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|You can feed beet pulp with molasses if prepared like this. |
E. Snacks: Horse Treats in Equine Insulin Resistance
- Yes, your horse can still get many types of snacks. You love to give them and your horse loves to have them. It is one of the best parts of having a horse. The important thing is to know what can and can not be eaten.
Good Snacks — Low Glycemic Index, Low Carbohydrate.
Just Remember: "You Can't Beat Beet Pulp!"
1. Beet Pulp with no molasses added.
- There are two types of beet pulp. You want the type with no molasses.
- Beet pulp is a great way to provide fiber to your horse's diet - added fiber lowers Insulin levels and it gives your horse a feeling of being full which cuts appetite and hence intake. Grass hay and beet pulp have similar fiber.
- The sugar part of sugar beets has been mostly removed as it was processed. What is left over is beet pulp which is 97% "sugar free" which is very good. Wet beet pulp is only a 3% ESC simple sugar. Studies have proven that it will not raise Insulin levels and, in fact, is a good product to feed horses. Do not get beet pulp mixed up with bran mash. Bran mash is extremely high in sugar and can not be given to these horses/ponies.
- Beet pulp has about the same protein level as grass hay (9-10%).
- You do not need to buy "designer" beet pulp. It only costs over twice as much as regular beet pulp and that is without added shipping costs on top. Your local feed store has non-molasses beet pulp at about $15.00 per 40 pound bag.
You can feed a 1,000 pound horse beet pulp 1-2 times a day. Soak 2 cups in 4 cups of water for 4 hours.
You can add HEIRO™ to the morning beet pulp along with the low NSC grain.
I can't find plain beet pulp! Now what?
If you prepare beet pulp with molasses you can feed this safely – it actually has less sugar than soaked, plain beet pulp. We were surprised at this fact. This is probably due to our soaking and rinsing process.
Starch Simple Sugar
Data Base – Equi-Analytical Soaked Plain Beet Pulp 1.8 2.4
Prepped soaked/rinsed Beet Pulp with molasses
Also run at Equi-Analytical Labs (9/25/08) 0.1 0.1
Steps to Feed Beet Pulp with Molasses to Horses (How we prepped):
- 1 cup of beet pulp into a bowl with 4 cups of water. Soak this for 24 hours – This is just what you will do in the real world for making it up in the morning to use the next day.
- Next, we poured it into a colander (K-Mart $6.00) and hand pushed it down for 5 seconds to squeeze out water.
- Then, we rinsed it in cold water for 30 seconds and squeezed it out again for 5 seconds.
- All done – ready to feed. Easy, quick, inexpensive.
Conclusion: Prepped Beet Pulp is a safe product for the Insulin Resistant horse.
Also, you should soak plain beet pulp because dry, plain beet pulp has a simple sugar of 9.2 which drops to 2.4 if soaked. Go to the Equi-Analytical site to see this additionally surprising fact!
Giving snacks is a pleasure for the owner and the horse.
Sugar free peppermints are safe, low calorie, and tasty.
See Why Chopped Hay Is Under Snacks
- Strawberries, cherries with out the pits, and roasted peanuts in the shell. Peanuts in the shell can be bought in bulk at BJs. If you feed the horse peanuts in the shell, it will increase the fiber content which is good. Also, pumpkin seeds are low Carbohydrate, high fiber. Another snack clients have told me their horses love is celery sticks. Cut them up into sticks or let the horse bite off a piece. Celery has an extremely low glycemic of 1 (lowest level) and is only 1% total carbs with very high fiber.
- Special Candy. Where to get? In supermarkets, they now all have special aisles of senior adult/diabetic foods and this is where to go. Get sugar-free candy for diabetics. The candy only has 6 calories. Great peppermint, grape, cherry, and watermelon flavors. The ones we have used that horses like: Estee Sugar Free Peppermint Swirl hard candy and Sorbee Sugar Free Lite hard candy with Cherry, Grape, Orange, Strawberry flavors. Often, diabetic foods are near the energy bar section— do not feed any energy bars to your horse. They are loaded in corn syrup/oats and molasses (even the so called diet types).
