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Low Glycemic Index Feeds

There are many reasons why an owner would prefer to feed their horse a diet that has a lower glucose and insulin response. Some horses are sensitive to the glucose rush after feeding and get too “hot” for riding (see “Feeding to Calm the Hot Horse” in the July issue). Other horses may have metabolic issues such as insulin resistance or polysaccharide storage myopathy and require feeds that do not cause much of a glucose response and/or insulin response. However, it should be noted that some horses do in fact require a glucose and insulin response to their meals, particularly athletes that require glucose for glycogen (a major fuel for exercising muscles) synthesis and insulin to stimulate that synthesis. The majority of simple carbohydrates (sugars and starch) consumed by the horse are broken down and absorbed in the small intestine as glucose, causing an increase in blood glucose concentrations. However,…

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