Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

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Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby karmakollector » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:48 pm

Hello all... I have been doing some research lately, when I came across some data online that seemed counter to advice that had been given on various beardie forums re: nutrition and staple greens.

In particular, I keep seeing two things as the "holy grail" of feeding recommendations:
1) This site: http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html
2) And images like this one: Image

The problem is, images like the second stem from data charts like the first, and I am finding that data chart has a lot of ambiguous and/or erroneous information in it:
a) Nearly every food is listed as "moderate oxalates," even when the actual oxalate counts are vastly different! For example, grapes are listed as "moderate oxalates" with 34 ppm... meanwhile bell peppers are listed as "moderate oxalates" at 1170 ppm! Does that make sense??
b) Speaking of bell peppers... I believe that 1170 ppm number is wildly inaccurate, and I don't know where it came from. In general, the highest sources of oxalates are found in leaves, not fruit (and even then, the worst culprits tend to be in the Amaranth family, including rhubarb, spinach, and chard.) The only fruit I know of with dangerously high oxalates is starfruit. (USDA database listed bell peppers at 40 ppm, or 4 mg / 100 g)
c) Which brings me to the recommended "staple greens" -- I am not so sure all of them should be recommended a "staples" because this implies they can make up the bulk of the diet and be fed every day, which could be problematic for some of them:

collard greens: This is what I was using as a staple feeder for my dragon, since it was the only one on the list I could find near me. BeautifulDragons recommends it, and notes it has "moderate oxalates"... but in doing my own research, I find conflicting information -- it is sometimes listed on the "avoid due to high oxalate" list for websites pertaining to kidney stones and gout. And when I looked at the USDA info on it, it is listed as 450 mg/100g (or 4500 ppm)... that's 20 times as much as kale! It's not far from the amount in chard, which is considered unhealthy. Now, part of the issue may be that people are also considering it in terms of a ratio against calcium, since calcium binds with it... but I feel that is not a safe way to look at things, because oxalates affect more than calcium absorption. They can also bind with other minerals (like potassium), and form crystals that lead to gout or kidney problems. (Could they have contributed to the kidney disease that killed my boy? I do not know... and I'm not saying collards aren't healthy in moderation, but maybe we shouldn't be calling them a staple green. They also contain goitrogens, just like non-recommended cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and kale do! Because it's in that same Brassicaceae family)

dandelion greens - dandelion greens seem pretty decent at first glance of Ca:P and moderately low oxalates... but then I also know that (at least in humans) dandelion is a powerful diuretic, and can prevent oxalate excretion in urine. So, again, doesn't seem like something that is great to call a staple food.

endive/escarole - again, seems good at first glance, but it does have high levels of kaempferol, a goitrogenic compound that will interfere with thyroid functioning. Doesn't sound like a good daily staple

mustard greens appear to be similar to collard greens (but less calcium, so possibly worse?)

Really, the only ones that seem perfectly fine as staples are turnip greens and arugula, and maybe cactus, as well.


Meanwhile, other plants seem like they can be fed more frequently than was originally recommended (such as kale, cilantro, and romaine lettuce -- but I would definitely not make any of these a "staple" either!)

I get concerned that people are so widely spreading easy-to-digest information and recommendations like these which, although they do have some good information, also have some incorrect information and misleading recommendations (for example, I would advise to be sure to have a varied diet... and perhaps it is wise to balance low-oxalate, high-goitrogen greens with other moderate-oxalate but non-goitrogenic greens, all mixed together, along with a few other veggies, the best of which appear to be butternut or acorn squash, and maybe occasional green beans and sweet red pepper)


I have started my own nutrition chart and, while it's not as extensive as some of the others I have seen, I believe it to be more accurate. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11YNZic04k92eaMUujpGRJA1wc1w8ulVyQTXDHS5v6oo/edit?usp=sharing
Last edited by karmakollector on Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby karmakollector » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:00 pm

Oh, another thing I found on the Beautiful Dragons nutrition page... at the bottom (for sources cited), it says you can "really trust" this page: http://www.anapsid.org/iguana/cal_ox.html

Yet right off the bat I find a glaring error on it! It states broccoli has a high oxalate count of 610 mg/100g . My research (which, in turn, came from the USDA database) indicated 190 mg... big difference! But it goes to show the fact that the sources used were not necessarily vetted or double-checked.

