Essential Nutrients

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Essential Fatty Acids
These three, in the form of water and carbon dioxide. The vitamins and minerals in raw food, especially the greens, are organic colloidal minerals not the inorganic minerals in cooked food. Here's my today's raw food menu. Grain-based foods such as bread, cereal, rice and pasta also contribute some protein to the diet. In my opinion, Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she created plant foods: June 24, at 2: June 22, at 4:

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Raw Food Nutrition

Felines, being obligate carnivores, require a natural diet of strict [ clarification needed ] animal products which consists of protein and fat i. Dietary protein supplies amino acids that can be utilized and metabolised as energy over [ clarification needed ] fat when provided, even though protein is not stored in the body the same way as fat.

Lean body mass maintenance is regulated by protein intake, but more importantly is regulated by exercise. Limited protein and amino acids in the diet will limit lean body mass growth, but exercise or lack of exercise will allow growth or shrinking of muscle. Successful weight control involves maintenance of healthy adipose tissue levels, but most importantly maintenance of lean body mass.

Lean muscle is the driver of basal energy metabolism and aids in the use of energy. When sufficient levels of fat are provided, fat will be used by the body as an energy source, but only when there are insufficient levels of protein. This is a vitamin-like substance that is found in animal protein, and is the only form [ of what?

L-carnitine is involved in many biological pathways, more specifically fatty acid metabolism, allowing for the conversion of long-chain fatty acids into energy. The introduction of L-carnitine ensures rapid transport and oxidation of fatty acids as well as efficient usage of dietary fatty acids and protein. Supplementary L-carnitine is used more often in weight loss diets, since its benefits mainly involve fatty acid metabolism to control weight loss.

However, since weight control is, in essence, a prevention stage in overall weight management, it still has value in weight control diets in preserving and building lean body mass and inhibiting the storage of excess dietary fat.

The majority of studies focusing on supplementary L-carnitine use look at its benefits for weight loss, including its effect on metabolic rate and fatty acid oxidation. In the United States, cat foods labeled as "complete and balanced" must meet standards established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials AAFCO either by meeting a nutrient profile or by passing a feeding trial.

Certain manufacturers label their products with terms such as premium, ultra premium, natural and holistic. Such terms currently have no legal definitions. Dry cat food kibble is most often packed in multi-wall paper bags , sometimes with a plastic film layer; similar bag styles with film laminates or coextrusions are also used. Wet cat food is often packed in aluminum cans or steel cans. Packaging regulations for cat food are often very similar to corresponding regulations for human foods.

Vitamin deficiencies can lead to wide-ranging clinical abnormalities that reflect the diversity of their metabolic roles. Twelve minerals are known to be essential nutrients for cats. Calcium and phosphorus are crucial to strong bones and teeth. Cats need other minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, and sodium, for nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction, and cell signaling. Many minerals only present in minute amounts in the body, including selenium, copper, and molybdenum, act as helpers in a wide variety of enzymatic reactions.

The table below lists the AAFCO nutritional profiles for cat foods along with the roles of vitamins and minerals in cat nutrition according to the National Research Council.

Many nutrients can cause a variety of deficiency symptoms in cats, and the skin is a vital organ that is susceptible to dietary changes in minerals, protein, fatty acids, and vitamins A and B. This results in dandruff, redness, hair loss, greasy skin, and reduced hair growth. Good overall nutrition is needed along with a well balanced diet. Zinc's connection to skin and coat health is due to its influence on regulating cellular metabolism. One of the many functions of copper is to assist in production of connective tissue and the pigment melanin.

Selenium works with vitamin E as antioxidants to handle the free radicals that are damaging to the body and the skin. Fatty acids are an important part of the cats diet, some are more important than others with respect to the cats diet and these are known as essential fatty acids.

