Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 2014

I often talk about the importance of adding a source of Omega 3 fatty acids to the diet.  Omega 3s are important for many reasons, but when it comes to insulin resistance, they are very helpful for lowering circulating insulin levels.

Even if your horse is overweight, you should consider adding some omega 3s to the diet simply because they will help the horse burn fat.  You see, when insulin is high, it tells the body to store fat.  Lowering insulin tells the cells that it is okay to release fat, and consequently, the horse loses weight.

Most fat sources that we add to the diet contain a large amount of omega 6s and very little, if any, omega 3s. While some omega 6s are necessary (specifically the essential fatty acid known as linoleic acid), too many in relation to omega 3s (specially the essential fatty acid known as alpha linolenic acid) will induce inflammation and not assist with insulin levels.

The best sources of omega 3s are fresh grass (if possible) as well as ground flaxseeds and chia seeds.  All of these sources offer four times more omega 3s than omega 6s.

I recommend feeding 1/2 cup of ground flaxseeds or chia seeds per 400 lbs of body weight. But if the horse is overweight, this can be reduced by half the amount because these fatty sources are high in calories. So, some is good, but too much can make the overall diet too caloric.


  1. What about Rice bran for Omega 3?

    1. Greetings Ann, Rice bran oil is not a good source of omega 3s, with only 2% in this form and more than 10 times the amount of omega 6s. It is better choice for adding more calories than, let's say, soybean oil, because its omega 6 content is less (and omega 6s increase inflammation). But for omega 3s, you'll want to choose either flax or chia. Ground flax or soaked chia seeds are nice to feed because they also offer another source of protein, thereby creating a high quality protein content in the diet. Here are a couple of links for both of these products:

      Nutra Flax:

      US Chia:

      I hope this is helpful.

      Best wishes,

      Juliet Getty :)