Sugars ??

September 30, 2016


As soon as we are old enough to understand spoken word we learn cause and effect. If a baby cries, mum will come. This concept governs our entire lives as humans. Cause and effect. I will attempt to explain cause and effect in the diet of our companion birds where sugars are concerned.


Sugar is essential for survival; it provides the energy a body needs to function. If used properly -- and in moderation -- sugar provides the source of energy the body uses for fuel, known as glucose. The goal is to only take in and store the amount needed to function properly. A marathon runner (or free flying bird in the wild) has a totally different fuel (sugar or carb) intake requirement than someone who is less active. This is the same with our companion birds.


We hear it all the time " they would eat this in the wild," well yes they would, but they would also have to fly a great distance to get it, expelling the stored energy they currently have. There would be more flying to secure a safe roosting spot away from predatory dangers, expelling more stored energy. Now, add in flying to bathe and forage and play, more burning of stored energy, well hello marathon runner.

When you compare that to the energy expelled by our companion birds performing these same activities, you'll see that not much energy is needed. Why? Because we humans are the taxis and chefs that provide all. Yes we (me included) all want the best for our feathered babies.  There is not much opportunity for them to expel and utilize a high-energy diet like they would need to eat in the wild.

BUT am I wrong? They do not live in the wild, so in order for them to be healthy we MUST feed them according to the amount of energy they need. Lots of people around the forums of late are on a 'NO SUGAR' tree hugging kick. Ok, OK I get it, BUT some sugars are necessary. If a body runs out of stored energy and there's no immediate fuel available, it begins to look for other sources of energy to use, such as protein. You don't want the body to have to use protein as a source of energy because of the possibility of damage to the kidneys, as a result of unnecessary stress. After prolonged periods of starvation the body will deplete its fat stores and energy reserve and begins to burn lean tissue and muscle as a fuel source. 


Sugars and carbohydrates play an important role in providing this energy source to fuel the body through the day, supporting normal activities, exercise, and to carry out the basic bodily functions, including brain activity.


You have control over the kind of sugar you put in your body.This means you can use forms of sugar that your body will use over a period of time, (slow release Low GI)  such as a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains. The body processes these types of foods more slowly than foods that contain added (processed) sugars. This means that the body will shore up glycogen stores and will have plenty of fuel to use, without being in danger of depletion increasing the risk for impaired brain function. Don't be afraid of the minuscule amount of sugars in pellets, and learn to  feed the right kind of sugars  (LOW GI ). Learn to feed properly with dark greens and other fresh veggies. Encourage exercise, play and movement in your bird. Your bird will be much healthier and happy for it.

Jami Galindo





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