Alpha-Linolenic acid , Linoleic acid , and Arachidonic acid. Vitamin A is a crucial nutritional component in the maintenance of feline skin and coat health. Vitamin E is an essential nutrient which needs to be included in the feline diet in order to protect the lipid components within cellular membranes of various tissues in the body. Biotin can be provided in feline diets through the addition of cooked eggs, liver, milk, legumes or nuts. Unlike humans, felines are able to utilize simple sugars glucose and galactose in a specialized pathway which occurs in the liver, referred to as the glucuronate pathway.

Therapeutic diets with low protein have been adopted by a number of big pet food manufacturers with the goal of supporting renal health for cats with chronic kidney disease CKD. Low protein diets can be formulated as a wet or dry food, with the main difference being the moisture content.

Low protein diets should not be fed to cats with the liver condition known as hepatic encephalopathy because severe protein restriction can be detrimental to animals with this condition. A high energy diet is generally high in fat. Compared to carbohydrates and protein , fat provides much more energy , at 8. A high energy diet is appropriate for cats who are undergoing growth, recovering from illness, are pregnant or lactating , as their energy requirements are higher than otherwise.

To maintain a neutral energy balance and thus maintain body weight, energy intake should increase with energy expenditure. It has been shown that cats offered four meals a day or a random number of meals a day have similar energy levels, greater than those fed only one meal per day. As cats age, there is evidence that their metabolic energy requirements may increase, [52] especially after 12 or 13 years old, [52] but other evidence suggests that metabolic energy needs are not dissimilar at different ages.

Pregnancy and lactation are strenuous periods on the female cat. It has been found that nutritional support consistent with the resting energy requirement RER soon after surgery or the onset of illness decreases the mortality rate and the duration of hospitalization in cats. Critical care diets are formulated to be highly palatable and digestible, as well as high energy density.

Vegetarian or vegan cat food has been available for many years, and is targeted primarily at vegan and vegetarian pet owners.

While a small percentage of owners choose such a diet based on its perceived health benefits, the majority do so due to ethical concerns. While there is anecdotal evidence that cats do well on vegetarian food, [59] studies on commercial and homemade vegetarian cat foods have found nutritional inadequacies.

As obligate carnivores, cats require nutrients including arginine, taurine, arachidonic acid, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and niacin found in meat sources. Plant sources do not contain enough of these. Vegetarian pet food companies try to correct these deficiencies by adding synthetically produced nutrients.

Cats on a vegan diet can develop abnormally alkaline high pH urine as plant-based proteins are more alkaline than the meat-based foods which cats have evolved to eat. Calcium oxalate stones can also occur if the urine is too acidic. Such stones can create irritation and infection of the urinary tract and require veterinary treatment. Organizations that advocate vegan or vegetarian diets for people have split opinions regarding vegetarian or vegan cat food.

But the Vegetarian Society suggests people "consider carefully" and that many cats will not adjust to a vegetarian diet.

They provide a list of necessary nutrients that would need to be supplemented, and recommend that those who want to try should consult a veterinarian or animal nutritionist. They do not recommend relying on supplements, because they may not contain necessary co-factors and enzymes and have not been studied for long term implications.

Hence, regular at least, annual veterinary checkups of all companion animals is recommended, and brands may be occasionally varied. Even when adequately supplemented, vegetarian diets may present other risks, such as urine acidity problems.

While there are anecdotal reports linking a vegetarian diet with urinary tract problems, no documented case report or study exists. In , the first study of the health of a population of long-term vegetarian cats was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The study consisted of telephone questionnaires of the caregivers of 32 cats, and analysis of blood samples from some of the cats.

The blood samples were tested for taurine and cobalamin deficiencies. Cobalamin levels were normal in all cats. Taurine levels were low in 3 out of 17 cats tested, but not low enough to be considered clinically deficient. Formulation of a nutritionally adequate vegan cat diet has its limitations.