(Most of the rest of the info seems accurate, though.)
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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby Claudiusx » Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:47 am

Hi there,

Yes there are major inconsistencies which I've pointed out before in threads where we discuss this. I'm short of time right now but I'll come back to this thread in an hour or two to add my thoughts to it.

The big lists are still good guidelines. But they were never really meant to be so in depth in my opinion. And because of that, questionable information gets added alongside a generally decent list.
For instance, beautiful dragons really shouldn't have even made comment about the oxalates as like you've pointed out, their criteria for what constitutes high is all over the place.

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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby Claudiusx » Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:36 pm

Ok, I have more time so I will be more detailed and hopefully answer some of your concerns and questions.

karmakollector wrote:a) Nearly every food is listed as "moderate oxalates," even when the actual oxalate counts are vastly different! For example, grapes are listed as "moderate oxalates" with 34 ppm... meanwhile bell peppers are listed as "moderate oxalates" at 1170 ppm! Does that make sense??

No it doesn't make any sense. The chart should have never even mentioned oxalates besides for the few items on their that actually are dangerously high eg. Rhubarb.

karmakollector wrote:b) Speaking of bell peppers... I believe that 1170 ppm number is wildly inaccurate, and I don't know where it came from. In general, the highest sources of oxalates are found in leaves, not fruit (and even then, the worst culprits tend to be in the Amaranth family, including rhubarb, spinach, and chard.) The only fruit I know of with dangerously high oxalates is starfruit. (USDA database listed bell peppers at 40 ppm, or 4 mg / 100 g)

You are correct, it's innaccurate. But it almost might not be. I will explain, but you are also right as typically, oxalates are found in the stems/leaves of the plant as opposed to the fruit.
According to oxalate.org (which lists their source), bellpeppers have an oxalate count of 117mg/100g. They claim their source is USDA Dr. Duke,

Which brings me to the point I made. Bellpeppers is quite a broad term. And with many vegies and greens, there are countless varieties of the same veggie. Take apples for instance. How many different varieties of apples do you think there are? For all we know, a certain variety of bellpepper could be super low on oxalates while another is high. The soil they are grown in or the fertilizer used can even have an effect. And, exactly which parts of the plant are used for testing purposes has a HUGE impact.

All that's to really get to the point I'm trying to make, and have made to others in the past - Don't worry about Oxalate content. It's not going to present an issue in our situation (or in most situations).
And honestly, while the intentions are good to be aware of them (oxalates do bind to calcium after all) the effect isn't worrysome. If their was a good nutritional saying that mimic'd the monetary saying "Penny smart, pound dumb." it would fit quite well in this case IMO. Oxalates can cause other issues as you are aware, but I will touch on that later.

karmakollector wrote:c) Which brings me to the recommended "staple greens" -- I am not so sure all of them should be recommended a "staples" because this implies they can make up the bulk of the diet and be fed every day, which could be problematic for some of them:

Another good point that I too bring up a lot. Staple gets confused with "the only thing that needs to be offered."
The advice I give (and am trying to spread) is that variety is the best thing you can do for the health of our dragons (and ourselves to be honest..)
If the term is changed, or thought of differently, there really is no problem IMO with labeling certain items as such. I think it's just a convenience thing to say that a green is a staple while another is not. However, not 1 green is better than another in every single way. Many offer many different benefits and micronutrients that another might not have.
This is where the advice of variety comes in.

If you are offering a variety, you already dilute the effect of any potential issue with "high" oxalates. If you were concerned with them to begin with.

karmakollector wrote:collard greens: This is what I was using as a staple feeder for my dragon, since it was the only one on the list I could find near me. BeautifulDragons recommends it, and notes it has "moderate oxalates"... but in doing my own research, I find conflicting information

Correct, Collards typically do have decent oxalate content. In fact, Kale is often discouraged because of it's "high" oxalate content. However, collards have higher oxalate content than kale.
So really, just another reason to ignore oxalate content, and more fuel to the fire as to why the chart shouldn't have used it, as they have no standard criteria.

