What is the glycemic index?
The glycemic index (GI), is the measurement used to determine how different foods increase blood glucose levels after they have been eaten by your dog.
Foods are measured on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 representing pure glucose. Other foods are measured as being low, moderate and high GI foods and ranked accordingly.
A food is considered to have a low GI if it measures 55 or less.
The problem with commercial dog food
The glycemic index of your dog’s food is not the only factor which needs to be considered. The quantity of the carbohydrates, their quality and how they’re processed is perhaps even more important than the glycemic index value itself.
The ingredients in highly refined or processed food such as commercial dog food have had much of their natural fibre removed. Fibre slows down the metabolic process which sees carbohydrates turned into glucose.
So commercial dog food is likely to be metabolized into glucose more quickly than homemade dog food. This is likely to affect dogs which suffer from allergies, diabetes, epilepsy and canine hypothyroidism. It is also likely affect dogs which suffer arthritis and joint problems, Cushing’s disease and yeast infections. Dogs suffering from any of these diseases will greatly benefit from low-glycemic dog food.
What is a low-glycemic diet?
A low-glycemic diet, low-glycemic dog food, is a diet low in carbohydrates and high in good quality protein. Additionally, depending on the specific illness, the diet will incorporate either a low or moderate amount of fat. This mitigates against feeding your dog a commercial diet.
Most commercial dog foods are unnecessarily high in carbohydrates and exceptionally low in protein. And high quality protein barely exists in commercial dog food!
Low glycemic foods
The above notwithstanding, there is still a long list of ingredients your dog can both enjoy and continue to benefit from. But only if you feed a raw or homemade diet. These ingredients include:
Lean red meat, fish, skinless chicken & turkey and eggs. Any meat should be high-quality with medium to low fat.
Non-starchy vegetables such as asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, courgettes, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, leafy greens, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, parsley and spinach.
Fruits such as apples, blackberries, blueberries, butternut squash, cranberries, mangoes, strawberries, summer squash and tomatoes.
They also include various legumes, oils, pseudo-grains and dairy products. And they include herbs and spices such as dandelion leaf, dandelion root, burdock root, fenugreek seeds, turmeric, bilberry and kelp. All of which can be found in my natural supplements for dogs.
Homemade dog food
Any homemade diet comprised as above will be far more healthy than any commercial dog food on the market. If you really want to improve your dog’s health, nothing beats homemade dog food.
Especially for anyone new to home cooked dog food, I’ve created a step-by-step guide to making healthy homemade dog food. It includes a number of canine nutritionist- formulated homemade dog food recipes.