The British paper, The Guardian, recently (Feb.11, 2019) published an article about ultra-processed foods linking them to a risk of earlier death, (citing a study from France). More than 44,000 people participated in that study which began in 2009 and was called NutriNet-Santé. The researchers evaluated how much of the subjects' diets – and calories – consisted of “ultra-processed” foods, (i.e., food manufactured in factories with industrial ingredients and additives, such as dried ready meals, cakes and biscuits), essentially the same kind of thing as involved in dry pet food.
Over seven years of follow-up, there were 602 deaths, of which 219 were from cancer and 34 from cardiovascular disease. The research, published in the journal Jama Internal Medicine, found that deaths were more likely to occur in those who ate more ultra-processed food. Think about how much worse the death rate must be for cats and dogs on kibble diets, where 100% of their food intake is from ultra-processed food chockablock with ingredients with names you can't even pronounce.
Get this: For each 10% increase in the amount of ultra-processed food consumed, the risk of death rises by 14%. It's not surprising that the main causes of death due to ultra-processed food are chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. That's not all, these types of foods, if you want to call them that, also lead to obesity, one more condition that cuts deeply into a healthy lifespan.
Another major finding was that sub-optimal intake of whole foods like vegetables, fruits and animal-based omega-3, along with consumption of heavily manufactured food, account for over 45% of all cardiometabolic deaths.
So do me a favor, the next time someone tells you that they are feeding their cat or dog "a high-quality kibble", send them a link to this article in The Guardian, because there is no such thing as a "high-quality" ultra-processed food.
Tell them about raw diets and save a pet's life.
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