Another tool to help guide you in finding an optimal diet that better matches the needs of your cat or dog is done by assessing the oxidation rate in a hair tissue mineral analysis. Oxidation is the amount of time it takes for a body to convert the food eaten (fats, carbohydrates, protein) into energy or fuel for that body. This is an area of expertise that I can help you with. Look at that section of this website. Basically, each of us falls into either a fast, slow, or mixed oxidation rate. Both fast and slow oxidizers suffer from inefficient energy production, but for opposite biochemical reasons. Fast oxidizers burn their food quickly and slow oxidizers are the opposite. Each dog or cat will find optimal digestion by being fed the recommendations that have been established based on each individual’s metabolism type.

Fast oxidizers have greater caloric needs. Fats provide more calories and longer-lasting energy. In contrast, sugars burn too fast, provide fewer calories and often further enhance the oxidation rate. For this reason, fast oxidizers should avoid starches and carbohydrates as they convert to sugars. Even complex carbohydrates are recommended only in small amounts.

Slow oxidizers require more protein and less fat in their diets. Protein with every meal is most important to maintain their blood sugar level and support adequate adrenal and thyroid gland activity. Animal protein is important because it provides nutrients such as zinc, alpha lipoic acid, sulfur-containing amino acids and L-carnitine. Meats also provide other less-known nutrients that the slow oxidizer requires. Digestive enzymes are often helpful to help to obtain all the nutrition from their food. Keep in mind that processed meats (extruded, dry food diets) are no longer the “real” meat.

Mixed Oxidizers can be fed a blend of the recommendations for a Fast or Slow oxidizer.  As this animal is in transition, it will find one of the other rates soon.  Hedge toward the stronger of the two based on TMA ratios, the animal’s appearance, digestion, and any other symptomatology that is pertinent.  Trying a little bit of each until you find out right where the animal does the best would also be a good way to determine what to feed.

A too fast or too slow oxidative rate creates body duress of some type, lowered resistance to infections, gall bladder and liver problems, and being over or under weight.

SPEED pH Activity Appetite Fat metabolism Carbohydrate metabolism Protein type
FAST acid hyper voracious good moderate High purine
SLOW alkaline hypo picky poor poor Low purine


This is the type most commonly seen in dogs.
Can include raw, freeze dried, dehydrated, canned, and/or home cooked foods. Avoid any extruded kibble due to its inflammatory stimulus (like putting another log on the camp fire). Small amount of baked kibble for treats may be used.

PROTEINS: High to moderate purine. For very fast oxidizers I try to keep them on cool to neutral energetic meats until the sodium and inflammation is lowered.
FATS: Butter, oils, fatty meats, avocado (no pits or skins), and peanut butter (if not allergic and no sweeteners). High fat content dairy products like cheese and cream (if not allergic).
CARBOHYDRATES: Cauliflower, beans, peas, lentils, broccoli, barley, sprouted grains (sprouting destroys the phytates that bind calcium and block zinc absorption).

ALLOWED IN MODERATION: Root vegetables (carrots, beets, yams, potatoes), lettuce, green peppers, cabbages, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
AVOID: White rice, grain flours, and any treats or snacks containing sugars, glucose, maltose, fruit juices, honey, and corn syrup
OPTIMAL DIET FOR A SLOW OXIDIXER: May include some baked kibble, canned or dehydrated formulas or home cooked.

PROTEINS: Low purine variety
CARBOHYDRATES:  Vegetables, some unrefined like organic whole oatmeal
FATS: low
ALLOWED IN MODERATION: Fruits, lean beef, lamb

Red meat, beef, lamb, venison, salmon, tuna, herring, anchovies, brains, liver, caviar, artichoke hearts Meat, shellfish (clams, crabs, lobster, oysters, shrimp), asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, lentils, yeast, whole grains and cereals, beans, peas, mushrooms, peanuts, lentils, cauliflower, spinach, and asparagus Fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, low fat dairy