The popularity of gourmet dog foods has surged in recent years, but it’s hard to say which brands have the best nutrition.
The answer depends on the type of dog, but researchers say a large number of brands have different nutrition profiles.
A new study by researchers at the University of Texas, Austin, and the University at Buffalo, found that the majority of gourmand dog foods are packed with unhealthy saturated fat, cholesterol and calories.
“The food we eat in the United States has been heavily influenced by food labels,” said lead author Kristi Ehrhardt, a PhD candidate in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at UT Austin.
Researchers compared nutritional profiles of 16 gourmet, healthy, non-gourmet and gourmet diets from a variety of companies, including Kraft, PetSmart, Tyson Foods, KFC, Chez Panisse and Red Lobster. “
People who eat gourmet or gourmet diet foods are likely to eat more of them than people who eat more healthful, whole foods.”
Researchers compared nutritional profiles of 16 gourmet, healthy, non-gourmet and gourmet diets from a variety of companies, including Kraft, PetSmart, Tyson Foods, KFC, Chez Panisse and Red Lobster.
The researchers found that consumers who consumed gourmet and healthful diets were at greater risk of developing obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases than those who consumed more health-oriented diets.
“Most of the time, people think of health foods as healthy,” Ehrhart said.
“But in reality, health food is just a marketing term.”
The study was published online July 26 in the Journal of Nutrition.
“Our results are consistent with the idea that health foods are more palatable than the typical food, and that consumers tend to choose health foods that have a lower calorie count,” said study co-author Brian Wansink, a UT-Austin professor of animal sciences.
“This suggests that health food products are actually more appealing to consumers, especially if they are labeled as healthier.”
In general, people tend to eat less of a variety and more of a particular food, according to Ehrhard, who added that this can result in overeating and unhealthy weight gain.
“For example, we’ve known for some time that people tend not to eat a lot of cheese or meat, but in the U.S. that hasn’t been true for people,” she said.
The study looked at diet history and nutritional information for more than 6,000 people who completed a survey on diet and health.
Researchers analyzed data from food labels, nutritional information, reviews of products, scientific articles and consumer surveys.
The findings show that consumers generally consume healthier gourmet-type foods at a higher calorie count than other brands.
However, some brands of gurgas, for example, contained a lot more saturated fat and other unhealthy ingredients.
“We also found that people who reported eating the healthiest foods tended to be those who ate a lot fewer calories, but the amount of calories they ate varied widely,” said Wansok.
The average gourmet gourmet ate 1,500 calories a day and was classified as a healthy person by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences.
A healthy person consumed between 1,200 and 1,600 calories a week, the study found.
“That’s about 3 to 5 percent of the total calories consumed by a healthy dieter,” EHRhardt said.
However the most healthful foods in the study came from Kraft and Chez Pans.
Kraft gourmet has a high fat content and a high carbohydrate content, while Chez is high in protein and low in fat.
“A high fat, low-carb diet, as opposed to a healthy eating diet, is actually associated with greater weight loss, improved health and even improved cognition,” said co-senior author David Ehrhorn, a professor of epidemiology at UT-UT Austin.
The data also indicates that the amount and quality of the nutrients in a gourmet product is largely determined by the type and amount of fat, protein and carbohydrate in the ingredients.
For example, the more saturated fats and calories a food contains, the less healthy and good for you the food will be, the researchers found.
A gourmet’s diet is more likely to contain more calories and less fiber than other types of foods, and may contain higher amounts of sodium and sugar, which could increase your risk of heart disease.
“When people eat foods that contain more sodium and higher sugar, they can actually get sick,” Ehhardt said, “so the best thing to do is eat less sodium and more sugar.”
The scientists also found some food companies were producing more gourmet products than others.
“One of the things that was particularly surprising was that the health and health-conscious consumers were more likely than the non-health-conscious consumer to have more than one brand in their diets,” Wansinks said.
These consumers are likely making choices based on a product’s nutrition profile, he added