yearly…More while I was pregnant
18. None…I’m way past that :)

MYH

Maria asks…

Nutrition topics for adults?

I have been asked to do a 30-minute presentation on nutrition or eating well for a group of teachers. I’m used to appealing to students, not adults. What would be a good topic? They probably already know about the food pyramid and how to read labels. I don’t want to talk down to them but also want to make it interesting with a couple of activities. Any ideas?

admin answers:

They may read labels, but be sure to tell them not to believe everything in the ads. Advertisements are there to draw attention, not to inform people so advice these teachers to read the labels properly before buying food products.
Prepare some simple handouts on the food pyramid for them. Sure, most people have some idea of what it looks like, but if they have a copy for themselves they’re more likely to read it properly and start following it.
Have you considered talking about the health effects of different foods and food additives? For example, giving a bit of a primer on why too much salt is unhealthy shouldn’t be seen as talking down, just being informative. As opposed to just telling them to follow instructions like you would do with kids, explain why they should do listen to you. That ought to give a better response.
I’m not sure activities are a good idea – having been to a talk similar to yours lately (I’m a medical student) they tend to be distracting and people often digress. Your audience is a bunch of teachers, so I don’t think giving 30 minutes of attention to you is asking much. You won’t need an activity to break things up.

Mark asks…

Metformin – insulin resistance – diet?

I have recently learned that I am insulin resistant. I have a torn SI joint that has prevented much physical activity for alot of years. Finally I decided to deal with the issues, get some weight off, and fix the problems, instead of masking them.

My Dr has prescribed Metformin for insulin resistance, and restricted all physical activity except Aquafit (which I have been to everyday). My question is that he wanted me to cut 60% of starch intake. I didn’t eat badly to start with, and joined one of these food tracker sites. it says I have not consumed any starches, with the exception of a condensed soup one day. other than that it has been 0g everyday, and I really havent changed anything, and the things I did change, werent being counted as starch anyway.

Im really confused. I can read labels, but dont really understand what I am supposed to be watching for. Please help.
Thank you for your input. I will change my tracker to see how that works. The site does an estimate of what you should be consuming of Fat, Carb, and protien. I am around half or less of the suggested carb intake as well. and usually fairly close with the protein and fat. How many grams of carbs is reasonable for someone with insullin resistance (diabetes)? the recommended is about 170 to 250, and I think my max day was 108. Is that too much?

I dont eat rice or potato. maybe whole wheat egg noodles 1-2 times a week, which is more like 0-1 times a week since I have been trying to reduce “starches” and maybe 2 slices of whole grain toast in a week, if that. I have always tried to make a point of staying away from anything made with white flour. This is why I am confused. I appreciate all you have said, but I need more. thank you
sorry, just wanted to mention that I am getting about 30 or more grams of fiber per day. Is that enough?

admin answers:

Today is your lucky day. Heres the easiest way to eat for a diabetic or for that fact for everyone to eat. It should be your bible for eating for life.

Http://www.mendosa.com/gilists.htm

This table includes the glycemic index and glycemic load of more than 2,480 individual food items. Not all of them, however, are available in the United States. They represent a true international effort of testing around the world.

The glycemic index (GI) is a numerical system of measuring how much of a rise in circulating blood sugar a carbohydrate triggers–the higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response. So a low GI food will cause a small rise, while a high GI food will trigger a dramatic spike. A list of carbohydrates with their glycemic values is shown below. A GI is 70 or more is high, a GI of 56 to 69 inclusive is medium, and a GI of 55 or less is low.

The glycemic load (GL) is a relatively new way to assess the impact of carbohydrate consumption that takes the glycemic index into account, but gives a fuller picture than does glycemic index alone. A GI value tells you only how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into sugar. It doesn’t tell you how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving of a particular food. You need to know both things to understand a food’s effect on blood sugar. That is where glycemic load comes in. The carbohydrate in watermelon, for example, has a high GI. But there isn’t a lot of it, so watermelon’s glycemic load is relatively low. A GL of 20 or more is high, a GL of 11 to 19 inclusive is medium, and a GL of 10 or less is low.

Foods that have a low GL almost always have a low GI. Foods with an intermediate or high GL range from very low to very high GI.

Both GI and GL are listed here. The GI is of foods based on the glucose index–where glucose is set to equal 100. The other is the glycemic load, which is the glycemic index divided by 100 multiplied by its available carbohydrate content (i.e. Carbohydrates minus fiber) in grams. (The “Serve size (g)” column is the serving size in grams for calculating the glycemic load; for simplicity of presentation I have left out an intermediate column that shows the available carbohydrates in the stated serving sizes.) Take, watermelon as an example of calculating glycemic load. Its glycemic index is pretty high, about 72. According to the calculations by the people at the University of Sydney’s Human Nutrition Unit, in a serving of 120 grams it has 6 grams of available carbohydrate per serving, so its glycemic load is pretty low, 72/100*6=4.32, rounded to 4.

The Glycemic Load is the really important one. All the diets combined cannot top this one. You will actually enjoy eating. With no guilt.
Use ¼ to ½ teaspoon of cinnamon per day. Add it to your coffee, oatmeal, smoothie, or wherever you find it palatable.
If you already suffer from diabetes, be sure to stay on a regular schedule with your cinnamon usage so that your blood sugar levels don’t yo-yo.Use the same amount at the same time every day so that you can get a sense of how cinnamon affects your own personal blood sugar readings.
Use the powdered spice or a cinnamon stick. Cinnamon pills are also available, and can be found easily via an online search. MHCP is water soluble and is not found in cinnamon oil.

Lime and lemon juice delay the digestion of starches as does vinegar. I’ve found that 2-3 tablespoons of lime or lemon juice reduces my post prandial BG response by 10-20 points. Rick Mendosa’s site has a lot of material on acids in the diet. Take a look at http://www.mendosa.com/acidic_foods.htm .

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