Can carbohydrates cause health problems?
Carbohydrates are needed by the body as a source of energy. The average person needs 45-60% of total calories from carbohydrates. However not all carbohydrates are created equally. Complex carbohydrates sch as whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, potato, rice are considered "healthy" carbohydrates. There are also simple carbohydrates found in products such as soda, some energy drinks, sweetened beverages, candy, cakes, and cookies to name a few. These carbohydrate are considered "empty" calories and are not needed by the body. Excess can cause obesity and aggravate existing conditions such as diabtees, hypoglycemia, and hyperlipidemia. The simple sugars and overabundance of complex carbohydrates can cause health problems.
Diane Tomkin, MPA, MA, RD, CDN
Carbohydrates can occasionally cause medical problems including obesity in dogs and cats. Obesity occurs when your pet’s energy needs are exceeded and the extra glucose created by the digestion of the carbohydrates is stored as fat. Realize that an excess of carbohydrates, fats, or proteins can all lead to obesity, but carbohydrates are usually the cause since they are typically the most common energy source and are easily converted to glucose. In addition to obesity, high levels of carbohydrates in cat foods may influence the development of certain conditions in cats, such as diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes). Maldigestion may also occur in some animals on high carbohydrate diets. This condition can result from deficiencies of the natural enzymes necessary to break down carbohydrates, can range from mild to severe and often includes excessive gas, bloating, and diarrhea.