A client asked:
Are the sugar substitutes in the diabetic candy OK to give to my horse?
Yes, if it has Splenda or Nutrasweet. We checked with:
- The ASPCA Toxicology's National Poison Control Animal Center. Sept 2008.
- Dr. Val Beasley, Board Certified Veterinary Toxicologist, Head of Toxicology at University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, and author of articles and books on veterinary toxicology. Sept 2008.
- Dr. Dirikolu, Veterinary Pharmacologist, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Sept 2008.
- Head of Toxicology, University of Pennsylvania's College of Veterinary Medicine at New Bolton Center. Sept 2008.
The Splenda or Nutrasweet in these products have never caused any cases of problems in horses.The sugar substitute that has caused problems in dogs and cats is called Xylitol. It is found most often in sugar free gum, so skip the gum and go for the sugar free peppermints. Both Splenda and Nutrasweet are FDA approved.
- Hay cubes — Why hay cubes under snacks and not under hay?
- Horses eat cubes 25% faster than hay which means there will be extended periods of fasting with no forage. Fasting causes Insulin to surge way beyond normal when the horse is fed again. This is exactly what we do not want. The goal is steady release of nutrients all day long and not eat - starve - eat - starve.
- Expense. Cubes are much more expensive than hay per pound of feed. A 1,000 pound horse will go through a bag in 2-3 days and if you compare that to the cost of hay (even $6-$7 a bale), cubes will run about $1,000.00, per year per horse more.
- Hay cubes are finely chopped so they leave the stomach faster - regular hay slows the process down.
- Hay cubes are a good snack to give in the afternoon. You can slice them up into 4 pieces per cube and give 2-3 cubes (8-12 pieces). Either alfalfa or timothy cubes are fine to use. One bag will last 3-4 months - that is about $0.12 a day for this snack.
- Alfalfa Pellets – a handful in the morning feed or as an occasional snack is fine. Good fiber, low glycemic index. Again, only as a snack because as the main forage it is too expensive, leads to fasting like cubes. Alfalfa pellets have an added bonus of helping to prevent stomach ulcers due to its buffering ability. (The Horse, February 2008)
- Chopped Low NSC Hay – These are GOOD snacks but are NOT a primary forage due to three reasons:
- Studies show that horses eat these too fast. Most horses will blow through 5-10 pounds in less than 1 hour. If it is the only forage, horses will go 11-15 hours with no food.
- Finely chopped means it will go out of the stomach quickly, so the horse gets an empty stomach quickly. This is not our goal.
- These feeds have the advantage of you knowing they are low in sugar/starch, so they are safe to add to the high protein/low carb grain. Add 1-2 pounds per feeding. Horses seem eager to eat these products and owners often comment their horses enjoy this forage.
SAFE CHOICES (2)
Note: Not all chopped hay is safe for an Insulin Resistant horse - other types add molasses which we don't want.
Avoiding problem snacks is important.
Oats in any form are to be avoided!
Bad Snacks — High Glycemic Index or High Carbohydrates or both.
- Cookies – loaded in corn, oats, sugar, and molasses. The cookies at the tack shop need to also be avoided.
- Candy – only use special candy (see good snacks).
- Bran mash – lots of Carbohydrates. Higher Glycemic Index than many grains. Wheat bran and rice bran should be avoided. Rice bran has 8 times more starch than alfalfa cubes and over 10 times more than beet pulp.
- Certain grains – corn, oat, wheat – even a handful is a bad choice.
- According to Equi-analytical, Oats have a starch of 44.2 and an NSC of 48.7 making it:
- 15 times the starch and 4 times the NSC of alfalfa.
- 4 times the NSC of low carb/high protein feeds.
- 13 times the starch of fresh grass pasture.
- 22 times the starch of wet beet pulp and 9 times the NSC.
- Certain fruit/vegetables – apples, carrot, applesauce (3 times worse than apples), watermelon
- Other items we have seen fed that need to be avoided – jelly beans, yogurt, pretzels, chips, lawn clippings, and frosted mini-wheats.