Truth be told, we all love tortillas. You too, right? The tortillas are delicious and incredibly versatile. You have surely heard of quesadillas, tostadas, enchiladas, tacos, and probably tried some of them – all of them having the main ingredient tortilla. The tortilla is a flatbread made of wheat or corn. It looks like the French crepe but more uneven and slightly thicker. In this article, we will discuss whether our guinea pigs can eat tortillas or not.
Can guinea pigs eat tortillas? No, guinea pigs cannot eat tortillas because they are processed food, and all processed foods are harmful to our guinea pigs. In general, all types of grain foods are poorly digested by the guinea pigs and can cause stomach problems for our cute little pets.
This food is almost the same as bread for the guinea pig; it will cause cramps, bloating, stomach pain, problems with bowel movements and gasses, or even loose stool.
Alright, we confirmed that tortilla is not a good food for the guinea pig. Of course, if it tries a small bite it won’t die, but it will experience tummy problems. There are plenty of other foods that can be given to our guinea pigs that can’t harm them. The tortilla is super-tasty, and the guinea pig will probably love the taste, but this is still a type of processed food which is a no-no for our furry friends.
In the following sections, we will see the nutrition facts, risks, “benefits” and other details about tortillas as a food for our guinea pigs.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Tortillas
Sadly, guinea pigs cannot consume tortillas. They can’t even be considered as a treat, because tortillas come with unpleasant side effects for the stomach and digestion. But, even if the cavies could eat the tortillas, this is processed food so there are not many benefits – some vitamins and minerals. So, this flatbread is not worth the risk for guinea pigs at all.
Nutrition Facts of Tortillas
In one tortilla, 46 g., these are the nutrition facts:
- High in calories – 144 calories. One tortilla has too many calories. It is somewhat a fattening food for those on a diet, and it certainly would be fattening for the guinea pigs too.
- High in carbs and moderate in protein – this food is incredibly rich in carbs, 23.6 g, and there are some proteins too, 3.8 g. Now, this amount of carbs is definitely going to affect the healthy weight of the guinea pig and the protein content here isn’t a big problem.
- Fiber – 1.4g. This is a normal amount of fibers that are needed on a daily basis.
- Sugar – 0.9g. This amount of sugar is low but still, sugars are not well digested by guinea pigs. This is another reason why the tortilla isn’t suitable food for your guinea pig.
- Fat – 3.6g. This amount of fat is relatively normal, not too high or too low.
- Vitamin K – 2%. This vitamin helps in the production of prothrombin, the protein that prevents severe blood loss during injuries.
- Thiamin – 17%. Also known as vitamin B1; it keeps the health of intestines, stomach, heart, brain, and muscles. It improves the flow of electrolytes in the body as well.
- Riboflavin – 7%. Riboflavin is also known as B2 vitamin. The B2 converts the consumed foods into energy and also, it improves the oxygen flow throughout the whole body.
- Niacin – 8%. The other name for this nutrient is B3 vitamin. This vitamin lowers the cholesterol, prevents against heart diseases and diabetes, and it improves skin quality.
- Calcium – 59.3 mg. Calcium is a mineral that is essential for forming strong bone tissues. It is beneficial for guinea pigs only when they are young and still growing. But, once the cavy is fully grown, this mineral damages their urinary systems.
- Magnesium – 3%. Magnesium keeps all muscle tissues healthy, the heart muscle as well, removes pains all over the body and protects against heart diseases and diabetes.
- Manganese – 11%. Manganese is one of the strongest antioxidants and it reduces inflammation, regulates the blood sugar and prevents many diseases because it boosts the immunity.
- Selenium – 15%. Selenium boosts the immunity too, reduces the risk of some cancers and also from heart problems too.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Tortillas to Guinea Pigs
- Urinary complications – the calcium in tortillas will create many urinary complications for the guinea pig. There is the risk of bladder and kidney stones, painful urination, blood in the urine and even frequent urinary infections. If not cured in time, it can progress and result in renal failure, which is fatal.
- Bad digestion – the tortillas also have sugar, although not too much. Still, the sugars are not well digested by guinea pigs. They cause cramps, gasses, and indigestion.
- Weight increase – this food is quite rich in calories, and carbs too. The high-calorie content and the high amount of carbs will certainly change the healthy weight of the guinea pig. The carbs are especially known for causing rapid weight gain, and tortillas have loads of it!
- Processed food – they can have serious digestion problems from consuming any type of processed food. Simply avoid feeding them to guinea pigs at all costs.
Quick Facts on Tortillas
- The name ‘tortilla’ means ‘cake’ and it derives from the Spanish word for cake, ‘torta’.
- The dough for tortillas can be in various colors too! In Mexico and Guatemala, they prepare the dough in 3 colors; yellow, blue, and white.
- One typical Mexican family (4 members) consumes over 2 lbs. of tortillas daily.
- When making tacos, the tortilla is used as a sandwich. For quesadillas, it is folded and turned over for frying. For chilaquiles, the tortilla is covered with sauce and oven-baked. And, the famous Mexican breakfast with a tortilla is tomatoes, fried eggs, red peppers, and avocado slices are put on fried tortillas.
- In the past, tortillas were sold in cans!
- Back in 1542, the Spaniards were the first to introduce wheat planting. They didn’t have the needed ingredients for bread making, so they started producing the ‘zaruki’, a type of cracked wheat that is mixed with water. That is how the tortilla was invented!
Before I let you go, one final thought on food. With food, you can’t ever be too careful which is why I get all guinea pig food from a reliable source such as Amazon. If you are not sure what to order but believe your little piggies deserve some great treats please check our Helpful Guide to the Best Guinea Pig Treats to get some ideas. We have also made a full list of foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat (150+ Types of Foods). Be sure to also check our recommended products page for everything you will ever need to assure a happy life for your Guinea Pigs. Hope this information was helpful and you have found the answer you were looking for.
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