Can Cats Eat Edamame?: Edamame, or soybeans, is a popular snack in the United States and other parts of the world. These small pods are an excellent source of protein, fiber, iron and vitamins A and C. Unlike most other legumes, edamame has a neutral flavor and fresh green color when raw. The texture is also slightly crunchy rather than soft.
In general, cats aren’t big fans of legumes (or beans) as they are high in lectin proteins that can be toxic to cats. Most veterinarians will advise you that cats should avoid eating edamame due to its effect on red blood cells. But what does this mean? What exactly is a cat? Is it a beast? A predator? Or something much more complex? We’re about to find out…
Edamame Nutrition Facts
First things first, let’s look at edamame nutrition. According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, the serving size for edamame is 6 pods; this has a total of 41 calories, 2 grams protein, 4.2 grams carbohydrate, 0.3 grams fat, and 2.3 grams fiber.
Edamame is high in dietary fiber, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Pod itself contains most of these nutrients. But the pods do have a small amount of oxalic acid, which can bind to some minerals like iron and calcium. So it’s best to eat pods with other foods that have calcium or iron in them to avoid this effect.
What Are Lectin Proteins?
If you are a cat owner or have simply been feeding your cat edamame as a special treat, you may be wondering if this food is safe for cats. Unfortunately, many foods that are perfectly safe for humans are toxic to cats, and edamame is one of them.
Edamame is a legume that is high in lectin proteins. These are natural toxins that are found in a wide range of foods and plants. Although they are present in many types of foods, they are especially high in legumes and peanuts.
Cats can be quite sensitive to these lectins. Which can cause digestive issues, blood sugar issues and even red blood cell issues. So, unfortunately, it is best to avoid feeding edamame to cats, especially in large amounts.
Can Cats Eat Edamame?
First and foremost, cats need a high-protein diet, which edamame is not. While it does contain a small amount of protein, it is not enough to meet the daily needs of cats.
Edamame is also high in lectin proteins (as discussed above). Which have been shown to have a toxic effect on red blood cells.
Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. And keeping your pet safe from the effects of low oxygen levels, such as fatigue and even death. If these cells become damaged, they are less able to transport oxygen to all parts of the body. Which can cause shortness of breath and/or lethargy in cats.
A few servings of edamame, while it might not be enough to cause serious damage, can be harmful to cats.
How Does Edamame Affect Cats Red Blood Cells?
Let’s look at how edamame affects red blood cells. Red blood cells (RBC) are the cells in the blood responsible for transporting oxygen through the body. People with low red blood cellscounts are at an increased risk of developing complications and infections. This is because their bodies are not receiving enough oxygen.
Physicians use an Red blood cells count to gauge the health of an individual’s blood. In general, if a person has red blood cells count of less than 5.5, they are considered to have low RBCs.
What happens when these cells become damaged? Well, the cells become less able to transport oxygen to all parts of the body, which can cause shortness of breath and/or lethargy in cats. A few servings of edamame, while it might not be enough to cause serious damage, can be harmful to cats.
Conclusion: Can Cats Eat Edamame or not?
Cats are carnivores, meaning they are designed to eat a high-protein and meat-based diet. Edamame is a legume, and it has a high amount of lectin proteins.
These proteins can be toxic to cats, so it is best to avoid feeding your cat edamame. Edamame is low in protein, high in carbohydrates and has a high oxalic acid content, which can bind to iron and calcium. It also has a low-fat content (about 0.3 grams per serving), so it is not a good choice for cats with certain health conditions.
Edamame also has a high sodium content, so it is best to avoid feeding it to cats with heart disease or other diseases that are affected by salt intake.