The reason for these dietary essential nutrients can be found in the physiology section of the Cat page. Protein and fat content in a vegan cat diet can be balanced by the inclusion of tofu and yeast. For instance, plant materials do not provide the preformed vitamin A which cats cannot synthesize, therefore supplementation is needed. Some ingredients of vegan cat diets that provide arginine, are pumpkin seed, almond, soya flour, lentil seeds and oat flakes see table one.

Cats are obligate carnivores and require protein in their diet as an important component in energy metabolism and maintenance of lean body muscle. In general, lower protein diets tend to consist of a greater carbohydrate content, which means a potentially higher glycemic response in cats. A nutritional balance of amino acids is important in low protein cat diets as cats are highly sensitive to deficiencies in arginine, taurine, methionine, and cysteine.

Feeding a lower protein content can help lower the amount of calcium being excreted in the feces and urine. A lower amount of harmful bacteria is accumulated with a lower protein diet which helps to increase the amount of positive bacteria present in the gut. In low protein diets, unless the protein source is a high quality protein such as an animal-based protein, cats and especially kittens have been shown to develop retinal degeneration due to a deficiency in taurine , an essential amino acid for cats that is derived from animal protein.

Since cats have such a high protein requirement, lower protein content, and thus lower amino acid concentrations, in the diet has been linked to health defects such as lack of growth, decreased food intake, muscle atrophy, hypoalbuminemia, skin alterations, and more.

Low protein diets that are high in carbohydrates have been found to decrease glucose tolerance in cats. Cats have a high priority for gluconeogenesis to provide energy for tissues like the brain.

Low protein diets have been shown to lower the levels of eosinophilic granulocytes in cats, which impacts the overall function of the immune system. The gastrointestinal tract is the source of nutrient absorption, making it integral to overall health. Research shows fiber , prebiotics , probiotics , antioxidants and fatty acids are important in maintaining gastrointestinal health. The addition of fiber at optimal levels in a diet is essential for the normal function and health of the gastrointestinal tract.

Dietary fibers are plant carbohydrates which cannot be digested by mammalian enzymes. Fiber, though it is not an essential nutrient, is important for a healthy gastrointestinal tract.

Short-chain fatty acids production from dietary fibers have many other advantageous effects on the gastrointestinal tract. Fibers promote bacterial growth and activity in the large intestine. Prebiotics are short-chain carbohydrates classified as fibers with an added aspect as they selectively promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. Probiotics are becoming increasingly popular in the diets of felines. Nutraceuticals such as antioxidants are considered to be additives of gastrointestinal diets to prevent digestive upset.

Vitamin C ascorbic acid is a water-soluble antioxidant and a free radical scavenger where it will donate an electron to compounds with unpaired elections or reactive but not radical compounds. A fat is a type of lipid which comes in the form of many different molecules throughout the body, and fatty acids are just one type of fat that can be found. Inflammation is the process by which the body begins to heal and defend itself from viral and bacterial infections and physical damage like burns or cuts.

To achieve optimal cellular health especially in the gut and to maintain a healthy microbiome, proper nutrition is necessary nutrition is multifactorial and complex. Cats have a higher tolerance for a greater amount of fat in the diet, and although its digestion is complex and important pertaining to its many functions and its influence on immune and inflammatory responses , fat composition in the diet appears to have a small effect on GI disease in cats.

One group of fatty acids that is particularly important for gastrointestinal GI health is the essential fatty acid EFA group. There is very little research on cats in general, especially when diving into very targeted topics like GIT health of cats and the effects of fatty acids of any length on their digestive system, especially cats with GIT disorders.

Many pet owners feed cats homemade diets. These diets generally consist of some form of cooked or raw meat, bone, vegetables, and supplements, such as taurine and Multivitamin s. A study reported that food packaged in cans coated with bisphenol A is correlated with the development of hyperthyroidism in cats.

