Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My reminder of the importance of fat

Full set here

This is my reminder of the importance of fat in a diet. Yes, I know it seems really cheesy, but for someone who was fat-phobic for years (okay still is to a degree but working on it), I need to be reminded.

Tovah is a growing puppy (current weight 30 pounds) and fat in her diet is important. Although dogs' digestive systems are built differently from humans, primarily in that they have a much shorter digestive tract (one reason why they eliminate faster), the role of fat still plays a major role in their diet.

Like humans, fat in a dog's diet helps with cell structure and function, provides a healthy coat and skin, gives insulation and protection of internal organs, supplies and accesses energy, acts as a carrier for fat-soluble vitamins, and nourishes the brain for development. Without fat, a puppy doesn't grow properly nor a human develop appropriately.

I know this all consciously, yet still, I have to think hard about adding fat to either Tovah's diet or my own. It's not a natural thing. I have to resist throwing away the chicken and turkey skin which provides wonderful fat for a puppy. I have to be aware of increasing her fat at important times of her growth, especially if I want all those neural connections to be working properly and efficiently. In essence, it's been a challenge in the way I've had to think. But of course, I'm going to do the best for her as possible.

Now, I only wish I'd follow suit and think similarly for myself. Don't get me wrong, I do eat fat and much more than I used to, but I still have my hang-ups about it and have a long way to go. I really don't know if I will ever "embrace" fat, but I think if I can get to the point of continually challenging myself to the functions of fat, maybe fat can have a more positive spin for me.

*Side note: This also led me to think about how fat got such a bad rap and connotation. I came across this article in the New York Post about diet and fat and its misconceptions. The thing I found interesting about it was that Ancel Keys, yes the same Keys who was famous for the Minnesota starvation study, was convinced of the correlation between heart disease and fat consumption. Thus, the thinking of how a lower fat diet is better for heart health and otherwise was born and continues on even today.

*Note: All my dogs are fed properly and get appropriate amounts of nutrients in their diets. Just thought I'd should throw that in.


Standing in the Rain said...

Wow Tovah sure has grown! I didn't even recognise her! Yay for fats!

Gaining Back My Life said...

I'm sure your pups are spoiled and WELL taken care of, Tiptoe :)

I too, was amazed at how much 'little' Tovah has grown. She seems to enjoy posing as well, doesn't she?

Cammy said...

Looks like her shar-pei/chow is starting to show through more, I'm looking forward to watching her grow up!

I agree with you regarding pets diets, etc. When G. lost so much weight last summer and I had to try to build him back up, it really made me stop to think about my own situation as well, I was so concerned about nourishing him, but haven't minded destroying my body every day for years. I think that pets are a great tool for gaining perspective on things like this, because they don't have as many social rules and norms tied to them as people do.

Kim said...

Tovah is such a cutie! I can totally see how a growing pet would inspire me. It's kind of amazing to watch the body (human or animal) do its thing. It needs proper nutrients, even fat :) I used to be very fat-phobic, but I've kind of embraced it. I realized that my body didn't change much at all by adding back fats. If anything, my skin and hair just got less dry :)

Tiptoe said...

STIR, yes, Tovah has certainly grown. I was actually surprised by how much weight she gained this last month.

Also, with her ears going up (they'll go down later and then go back up I presume), it makes her look different.

GBML, it helps with the posing after walking her for over an hour!

Cammy, with her ears going up the way they are, I think she is GSD/Siberian Husky, maybe a pinch of chow but her characteristics are close to GSD and Husky.

You're right it does give such a good perspective on our own conditions.

Kim, yes, it is inspiring to watch her grow. I agree that hair is much shinier and less dry with added fats. I think fish oils are great for that too!

Kara said...

It's hard to remember that fats are good for us. Thanks for the reminder!

MelissaS said...

tovah is clearly the picture of health. interesting how we can take care of others so much better than we tend to take care of ourselves. great post.

tovah is beautiful (i'm sure inside and out.)

Becky said...

oh my goodness, could your dog be any cuter??? I dont think so....adorable!!

Just Eat It! said...

Wow, Tovah has grown so much! He's so precious.

I always find it hard to remind myself that I NEED a healthy amount of fat. It's funny to think that fat and, well, fat are not synonymous. Lipid fats keep my hair shiny!

Cammy said...

You're right, the ears definitely suggest GSD/husky, I guess I was looking more at that broad muzzle. Whatever she is, it works for her, adorable!

Tiptoe said...

Thanks everyone for the lovely comments! I hope we all find find our own reminders of why fats are important even when we want to think otherwise!

On a side note, I'm hoping to get my first real picture of all the dogs together. That should be interesting. (insert eyebrows going up here)