That being said, Collards are still a great "staple" green. They are prenty nutritious, and have a very nice Ca:P ratio. Plus they are packed full of important micronutrients. As are many other veggies and fruits.

-Brandon
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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby Claudiusx » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:02 pm

Now, I will make another few points, mainly in regards to creating "the perfect list" and why there will never be a perfect one.

I can find a compound that is present in any fruit or veggie that can be considered bad or harmful. There is something in everything.

Part of my problem with lists like these, is there is some strange need to feel like you have to load it with information. IMO, adding information like a food having goitrogens or quercetin is unnecessary.

In fact, some might argue that quercetin is a benefical compound.
in vitro and some animal models have shown that quercetin, a polyphenol derived from plants, has a wide range of biological actions including anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral activities; as well as attenuating lipid peroxidation, platelet aggregation and capillary permeability.

Source

The other issue with a chart like what is out there, and the one you are trying to make is a lot of them demonize something that doesn't deserve to be demonized. All because of 1 little thing.

Lets take Kale for example.
In your chart you make a comment about using it sparingly because of the goitrogens. However, that's doing a major diservice as just look at the micro nutrient make up of Kale here:
https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/ve ... cts/2461/2

Avoiding Kale because of Goitrogens is like walking over 100 dollar bills to pick up nickles. You are losing out on more by avoiding it..

And that's the inherent flaw with finding those little compounds (often in such insignificant amounts that they would never pose a problem to begin with). Like I said, you can find something bad with every single one of those items. That doesn't make them bad though.

Once again, this is where just focusing on variety will do a lot of good. Not 1 single item will have everything the body needs. And not 1 single item will make or break your dragons health.

Another issue with the lists is too much consideration and value is put into calcium content. There really is no reason to. Calcium dusting is still required, so it really doesn't need to be focused on so aggressively.

To be honest with you, I was of the mindset just a few hours ago that making a new list would be a great thing to do. But after thinking about it, and getting my thoughts down, I no longer believe that to be the case.

The only list (IMO) that we need is a list of items that shouldn't be fed at all (such as rhubarb, and potentially toxic items such as avocado etc.)

Too many people try to overcomplicate things when in essence, they are quite simple. If you provide a varied diet, you really have nothing to worry about.

There is too much nutrition in greens and salad items to start being picky about them. Where more attention needs to be paid is to feeder insects, and hydration of dragons.

Over the years, we have seen more kidney issues, more gout issues, more organ issues, more neurological issues from poor genetics and bad diet when it comes to a LACK of salads being offered. High protein/fat diets with low water consumption is going to kill a dragon much quicker than feeding it a salad of kale with sliced apple on top.
I would much rather see a person feeding their dragon a daily salad of 3 or 4 items (even if they aren't labeled as staples) than see this horrible mentality of growing dragons only need insects.

I'm rambling on a bit now, but all this is to say that I don't agree with discrediting very nutritious and healthy items over 1 or 2 compounds that may or may not pose a risk. IMO, the risk is in limiting yourself away from these foods because of that.

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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby Claudiusx » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:11 pm

So not to discredit your work and the effort you put into it, but the only list I personally believe we need is a list of what not to feed.

However, this is of course just my opinion and i do encourage you and everyone else to just simply do what they feel is right. Just like raising kids, everyone has their opinion on how it should be done. If you're doing what you feel is right based off of information you've gathered, then that's all that matters. :)

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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby karmakollector » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:13 am

In many ways, I agree with you... which is why I started doing my own research: because I started realizing that there has GOT to be more options for feeding than what appears "good" on the existing charts.

It mostly stemmed from advice being given on a Facebook forum (Bearded Dragon Care), which kept telling people that, essentially, the only things safe to feed in large quantities or on a regular basis are the greens listed in the image I posted here.