The main complaint is excessive scratching pruritus which is usually resistant to treatment by steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The exact prevalence of food allergy in cats remains unknown. The essential nutrient elements for humans, listed in order of Recommended Dietary Allowance expressed as a mass , are potassium , chlorine , sodium , calcium , phosphorus , magnesium , iron , zinc , manganese , copper , iodine , chromium , molybdenum , selenium and cobalt the last as a component of vitamin B There are other minerals which are essential for some plants and animals, but may or may not be essential for humans, such as boron and silicon.

Conditionally essential nutrients are certain organic molecules that can normally be synthesized by an organism, but under certain conditions in insufficient quantities. In humans, such conditions include premature birth , limited nutrient intake, rapid growth, and certain disease states. Non-essential nutrients are substances within foods that can have a significant impact on health; these substances can be beneficial or toxic.

Ethanol C 2 H 5 OH supplies calories. For spirits vodka, gin, rum, etc. A 5-ounce serving of wine contains to calories. A ounce serving of beer contains 95 to calories. By definition, phytochemicals include all nutritional and non-nutritional components of edible plants. See Vitamin , Mineral nutrient , Protein nutrient. An inadequate amount of a nutrient is a deficiency. Deficiencies can be due to a number of causes including an inadequacy in nutrient intake, called a dietary deficiency, or any of several conditions that interfere with the utilization of a nutrient within an organism.

In the United States and Canada, recommended dietary intake levels of essential nutrients are based on the minimum level that "will maintain a defined level of nutriture in an individual", a definition somewhat different from that used by the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of a "basal requirement to indicate the level of intake needed to prevent pathologically relevant and clinically detectable signs of a dietary inadequacy".

In setting human nutrient guidelines, government organizations do not necessarily agree on amounts needed to avoid deficiency or maximum amounts to avoid the risk of toxicity. Governments are slow to revise information of this nature. Recommended Dietary Allowances; higher for adults than for children, and may be even higher for women who are pregnant or lactating.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Substance that an organism uses to live. This article is about Nutrients. For Nutrition in humans, see Human nutrition. For Nutrition in animals, see Animal nutrition. For Nutrition in plants, see Plant nutrition. Plant nutrition and Fertilizer. Essential nutrient Food composition Nutrient cycle Nutrient density Nutrition Nutritionism List of macronutrients List of micronutrients List of phytochemicals in food.

Retrieved 12 October Understanding Nutrition, 10th edition , p. Retrieved 14 October Handbook of plant nutrition. Retrieved 17 August CRC desk reference on sports nutrition. NetBiochem Nutrition, University of Utah. Nutrients are drawn from a wide variety of foods and the more varied your diet, the more likely you are to obtain all the nutrients you need. Energy is not a nutrient but, kilojoules food energy are important for providing energy for your daily activities.

Energy is required to fuel body processes metabolism and physical activity. If we consume more energy than we use for metabolism and physical activity, the excess is stored as body fat. You need to be sure to balance the energy you consume through foods with the energy you expend during the day.

The more active you are the more energy you need and vice versa. Fat contributes to energy intake and helps you absorb vital vitamins; therefore a healthy diet should always contain a certain amount of fat. The two main forms of fat are saturated, predominately from animal sources, and unsaturated, predominately from vegetable sources. Because fat is a rich source of energy, you should try and eat no more than your recommended intake.

It is also important to choose unsaturated fats as much as possible, such as those found in oily fish, nuts and seeds, avocado, and spreads made from sunflower, rapeseed and olive oil.

Too much saturated fat can raise blood cholesterol, which can increase the risk of heart disease. You should therefore consume no more than your recommended daily intake. Sugars occur naturally in fruit, vegetables and dairy foods and are added to foods for flavour, texture and colour. You should aim to consume no more than your recommended intake and limit foods that are high in added sugars and low in other nutrients. Sodium salt is needed for good health; however, too much can cause adverse health effects through its function of raising blood pressure.

Our diets generally contain far more sodium than we need, due to the level of added salt in some packaged products.

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