I was so happy to see a member post video of his dog enjoying a watermelon meal on my Facebook group this morning, after reading yet another article yesterday about how “dangerous” “high glycemic” foods are for dogs. This particular article focused on yams and sweet potatoes, but the premise was that all “high glycemic” foods are to be avoided. It was written, of course, by a “holistic health” expert who happens to make boatloads of money selling supplements and remedies for problems whose causes she hasn’t a clue about. Please note, everyone who has used watermelon meals and whole watermelon days or even weeks to heal their dogs, that watermelon is also a “high glycemic” food! This ONLY means its sugars are naturally high in bioavailability, which is a GOOD thing. UNLESS, of course you’re either eating lots of crap that keeps said sugars from being received into your cells or are feeding such foods to your dog, like the people who issue dire warnings against “high glycemic” foods.
As I’ve mentioned before, we can’t help but bring some of what we know about human health to our understanding of what dogs need. Sometimes this is a good thing, if it teaches us a useful, extrapolatable, universal principle, such as both species having only a single chamber in which to digest food and many other commonalities. But when we humans suffer all kinds of maladies that are a result of our own eating habits that we’re unwilling to rectify or even examine objectively, our assumptions can be FAULTY, and that what’s happening here. People who eat lots of fatty foods, meats and other unsuitable fare have problems when they eat simple sugars, and they then make assumptions about sugars being ‘problematic’. Of course, PROCESSED sugars are always unhealthy, so naturally I’m referring to unprocessed sugars here, the kinds in fruits and vegetables. Natural sugars of all kinds are perfect food for humans and dogs but when they cause problems for metabolically-compromised humans, the foods that are highest in sugars end up in the cross hairs.
As some of us realize, dogs are not set up to eat much fat, and neither are humans. When either species eats more fat than the body can reasonably handle, especially animal fat, the process by which sugar is taken into the cells becomes clogged or disrupted. It is the FAT causing the problem, NOT sugar. We know without question that sweet foods are the primary foods of humans and secondary foods for dogs. And we know precisely what happens when humans eat too much fat because we have a genuine epidemic of metabolic diseases in the SAD-eating populace as evidence. And we also see what happens when these people STOP eating animal fat and lower their overall fat intake – their sugar metabolism issues self-resolve. The very same thing happens in dogs, because even though they ARE set up biologically to consume animals, absolutely nothing in their biological history has prepared their bodies to process the quantity of fat contained on fattened-for-market, agriculturally raised animals. There’s no reason not to expect dogs to have the same issues with sugars that humans have IF they are also consuming lots of fat at the same time. None of these “holistic health experts”, like the writer of the article I read, are advocating that dogs be fed less fat. In fact, most of them are so smitten with and addicted to fat in their own diets that they actually think it’s healthy. People love to think their bad habits are healthy.
Fat and sugars are not friends, digestively speaking, and even if they are not combined in the same meal or even fed on the same day, too much fat in the bloodstream can clog cell receptors which makes sugars accumulate in the blood (which in turn invites yeast to clean up the mess). That’s why it’s important to not only feed fat and sugar on separate days, but to also keep overall fat consumption as low as we can. This short video is about human diabetes but contains a very helpful animated video of what happens when fat and sugar are both abundant in the diet, as is the case for most civilized humans and domestic dogs.
Bottom line: Natural sugars are not to be feared!