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: 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
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: 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: 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