I agree that the best thing is variety and moderation -- just like for humans. Herein lies a problem: if the "only" good staples are the ones being bandied about like in that easy-to-digest image, then people are going to rely on those... and, whether it's due to availability or financial cost-cutting, or not wanting greens to go bad... people are often likely to pick just one. I know this, because I am one of those people who did this based on that information, and the fact that my local grocery store does not sell: escarole, arugula, dandelion greens, turnip greens, mustard greens. The only thing I could find was collards (and I even had to drive an extra 15 minutes to find that.) While I did make sure to mix that with some other veggies like carrots, bell pepper, and squash... I was scared to use other greens.

Which is why I am also trying to, contrary to your statement, UN-demonize some things. For example, people are making a blanket statement that Romaine lettuce is bad to feed (because it is "lettuce")... but when I look at the nutritional data, it appears otherwise. It appears just as healthy as endive/escarole, for example. And if I had known that, I would have been mixing it in with the collards, providing more variety and a better diet (especially when my beardie decided he didn't want to eat collard greens anymore.) Likewise with kale -- it is not listed as a "staple", so people don't use it.

Part of the reason I started doing my own research is that other people were pointing out their vets said they can feed the beardie kale every day, other people said no. This got me wondering where the truth lies. And, like you, I think it is somewhere in the middle: moderation. I still would be concerned about feeding kale day in and day out as the main nutritional source, not because of oxalates but because cruciferous vegetables are goitrogenic. That means nothing if you blend them as a moderate part of an overall diet, but even in people it causes problems when you eat too much of a good thing... such as people who have been "juicers" have gotten thyroid problems or gout problems due to the goitrogens or oxalates. And that is my concern if people choose one vegetable and make it their mainstay. Thing of how much salad goes in a dish compared to their mass. It would be like me eating a bowl of kale the size of my torso every single day. That would probably cause problems. The same thing is true of dandelion greens... heck, I have had kidney pain result from one CUP of dandelion tea, due to its diuretic properties.
And as for oxalates... you are right, they can be very variable (even in the exact same strain of plant, different results can be found), but they are important to consider, and definitely can contribute to problems. I am more concerned about oxalates than goitrogens. For those moderately higher-oxalate foods (like collards), I definitely think it's important to balance them with lower-oxalate ones.

What I'd LIKE to see, rather than people trying to read and decipher a long table, is a concise feeding guide kind of like what we are offered for our OWN healthy consumption choices, such as this one:

Image

This would give people a menu to choose from, while also emphasizing that a MIX is of vegetables (and some fruit) is essential, not just to rely one one (or even two) things. Because I can tell you, that's the message that is being relayed by the current information going around.

The table I am compiling is an effort to better educate myself, and I think I am going to use it to make a diagram similar to the one above. And of course collards, for example, would be part of the "healthy foods" on that chart. But I'm going to avoid the word "staple"

It seems to me it would be great to see a "Beardie Salad" or food bowl diagram consisting of:
1 part Daily high-calcium greens: cactus, turnip greens, collards, bok choy, arugula
1 part Daily supplemental greens: endive/escarole, kale, cilantro, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, butternut squash
Occasional (3-4x per week) vegetables: all of the yellow items on my chart (but I'd start with green beans, carrot, etc)
Treats (1-2x per week): berries, etc.

I find that people really do need a quick and easy reference of "what should I do?", and providing such a thing would narrow down the list while still providing many more choices (and more emphasis on varied diet) than the images going around right now.
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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby Claudiusx » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:23 am

We agree on a lot of points, and I think we both agree on the main goal here, we just see the solution as something slightly different :)

karmakollector wrote:It mostly stemmed from advice being given on a Facebook forum (Bearded Dragon Care), which kept telling people that, essentially, the only things safe to feed in large quantities or on a regular basis are the greens listed in the image I posted here.

I get what you're saying. While not ideal, it appeals to the fact that most of us are too lazy to put in the amount of effort that me and you try to do in regards to nutrition.

Tell someone that they need to do this and that and research this and google what this term means, and people largely get intimidated and end up just doing whatever they want. Give them a nice simple easy list that isn't a wall of text, and they can follow it.

karmakollector wrote:if the "only" good staples are the ones being bandied about like in that easy-to-digest image, then people are going to rely on those.

That's why I am more for a list of foods that shouldn't be offered, or foods that should be offered only rarely.

