Fats: Diet Fad or Here to Stay?
Most of us can relate to fad diets. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements for the newest and purportedly best diet for weight loss and healthy living. The same can be true for our equine friends.
To determine whether a diet is just a fad or here to stay we need to look at the basics of equine nutrition. A diet high in unsaturated fats can have many health benefits for horses. Fats from oils are 100% digestible as opposed to fats found in forage which are only 55% digestible. Fats are also necessary for vitamin absorption. Fat soluble vitamins need fat to be transported around the body. Low-fat diets therefore reduce vitamin absorption. Additionally, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids play vital roles in the Central Nervous and Immune Systems of horses.
Types of Fat
There are two types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are typically made of animal tallow and unsaturated fats are typically vegetable-based. Being herbivores, horses require unsaturated fats in their diets. So where do these fats come from? Vegetable oils, soybeans, flaxseed, rice bran and sunflower seeds are all excellent sources of unsaturated fats.
Benefits of Fats in Equine Diets
A high-fat diet has many benefits to an equine diet. Diets high in fat can:
- Help with increased weight gain
- Relieve heaves and arthritis
- Prevent and managing gastric ulcers
- Increase shine in coats & hoof growth
- Decrease stress and help behavior
- Increase fertility in stallions
Reduce risk of tying-up episodes
- Improve insulin sensitivity
Introducing additional fats to an equine diet is not merely a fad, it is a tried and true way to keep your horses healthy and at their peak. When looking at the research done on adding fats to an equine diet, it is obvious that there is much to gain by adding fat into your horses daily routine.
Our flagship product, RevolutionEQ, has 36% fat from natural oils. It is specially formulated by Veterinarians to fill the nutritional gap left by commercial bagged feed and contains several forms of unsaturated fats such as ground flax, soybean meal, canola oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil and wheat germ oil. Used daily as a top-dress, in addition to a balanced diet, we guarantee that you will see results in 30 days.