Why the First Ingredient May Not be the Most Important

30th Oct 2014

True to a Point:

If you are interested in eating well (or if you just want to test your ability to read crazy-long scientific-sounding names out loud to those at the dinner table), you flip the product’s pack over and find the ingredients list.

And, in today’s health-conscious world filled with people who want the most good from a food item, you know that we're taught the order of the main ingredients matters: Listed first are the elements of greatest weight in a product.

The same goes for cleaning supplies, face creams — and your dog’s food.

But, Look Out!

When choosing a quality dog food for your buddy, look closely at the first handful of ingredients. The FDA does require brands to list the ingredients in descending order by weight, however, this includes water content

This is why you might see chicken listed first in even poorer quality foods — but followed next by brewer's rice, corn gluten meal and by-products. Cooked (and thus lowering the weight), the meat would actually move much lower in the ingredient list, and in turn, making a negative ingredient the main element you are feeding your pet. In this way, companies can trick people into believing they are buying a high-protein quality food, when in fact they are purchasing anything but. 

Choose Wisely...

There are other factors to be taken into consideration when picking the best food for your dog (such as allergies, current health issues and even his or her specific likes or dislikes), but looking at the main ingredients — and especially seeing what falls in second, third and fourth place of a recipe — is a helpful place to start in determining the quality of the food.

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