NS Whole Food Core provides the essential nutritional building blocks for highly digestible nutrition – from whole, meat meal proteins, whole grain carbohydrates, all balanced with healthy fats and oils.
The nutritional core of our diets, both for us & our pets, consists of the proper balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Every dog has their unique core requirements driven by their breed, activity level, age, and other health and conditional factors. Thus, the key to satisfying your pet’s core food requirements is to provide these nutritional building blocks in naturally healthy, whole food, easy to digest ingredients. The key words to remember are: Natural, Whole, Digestible.
Let’s discuss proteins for a moment. Whole meat meal proteins like chicken meal, salmon meal, and lamb meal deliver the essential proteins & amino acids your pet needs in an easy to digest and absorbable form. Often you will see by-products or unidentified meat sources on a pet food label. These protein sources tend to be inconsistent from bag to bag and more challenging to digest. Nature’s Select uses only high quality, whole meat meal proteins – never any by-products or unidentified generic “meat” meal sources. Nature’s Select delivers consistently high quality protein nutrition in a form readily absorbed and utilized by your pet.
It is important to recognize that proteins can come in other forms as well. Quite frequently pet food companies use vegetable based protein concentrates. Unfortunately the source of the largest and most wide-spread pet food recall (2007 FDA, Melamine Pet Food Recall) was the result of contaminated protein concentrates. To get a better understanding, protein concentrates are proteins that have been stripped away from vegetable sources like corn, rice, wheat and soy. You will recognize these by the names such as corn gluten, rice protein concentrate, wheat gluten and soy protein concentrate. Indeed these protein concentrates do carry nutritional benefits, but they are often used to raise Crude Protein label values by substituting meat sources for less expensive vegetable sources. In fact these protein sources are frequently fortified to offset their shortcomings. Just remember that one of the best source of proteins and amino acids for your pet is high quality meat meal proteins.
Let’s switch gears and consider the equally important energy producing carbohydrates. These are usually grains and other cereals, but also fruits and vegetables. Carbohydrates are fundamental to your pet’s whole food core, but as an added bonus, carbohydrates also contain valuable nutrition in the oils, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Many pet food companies choose to use highly processed grains rather than investing in the whole grains. The result is not only reduced fiber content, but unfortunately, by stripping off the bran surrounding the grain, they flush away super potent vitamins and minerals. Whole food grains deliver this critical nutrition just as nature intended – in a whole food form full of the energy, fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy oils. Grains also have different degrees of digestibility. Corn is a great grain for cows to digest through their four stomachs but pose a challenge to a dogs somewhat short digestive track. And if the ingredient can’t be digested, the nutrition can’t be absorbed. Likewise, wheat poses an allergy risk to some dogs so it is more convenient to just avoid wheat.
Another important element in your pet’s core nutrition are fats and oils. Although for most of us the word “fat” conjures up many negative reactions, healthy fats are critical to a balance diet! The omega fatty acids found in fats and oils are considered important because they are necessary for good health and as an energy store. They are the essential building blocks your pet needs for a healthy heart and strong immune system. Often, pet foods choose fat sources (e.g. rendered animal fat) that are not healthy, are rancid, and generally a poor nutritional ingredient. Fat inherently spoils quickly by reacting with oxygen (oxidation) therefore it is critical that the fat and oil be preserved with anti-oxidants. Historically, many pet food companies used non-natural preservative such as ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT and propyl gallate. There are many concerns regarding the use of these synthetic preservatives and possible links to serious chronic diseases and conditions. Nature’s Select chooses to use healthy fat sources from Chicken, Sunflower Oil and Salmon Oil – rich in omega fatty acids. Most importantly, we preserve our products naturally with ingredients like rosemary extract and Vitamin C (ascorbate) & E (mixed tocopherols). But in addition to the amounts required to preserve the nutritional value of our fats, we add more herbs so your pet can benefit directly from these natural antioxidants.