Thehorse.com - Full Article
By Nettie Liburt, MS, PhD, PAS
Mar 29, 2017
Carbohydrates are the main source of dietary energy for horses and are important for fast, quick burning power to blast out of the gate or clear a jump.
What are carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates, also known as saccharides, are made up of sugar molecules and classified as either structural or nonstructural. Structural carbohydrates contribute to the fiber portion of the horse’s diet, while nonstructural carbohydrates (you might have heard them called NSCs) do not.
Monosaccharides contain one sugar molecule (e.g. glucose, fructose, and mannose). Disaccharides contain two sugar molecules (lactose and maltose). Oligosaccharides contain several sugar molecules, of which the most common in horse feeds is fructooligosaccharide. Polysaccharides contain 10 or more sugar molecules, and are more commonly known as starch, cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin...
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