Is Bonza a Nutrient Dense Dog Food?
Before answering this, it is important to first understand what is meant by ’nutrient dense’ food.
The National Cancer Institute defines nutrient dense food as ‘ Food that is high in nutrients but relatively low in calories. Nutrient-dense foods contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. Examples of nutrient-dense foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free milk products, seafood, lean meats, eggs, peas, beans, and nuts.’
It is also important to understand the difference between energy dense and nutrient dense food.
The energy density of food depends on the amount of water (0 kcal/g), carbohydrates (4 kcal/g), protein (4 kcal/g) and fats (9 kcal/g) they contain. That’s why energy-dense foods tend to be dry and high in fats whereas less energy-dense foods are usually rich in water and/or fibre (which cannot be fully digested and absorbed by our bodies) such as fruits and vegetables.
‘Nutrient-dense foods” on the other hand is used to describe foods that contain higher amounts of health-promoting nutrients per calorie and are low in saturated fats, added sugars (in the case of human foods) and sodium.
According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, nutrient-dense complex carbohydrates to seek out for a healthy, balanced diet include beans, oatmeal, quinoa, barley, potatoes, sweet potatoes and legumes (chickpeas, peas, lentils) – all plant-based foods. These foods are also naturally rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
They are known to lower the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity in humans. Although the types of diabetes that we and our dogs suffer from is different, research into ‘Canine diabetes mellitus’ concludes ‘The late onset and slow progression of beta cell dysfunction in canine diabetes resembles latent autoimmune diabetes of the adult in man.’
The phytonutrients in the plant-based foods listed above, as well as in other plant-based foods, provide your dog with support against inflammation, oxidation and autoimmune disease.
Many dog foods are high in saturated fats that come from animal fats which have a potentially proinflammatory impact on their cells and in turn their health.
As we are discovering with the human diet, fibre plays a highly important role in general, and specific, health outcomes. Too little fibre is being consumed and this can have serious implications for health (1) increasing risks of obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, allergy, and cancer.
The gut microflora functions as an important mediator of the beneficial effects of dietary fibre, including the regulation of appetite, metabolic processes and chronic inflammatory pathways. (2)
A balance of soluble and insoluble fibre sources in your dog’s diet influences their protein and fat digestibility beneficially. (3)
According to Cailin R. Heinze, VMD, MS, DACVIM (Nutrition) from CUMMINGS SCHOOL OF VETERINARY MEDICINE, TUFTS UNIVERSITY, fibre can affect stool quality and regularity and promote a healthy population of gut bacteria. It can also have benefits for a number of health concerns in pets such as gastrointestinal issues, diabetes, high cholesterol and triglycerides, and for weight loss.
One of the most damaging diseases confronting both humans and their dogs is obesity. Feeding dogs a diet that provides them with the quality nutrients they require for both energy and their health at the same time leaving them with higher levels of satiety, that lovely feeling of fullness and satisfaction after a meal, is key to tackling the obesity epidemic.
Answering the question, ‘Is Bonza a nutrient dense dog food?’ the answer is YES, it is.
Bonza has a relatively low energy density level of 344 kcal/100gr (low in calories), and the carbohydrates included in our plant-based food include most of the complex carbohydrates recommended including fava (broad) beans, oatmeal, quinoa, potatoes, sweet potatoes and legumes (chickpeas, peas). In addition, we include health contributing carbohydrate sources, seaweed and nutritional yeast, which are low glycaemic index and glycaemic load sources of energy and fibres
Bonza includes the healthiest sources of fats including rapeseed oil, olive oil extract, seaweed and seaweed oil extract, coconut oil and sunflower oil. These not only provide your dog with unsaturated fat sources of energy but also contribute a healthy dose of highly beneficial Omega-3 fats, including EPA and DHA, perfectly balanced with Omega-6 at a ratio of 1.87:1
Plant-based protein by its very nature is lean protein with little if any saturated fats.
Bonza contains 25.2% bioavailable protein from a variety of protein sources including sweet potato, seaweed, oats, peas, quinoa, potato, chickpeas, seaweed, nutritional yeast and fava beans, which not only contribute all the essential amino acids they require in their food at levels that exceed both FEDIAF (Fédération européenne de l’industrie des aliments pour animaux familiers) and AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards, but also provide your dog with a unique blend of anti-inflammatory and antioxidative phytonutrients to support their best health.
As you would expect from a plant-based dog food, Bonza has very good levels of fibre. Our food has been carefully formulated to provide a healthy balance of soluble (fermentable) and insoluble fibres.
Fermentable fibres act as prebiotics, feeding the healthy bacteria in the gut, which research shows supports not just your dog’s digestive health but also has a positive impact on their microbiome and overall health and wellbeing.
The main function of insoluble fibre is to increase faecal bulk and the level of water in intestinal contents. Fibre has been shown to regulate dogs’ digestive transit rate – shortening intestinal transit rate in dogs with normal or slow transit time and prolonging transit rate in dogs with rapid transit time.
Sufficient fibre in your dog’s diet is also required to reduce the anal sac issues dogs suffer from.
Bonza also includes a blend of medicinal herbs and adaptogens that offer your dog a powerful group of nutrients beyond those considered essential to survive, elevating your dog’s food beyond simple nutrition.
We believe Bonza is one of the most nutrient dense foods available for your dog with a blend of nutrients that takes your dog’s diet beyond survival to a food that supports their very best health and longevity.
Bonza – Elevate your dog’s food beyond simple nutrition.