A therapeutic ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate, adequate protein, high healthy-fat, nutrient-dense diet that shifts the body’s primary source of energy metabolism from glucose (sugar) to ketones (which are produced by the liver and used as an energy source when glucose is not available).
Dogs are carnivores (they eat other animals) and cats are obligate carnivores (they have no dietary requirements for carbohydrates). In the wild, they eat their food in the state they kill it, they don’t process it into a kibble or stuff it in a can filled with preservatives.
Dogs and cats were designed to eat a ketogenic diet. They get most of their carbohydrates predigested when eating through the intestines of their prey, which also provides a robust source of probiotics.
It is interesting to note that the wild grass-eating animals were eating diets high in B17. B17 (nitrilosides) are found naturally in many seeds and leaves. It may explain why dogs and cats eat grass when they have an upset stomach. Perhaps they are instinctual-seeking B17 that would have been in the intestines of the animals they killed.
B17 naturally reduces or removes abnormal cells. B17 is composed of Glucose, Benzaldehyde, and Hydrogen Cyanide. Healthy cells break down B17 and convert the Benzaldehyde and Hydrogen Cyanide into useful products.
Abnormal cells break down B17 but cannot convert the Benzaldehyde and Hydrogen Cyanide, the result is the cells are killed by these compounds.
Modern processed pet foods (kibble and can) have contributed to the rising rates of illness in dogs and cats. These diets are enzymatically dead (heated at high temperatures destroying the natural enzymes that break down food), lack in the essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, are devoid of B17 and have exceedingly high levels of carbohydrate. Though the label may say grain free, it is not carbohydrate free. Most processed diets have up to 40%-60% carbohydrate in the form of potato starch or tapioca.
High carbohydrate diets lead to inflammation and “leaky gut”, a condition in which the permeability membrane of the gut allows larger sized particles to enter the body, particles that should have been kept out. Other factors that contribute to leaky gut include genetically modified ingredients (GMO), hormones, chemicals and pesticides found in non-organic pet food. The result of leaky gut is inflammation and inflammation is the underlying cause of all disease.
Abnormal cells can’t make the switch from using glucose (carbohydrates and sugar) for fuel to using ketones. Healthy cells can adapt and use either.
Most pet parents want the best for their fur children. We want them to live long healthy lives. With proper husbandry, feeding a species appropriate diet and routine detoxification, pets should live into their 20’s!
Healthy is not hard, it is a habit of mindset and lifestyle. The more you do it, the easier it becomes!
Dr. Marlene Siegel