"MK Diet" Composition
©1999 Melissa Kaplan
Susan Donoghue DVM (Nutrition Support Services), a reptile veterinarian who has extensively researched and conducted tests on reptile nutrition, including that of green iguanas, cites the following nutritional requirements for herbivores (which she defines as "most tortoises, iguanas, Uromastyx spp., certain tadpoles") in her 1995 paper, Clinical nutrition of reptiles and amphibians (Proceedings, ARAV, October 1995, Sacramento, CA, 16-37)
Below is a comparison of the calories, and grams of carbohydrates, protein and fat in the "MK" salad vs. the greens commonly recommended and fed. Given what igs should be getting and what greens actually provide, this is why I feed salad with greens as opposed to one or the other. The data is based on the quantities in the recipe (avoirdupois ounces, which is by weight, as opposed to fractions of cups, which is fluid ounces), with data from the USDA Nutrient Data Base.
Please note: contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, the "MK diet" is both the vegetable-alfalfa-fruit mix and the mix of leafy greens.
* = Estimated: I calculate the kilocalories using computation formula widely published in wildlife rehabilitation and veterinary literature: (100 - (Fat% + Moisture% + Ash%)) + (2.5 x Fat%)=kcal/ounce. ng = negligible amounts - not included in USDA NDB
* Greens: 2 oz each mustard and collard
Supplementing the salad with vitamin supplements, as recommended by top reptile vets will boost the calcium and mineral content somewhat, the latter of which may be necessary depending on the soil in which the plants were grown. The article on Vitamin Supplementation provides some guidelines for supplementation based on age and health status.
Nutrients in Selected Greens, per 100 grams edible portion
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