Give people a list of items and they will use only those. Or pick only a few from that list.
Instead, tell people to try to pick out 2 or 3 different items each week, and you solve that issue. Things really don't need to be too complicated, but a lot of people expect it to be. Thats why an easy image like what gets posted appeals to so many. Something that thought was complicated is now easy to understand with an infographic, so it must be right!

Many things get passed on as fact and a lot of people end up just believing it. This isn't just the case for dragon husbandry. It's rampant throughout all aspects of our lives. It's really on us to do our own research and come to our own conclusions if we care that much. But IMO it's not on us to expect the same from others.

The best we can do is give advice, and the person can either accept it or not. <-- that was a hard pill for me to swallow for many years. But you just can't change people, all you can do is try to help, try to offer advice, but it's on them to decide if they follow your advice, or someone elses.

karmakollector wrote:And as for oxalates... ------ but they are important to consider, and definitely can contribute to problems. I am more concerned about oxalates than goitrogens.

I agree that they should be a consideration, but I think they should also be a back of the mind consideration. Humans and dragons are different obviously. Humans can develop gout and high blood concentrations of UA. And so can dragons.
However, if you do some research here into the majority of gout cases in dragons, they almost always link back to 1 of 2 things.

A diet rich in high protein foods.
A diet lacking moisture and hydration.

I've never seen a case of gout in the decade + I've been here in a dragon that has been well hydrated and a good salad eater that only ate moderate amounts of bugs in it's adult life.
I agree, Oxalates can cause issues, but I am highly doubtful oxalates found in salads would be a contributing factor to any issues in dragons. I just simply haven't seen it. Even case studies in humans are questionable as to the actual amount that causes negative effects. Of course genetics play a role. But I stand by my statement of avoiding an otherwise healthy item over moderate oxalate content is passing up $100 bills to pick up nickles.

Any potential negative is far outweighed by the positives, IMO. And that's perfectly fine if you see it differently :)

Nutrition is such a hotly debated topic in the world. And it will always be that way. New fad diets come out almost monthly it seems. What was once common thought is now disproved. What was once thought to be healthy is now unhealthy and visa versa. Nutrition, and the human/dragon body are just way too complicated of an issue to tackle and understand in its complete entirety.

karmakollector wrote:It seems to me it would be great to see a "Beardie Salad" or food bowl diagram consisting of:
1 part Daily high-calcium greens: cactus, turnip greens, collards, bok choy, arugula
1 part Daily supplemental greens: endive/escarole, kale, cilantro, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, butternut squash
Occasional (3-4x per week) vegetables: all of the yellow items on my chart (but I'd start with green beans, carrot, etc)
Treats (1-2x per week): berries, etc.

I do really like this idea though. It emphasises that a mixture is something you should strive for, and is a quick easy guide. I like this much better than saying 1 item is bad for this reason, or this item is good for this reason. It appeals to the people who want to just have a quick easy guide. And the people who want to know more can do their own research and make their own choices. But still, the emphasis on variety was there.

I think a list like you are making is a good "backdoor" method of populating an easier to follow list like the one you suggested above.

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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby karmakollector » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:44 pm

It's definitely not comprehensive, but here's what I have come up with so far to try to have something that is concise while still giving a varied menu of healthy choices and emphasizing that a varied mix is important. Open to thoughts or suggestions.

[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby Claudiusx » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:51 pm

I really like the salad infographic! Great job on it it looks great.

I dont quite agree with the feeder insect graphic and mealworms being on the dont feed list, but besides that I think it's all good.

The insect list kind of goes back to a problem we talked about earlier, people might look at that list and think they should only feed silkworms. While just like salads, we ideally want variety with feeder insects too :)

Here are my thoughts on mealworms so you know where I'm coming from in regards to them:
viewtopic.php?f=88&t=250599

I would add silkworms, butterworms, and BSFL all into green.
Crickets and dubias I'd make light green. I'd almost put dubias in the yellow category. Talk about UA levels and gout, dubia roaches are the number 1 cause of gout in dragons when it comes to feeder insect choice. Superworms, mealworms, and hornworms would go yellow. And waxworms would be treat category only.
That's what I would do for feeders personally. And maybe with a header that states to try to offer at least 2-3 different insects a week.

