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#86723 - 03/06/06 07:30 PM Salt/Sodium????
Anmaw Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 659
Loc: Hernando, MS - USA
Sorry folks, this one is a little long and I'm not sure I posted in the right forum.

Recently I was looking at a package of my frozen veggies (Birds Eye brand) and looked at the ingredients which said carrots, corn, green beans, peas and SALT. Looked at another package (PictSweet brand) same thing. Checked a package of green beans – no salt. So it made me wonder if salt/sodium was added to any of the other foods that we give our gliders. Today I was at WalMart and did a tiny bit of research. Most of the frozen mixed veggies and peas had salt added, corn and green beans had none added. Knowing what they do to turkey and ham to enhance it, I decided to check out the frozen chicken since that is the meat that is usually used for gliders. Every package I picked up (whether it was a whole chicken, pieces with bones and skin, boneless skinless breast or tenders) had a note that it had been enhanced with 16% chicken broth (this is kind of immaterial, but it adds to the weight of the chicken – you’re not getting all chicken). I don’t know what kind of chicken broth these companies are adding to their chicken, but unless I buy broth that is labeled sodium free or low sodium it is all very high in sodium. I just checked the label on a can in my pantry and it said there were two servings per can and that there were 960 mg per serving – that’s a lot of sodium.

One reason I bring this up is because I participated in a study on hypertension at UT Memphis about 15 years ago and ended up in the low sodium group – which was the pits, I do love my sodium. Have you ever tasted catsup without salt? Yuk!!! Anyway, something that was pointed out in this study is that a lot of our food has natural sodium and we really don’t need to add more. We have become so accustomed to heavily salted foods, because of preserving things in the “olden days”, that we do add a lot of salt to our food.

So the questions are: With all the attention everyone is giving to what they feed their gliders, are we unknowingly giving them too much sodium? If too much sodium can create health problems in humans – heart disease, obesity, etc., what is it doing to our gliders? There have been so many post where necropsies(sp) have been done and showed liver failure - could that have been brought about by too much sodium causing heart or other problems with the end result being liver failure?

Charlie H. - Where are you???? You're the one who usually brings things like this up.
Guardian of Stryder,
my Grandson's Sugar Glider

#86724 - 03/06/06 08:42 PM Re: Salt/Sodium???? [Re: ]

We totally agree with the doctors statements about sodium. chances are we are looking at some damage done to gliders by their current diets. on the other hand, we are not aware of any gliders that have had sodium related problems. high sodium will manifest itself through heart disease and kidney disease. the liver is not involved in monoionic balances, so there should be no reason why liver failure should come from sodium. on the other hand, if we start seeing gliders with high blood pressure (although how you would measure that on a glider beats us), or with kidney failure, sodium would definetly be something to look at.

#86725 - 03/07/06 04:49 AM Re: Salt/Sodium???? [Re: ]
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
Salt is an essential part of a mammals diet just as the other minerals are. The question is how much salt should a glider receive in it's diet. Someone way back when gliders first started to become popular as Pocket Pets decided that they should be on a salt free diet. I have never seen any proof of this. As far as I know it is just someone's opinion that has gotten to be popular among glider owners.

Most herbivores will travel miles to find salt licks. And domestic grazing animals are usually provided salt in blocks or pulverized form. In recent years studies have shown that humans should not be on a totally sodium free diet. I don't think a controlled study has ever been done on the effects of salt on sugar gliders. Of course if you look hard enough you can find a study somewhere to support almost any theory.

Since there is that little doubt about the hazards of too much salt in the glider diet we strive to keep it to a minimum. It is almost impossible to eliminate sodium completely from any diet. Personally I am more concerned about what chickens are fed in the poultry houses than the salt that is added in the processing. And store bought eggs! Yuck! I can smell and taste the chemicals in them.
Charlie H
Rescue & Rehabilation

#86726 - 03/07/06 09:14 AM Re: Salt/Sodium???? [Re: ]

rofl.. sorry- my pet peeve is additives.. and being allergic to MSG- those "chicken broth" things are scary for me... many of them have it.. so I have foudn brands wihtout it for myself and the gliders get those too.. I don't know if gliders need salt, but I imagine the amount they get naturally in the things we feed is probably plenty for them!

#86727 - 03/07/06 09:18 AM Re: Salt/Sodium???? [Re: ]

I get type of Birds Eye brand frozen veggies and mine have no salt... amazing. I agree with khyricat tho and I bet it's all found naturally as that's how they get it in the wild too.


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