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Total dietary fiber composition of diets used for management of obesity and diabetes mellitus in cats

Tammy J. Owens DVM1, Jennifer A. Larsen DVM, PhD2, Amy K. Farcas DVM, MS3, Richard W. Nelson DVM4, Philip H. Kass DVM, MPVM, PhD5, and Andrea J. Fascetti VMD, PhD6
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  • 1 Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 2 Departments of Molecular Biosciences, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 3 School of Veterinary Medicine, and the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 4 Medicine and Epidemiology, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 5 Population Health and Reproduction, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 6 Departments of Molecular Biosciences, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Abstract

Objective—To determine total dietary fiber (TDF) composition of feline diets used for management of obesity and diabetes mellitus.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

Sample—Dry veterinary (n = 10), canned veterinary (12), and canned over-the-counter (3) feline diets.

Procedures—Percentage of TDF as insoluble dietary fiber (IDF), high-molecular-weight soluble dietary fiber (HMWSDF), and low-molecular-weight soluble dietary fiber (LMWSDF) was determined.

Results—Median measured TDF concentration was greater than reported maximum crude fiber content in dry and canned diets. Median TDF (dry-matter) concentration in dry and canned diets was 12.2% (range, 8.11% to 27.16%) and 13.8% (range, 4.7% to 27.9%), respectively. Dry and canned diets, and diets with and without a source of oligosaccharides in the ingredient list, were not different in energy density or concentrations of TDF, IDF, HMWSDF, or LMWSDF. Similarly, loaf-type (n = 11) and gravy-type (4) canned diets differed only in LMWSDF concentration. Disparities in TDF concentrations among products existed despite a lack of differences among groups. Limited differences in TDF concentration and dietary fiber composition were detected when diets were compared on the basis of carbohydrate concentration. Diets labeled for management of obesity were higher in TDF concentration and lower in energy density than diets for management of diabetes mellitus.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Diets provided a range of TDF concentrations with variable concentrations of IDF, HMWSDF, and LMWSDF. Crude fiber concentration was not a reliable indicator of TDF concentration or dietary fiber composition. Because carbohydrate content is calculated as a difference, results suggested that use of crude fiber content would cause overestimation of both carbohydrate and energy content of diets.

Abstract

Objective—To determine total dietary fiber (TDF) composition of feline diets used for management of obesity and diabetes mellitus.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

Sample—Dry veterinary (n = 10), canned veterinary (12), and canned over-the-counter (3) feline diets.

Procedures—Percentage of TDF as insoluble dietary fiber (IDF), high-molecular-weight soluble dietary fiber (HMWSDF), and low-molecular-weight soluble dietary fiber (LMWSDF) was determined.

Results—Median measured TDF concentration was greater than reported maximum crude fiber content in dry and canned diets. Median TDF (dry-matter) concentration in dry and canned diets was 12.2% (range, 8.11% to 27.16%) and 13.8% (range, 4.7% to 27.9%), respectively. Dry and canned diets, and diets with and without a source of oligosaccharides in the ingredient list, were not different in energy density or concentrations of TDF, IDF, HMWSDF, or LMWSDF. Similarly, loaf-type (n = 11) and gravy-type (4) canned diets differed only in LMWSDF concentration. Disparities in TDF concentrations among products existed despite a lack of differences among groups. Limited differences in TDF concentration and dietary fiber composition were detected when diets were compared on the basis of carbohydrate concentration. Diets labeled for management of obesity were higher in TDF concentration and lower in energy density than diets for management of diabetes mellitus.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Diets provided a range of TDF concentrations with variable concentrations of IDF, HMWSDF, and LMWSDF. Crude fiber concentration was not a reliable indicator of TDF concentration or dietary fiber composition. Because carbohydrate content is calculated as a difference, results suggested that use of crude fiber content would cause overestimation of both carbohydrate and energy content of diets.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Farcas's present address is Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Supported in part by the Center for Companion Animal Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, and by Barbara Smith. Dr. Owens was supported by an educational grant from the Nestlé Purina PetCare Co.

Presented in abstract form at the 13th Annual American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition and Research Symposium, Seattle, June 2013.

Address correspondence to Dr. Fascetti (ajfascetti@ucdavis.edu).