My crew typically gets 2-3 different bugs per day FWIW. :)

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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:16 pm

They all seem to enjoy occasional fruit now and then. I see that's (partially) covered in the list under berries though. I'd consider it a small portion of their diet but I still offer it. I'm glad to see more work being done on this topic. I think it's something we can always improve upon. I would also keep in mind that their diet changes as they get older. For example, supers and large hornworms don't appear to be tough for them to handle as adults.
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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby karmakollector » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:01 am

Thanks for the feedback. Even before you mentioned anything about bugs, after posting this I realized I should take red coloring off the bug feeder list because it implies "do not feed"... perhaps a gradient of green to yellow is better, to imply "okay/occasional" vs "great/staple"

I am very curious to read more about what makes dubia bad... most of what I have read sing their praises, and I was keeping a colony for a while (I was going to just let it die out, but they just... won't... die! It's been over a month now of no food or water) My new go-to feeder is BSFL (but I do occasionally do crickets and hornworms. No, I do not trust mealies or superworms, my girl is only 4 months. I did feed them to my adult dragon, but I wonder what the benefit of mealworms is, given their difficult digestion, other than being cheap and readily accessible?)

But yes, I will modify the bug portion.

I am STILL having people in some forums insisting that "no lettuce should ever be fed", all because of that blasted BeautifulDragons chart. That chart is their sole "sources cited" that they are basing all decisions off of. Despite reports by the CDC that leaf lettuce and romaine are MORE nutrient-dense than: collards, mustard greens, arugula, endive, dandelion greens, etc. (but the only one I recommend is Romaine because it has a good Ca:P ratio)
https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/13_0390.htm
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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby Claudiusx » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:48 am

Dubias aren't bad necessarily, but too many people feed too much of them.

There are a couple other posts here about it, but basically dubias dont excrete their uric acid like other creatures do they store it as they have a mechanism that can use that stored UA for another function. So, feeding dubias greatly increases blood concentrations of UA in dragons. A remedy to this would be to feed dubias a much lower protein diet. Most roach chews are 12-20% protein which is just way too high. A diet around 4% protein seems to be a good middle ground for dubias.

We've seen cases here where vets have told owners that their dragon is dying of kidney failure and posted up extremely high UA levels. It's been more than once that weve told the owner to up the oral hydration and cut out the dubias and cut back on the protein. In a few weeks at another checkup, UA levels were back down to normal ranges.

So if you're breeding your own dubias and can control their diet, you're way better off than those who feed the stuff that their breeder sells them.

I feed dubias and have my own colony, but dubias make up less than 25% of my crews insect diet I would say.

I dont buy the myth that mealworms are hard to digest. I've never had issues with mealworms passing undigested. Those that do can typically be linked back to improper husbandry or parasites. Mealworms have plenty of nutrition too. Did you read the link I posted?
Anyways, dont want to side track your thread on whether or not mealworms are an ok food. Everyone has their own opinions.

Ps. I think this discussion is a good thread to have in the advanced discussion thread, so I'm going to move it there if you dont mind :)

-Brandon
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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby Claudiusx » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:51 am

Moved by Moderator from Feeding to Advanced Discussion
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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby Claudiusx » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:56 am

karmakollector wrote:I am STILL having people in some forums insisting that "no lettuce should ever be fed", all because of that blasted BeautifulDragons chart. That chart is their sole "sources cited" that they are basing all decisions off of. Despite reports by the CDC that leaf lettuce and romaine are MORE nutrient-dense than: collards, mustard greens, arugula, endive, dandelion greens, etc. (but the only one I recommend is Romaine because it has a good Ca:P ratio)

Yup, people are hard pressed to change or listen to someone tell them they've been wrong.

Many lettuces are good. Iceberg is what takes the bad rap. But even it has a place in trying to hydrate a dragon. It's not what I'd pick as a first second or third option, but it remains an option.

All we can do is present info to try and help. It's up to others whether they choose to believe it.
That's my purpose behind the thread I wrote on mealworms. Whether people want to believe it or follow the advice is up to them.

I do think you are making good progress though in regards to those whole salad items issue.

-Brandon
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