The Perils of Excess Carbohydrates
I have recently read about how treats made with "only" hay and fruit are the best for bunnies because both items are natural. While they are both natural, fruit should be used extremely sparingly.
There are risks associated with high fructose-sucrose food sources fed to our bunnies. One of the major issues would be that fructose, unlike glucose, is metabolized and stored extensively in the liver. Glucose is however transported throughout the whole body for utilization and storage. It is stored in the brain, muscles and other tissues, for magnificent binkies and bunny 500's!!
"Studies in animals eating diets high in fructose or sucrose consistently show hyperlipidemia (an abnormally high concentration of fats or lipids in the blood.)
When nutrinoms were designed, the emphasis was put on timothy hay as well as greens first, The combination of Romaine, Spinach, or Kale with the hay outweigh the oat and barley grains combined.
After some recent losses of bunnies in the rescue community from fatty liver disease, it is more important than ever to reduce sugar intake and foods prone to causing this disease. A diet high in simple or complex carbohydrates such as fruit, molasses and grains can also lead to negative health consequences, so please check your bunnies food very carefully for ingredients. Hay should always be the first ingredient in a rabbits food, whether treat or pellet.
The number of carbohydrates from grain in a single nutrinom is less than 0.4g based on ingredients.
The amount of sugar in nutrinoms from fruit per 100 g based on ingredients
with apple is less than 3g with banana is less than 4g with pumpkin is less than 1g
I will undertake in the near future to have the treats tested for carbohydrate content for exact numbers.
Fruits have more than one sugar! I have included a list of sugars, with accompanying fiber content.
Dried fruit has a higher concentrate of sugar due to the absence of water.
Special attention needs to be addressed to these craisins, which I recently saw hailed as "safe" and recommended for bunnies by an online entity. With a sugar content of 65g per 100g, this is completely unacceptable.
The reason I designed nutrinoms was due to every treat on the market containing molasses, which is a pure carbohydrate, used by some companies to "enhance" palatability. It is also used for product moisture stabilization for mass production.
I wish all of your bunnies and other fur babies the best of health for years to come!
Bonnie, BB and Princess