Table 1

 Classification of dietary carbohydrates

Class*SubgroupPrincipal components
Sugars (1-2)MonosaccharidesGlucose, fructose, galactose
DisaccharidesSucrose, lactose, maltose, trehalose
Polyols (sugar alcohols)Sorbitol, mannitol, lactitol, xylitol, erythritol, isomalt, maltitol
Free sugarsAll monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods by the manufacturer, cook, or consumer; sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, and fruit juices
Oligosaccharides (3-9)Malto-oligosaccharides (α glucans)Maltodextrins
Non-α glucan oligosaccharidesRaffinose, stachyose, fructo and galacto oligosaccharides, polydextrose, inulin
Polysaccharides (≥10)Starch (α glucans)Amylose, amylopectin, modified starches
Non-starch polysaccharidesCellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, arabinoxylans, β glucan, glucomannans, plant gums and mucilages, hydrocolloids

*Degree of polymerisation or number of monomeric (single sugar) units in brackets.

Adapted from references 13 and 14.