Complex carbohydrates include foods such as potatoes, fruits, and whole grains. I keep seeing mention here about carbs for our pets. In the news a LOT lately is carbs and humans, and the whole low-carb craze (going on a couple of years now, more prevalent now though). Does anyone know for a fact how complex carbohydrates are metabolized in comparison to simple carbs in cats? Recently there was mention of Wellness foods and their use of carbs such as fruits and sweet potatoes. If cats move them through the system slower aren't they converting to sugar slower than simple carbs? Or are they acting the same as in humans?

Cheryl
Trapped like rats. In a chia-pet.
MIB II
Complex carbohydrates include foods such as potatoes, fruits, andwhole grains. I keep seeing mention here about carbs for our pets. ... the system slower aren't they converting to sugar slower than simplecarbs? Or are they acting the same as in humans?

Ah, more reading shows that fruits are simple carbs. I'm a fan of Wellness so I am interested in the use of fruits in it. I imagine any well balanced diet needs some source of quickly used sugars for energy and the rest to be used slowly. The real question is... do cats use sugars in the same way humans do?
This comes close to answering your question, I hope! I am sorry I cannot remember the exact source of this information, but I believe it was from Columbia U School of Vet Medicine:

The natural prey diet of the cat contains between 65%-75% water. The cat, having evolved on the plains of Africa, has adapted to quench her water requirements entirely on the moisture content in her prey. Due to its nature, commercial dry cat food contains no more than 10% moisture.Cereals create the base of dry commercial foods and make up over half of the foods weight. Cereals frequently used in commercial dry cat foods like corn, rice, and wheat, give the food bulk and structure and represent a cheap source of calories. Cereals are primarily made up of carbohydrates, a nutrient nearly absent in the cat's natural prey diet. The liver and other organs store small amounts of carbohydrates and the cat may receive additional minute amounts of this nutrient through the stomach and intestines of her prey; this however, would never total more than 1-2% carbohydrates compared to the total weight of the prey.

However, commercial dry foods may contain as much as 45% carbohydrates. A diet high in carbohydrates will result in obesity, because excessive amounts of this nutrient are converted by the liver to body fat. Since a cat metabolizes primarily fat and protein for energy, most of the carbohydrates in the diet are then stored as body fat.
on
28 Jan 2004:
A diet high in carbohydrates will result in obesity, because excessive amounts of this nutrient are converted by the liver ... metabolizes primarily fat and protein for energy, most of the carbohydrates in the diet are then stored as body fat.

But is there such a thing as "good carbohydrates" for cats like they are saying for humans, or is this "new terminolgy" another way to differenciate between complex and simple carbs in the same way fats are separated as saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats? I get the feeling that the carboholic community is trying to get *us* back on bread and pasta, and I wonder if there is any such comparison in pet food, or if it is even an issue?

Cheryl
Trapped like rats. In a chia-pet.
MIB II