10 Low-Carb Diet Resources on TheHorse.com

We’ve compiled some of our best resources on these diets and what horses might benefit from them most. Sponsored by Hygain.

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10 Low-Carb Diet Resources on TheHorse.com
Whether a low-starch diet is right for your horse depends on his or her caloric requirements, type of work, and heath history. | Photo: iStock

All horses must eat carbohydrates, which make up the largest portion of their diets, but they need to be the right ones. Some horses benefit from low-starch diets because of existing health issues that make them more sensitive to sugars and starches. For example, horses dealing with metabolic issues, pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, formerly known as equine Cushing’s disease), gastric ulcers, and certain muscle disorders might benefit from a low-starch diet.

Whether such a diet is right for your horse depends on his or her caloric requirements, type of work, and heath history. We combed through our archives and compiled some of our best resources on low-carb diets, plus we took a look at a few new studies on starches and sugars in horses, which remains an important research focus.

ARTICLE: Carbohydrates 101 for Horses Carbohydrates are important energy sources for horses, and they are required for digestive health. READ NOW

ARTICLE: High-Starch Meals Induce Systemic Inflammation in Older, Heavier Horses  Younger age and lower body condition appear to protect horses against occasional spikes in nonstructural carbohydrate consumption. READ NOW

SPONSORED CONTENT: ZERO: A Low-Starch, Low-Sugar Complete Horse Feed  Hygain recommends the fully fortified, nutrient-rich, low-NSC product for horses at risk of developing metabolic issues. READ NOW

ARTICLE: Two Keys to Ulcer-Free Horses: Forage and Starch/Sugar Intake  Consider these nutritional factors when formulating your horse’s diet to avoid GI issues such as equine squamous gastric disease. READ NOW

ARTICLE: Does Your Horse Need a Low-Starch Diet?  Your horse’s health status might call for a low-starch diet. Learn which conditions benefit from low starch levels and how to make the change. READ NOW

ARTICLE: Does Sugar Make Horses Anxious or Hyper?  How diets high in starch can impact hindgut function and performance, potentially leading to problems with the ‘gut-brain axis.’ READ NOW

ARTICLE:  Low-NSC Horse Feeds: What Kind Does My Horse Need?  Our nutritionist helps a reader make sense of horse feeds advertised as low-sugar, low-starch, lite, and more. READ NOW

ARTICLE:  Does Low-Starch Horse Feed Equal Low-Calorie?  Find out why a horse might gain weight when switched to a feed marketed as “low-starch.” READ NOW

ARTICLE:  Feeding to Prevent Colic  Horses are more prone to digestive upset than other domestic animals because of how their GI tract functions. READ NOW

ARTICLE:  Planning a Diet for a Laminitic Horse  Feeding a laminitic horse can be a challenge. Here are some tips for planning a diet suitable for such horses. READ NOW

ARTICLE: EMS and ‘Low-Carb’ Diets: What’s Right For Your Horse?  Not all carbohydrates are created equal, and “low-carb” definitely doesn’t mean “no-carb.” A nutritionist explains. READ NOW 


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The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care is an equine publication providing the latest news and information on the health, care, welfare, and management of all equids.

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