Is a calorie really always a calorie? Apparently not in cats

October 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm Leave a comment

bigstockphoto_Obese_Cat_Due_To_Castration_3777382It’s become a tiresome message being used to debunk any weight loss program that suggests that carbohydrates aren’t the greatest things since, well, sliced bread for helping humans lose weight: “A calorie is a calorie,” the pundits smugly insist.

Not in cats, however. Via the Winn Feline Health Foundation, a report  on a recent study examining the effect of various macronutrient levels on feline weight loss. Researchers concluded:

During the weight loss phase, the control group experienced a reduction in lean body mass, whereas the high-protein group did not. Overall, the high-protein diet allowed a higher energy intake to achieve weight loss than the control diet, thus reducing the severity of energy restriction required.

Which translated into plain English means: Cats can eat more calories and lose the same amount of weight if you restrict their carbohydrate and feed them more protein — and they’ll be losing fat, not muscle.

There are other feline studies, and quite a few human ones, that demonstrate the same thing. And I’m a living breathing walking-around example of the same principle, too. But it’s nice to have one more piece of evidence in the growing pile I drag out whenever the “calorie is a calorie” folks start in on controlled-carbohydrate diets.…


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