Foods to Avoid
In 1997, oncologists from Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine published diet recommendations to help combat the number-one killer of our pets - cancer. Their recommendations suggest excluding lactate and glucose-containing fluids, because cancer cells thrive on sugars and create lactate as a waste product. Lactate poisons the animal by depleting its energy, thus weakening its immune system. The study recommends limiting sugars and simple carbohydrates. The researchers concluded that a diet relatively high in fat and low in simple carbohydrates resulted in a longer survival time for cancer victims.
Of note is the fact that cancer cells cannot utilize fat, which is an excellent natural energy source for dogs and cats. They also found that omega-3 fatty acids reduce lactate levels and have the ability to reduce or eliminate metastatic disease. Since heat and hydrogenation destroy these essential fatty acids, raw or lightly cooked foods are a good source of these vital nutrients. Polyunsaturated fats are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, found mostly in cold-water fish, nuts, oils and seeds, and also in dark leafy greens, flaxseed oils and some vegetable oils can be converted by dogs but not cats. Cats should get their healthy fats from animal sources like fish oils. One kind of omega-3 fatty acid is an "essential fatty acid," which cannot be manufactured by the body, so eating these foods is the only way an animal can receive them. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to strengthen the heart, fight inflammation and protect the brain and nervous system. Foods highest in Total Omega-3 fatty acids are Flax seed oil and freshly ground flax seed (dogs only). For both dogs and cats, sardines in oil, canned mackerel/with bones and cod liver oil, salmon oil and fish broth.
Sugar comes disguised in many forms. Most processed and even "natural" foods contain sugar. Grains and dairy products are biologically inappropriate sources of senergy for dogs and cats. The study also recommends feeding protein that is highly biodegradable. The body cannot utilize nutrients if it can't easily break down the food and digest it.
A homemade species-appropriate diet can fulfill anticancer recommendations and may play a crucial role in prevention and treatment of this terrible disease. The study above only adds to the growing body of knowledge about many foods important to avoid feeding our pets, such as: