What are carbohydrates, classification of carbohydrates – MedPGR

 In this article, we will discuss the definition of carbohydrates, the classification of carbohydrates, and sources of the carbohydratesSources of carbohydrates



Carbohydrates are macronutrients that are an essential part of our diet, there are Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen is an essential part of carbohydrates and the ratio of Hydrogen and Oxygen is 2:1 just like water. 


Classification of Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates are those compounds that are mostly used in our diet. Normally, they are consist of 45 to 65% of our diet. They are many types of carbohydrates that have been discussed below.

Classification of carbohydrates
Classification of carbohydrates
  • Monosaccharides
  • Disaccharides
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Polysaccharides


Monosaccharides are the simplest group of carbohydrates that mostly provide energy to the body. There are mainly three monosaccharides used in diet which are given below:

Monosaccharides in carbohydrates
  1. Glucose
  2. Fructose
  3. Galactose

These are the simplest carbohydrates having the formula (CH2O)n. Here starts from 3-8 and this is used for glucose, fructose, and galactose. There is a change in the position of carbon in the atom. These are the sweetest sugar in the carbohydrates and fructose is considered the sweetest in carbohydrates.


The most common occurring carbohydrate in the world, it also forms the major portion of our daily life diet. It plays both structural and functional roles in our body and it’s also present in the cell membrane. It provides us energy instantly, and 1g of glucose provides 3.99kj/g energy. It is prepared by the plants through the process of photosynthesis. They are monosaccharides therefore they are not hydrolyzed. They form conjugated molecules with fats and proteins. It’s the repeating unit of oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. Two monosaccharides make disaccharides by the glycosidic linkage.  These are the main sources of the monosaccharides:

  • Apple
  • Guava
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Dates
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflowers
  • Wheat
  • Sugar cane
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These are the simplest and sweetest carbohydrate and the level of sweetness is 170. The functional formula is CnH2nOn. They combine with glucose to make the sucrose. These are the sources of fructose.

  • Honey
  • Dates
  • Apple 6%
  • Guava 8%
  • Sugar cane
  • Wheat


These are the simple sugar in carbohydrates. These can not be hydrolyzed because they are the simplest sugar. These are sweet in taste. They do not occur in a free state, they are found in the combined form. These are the part of the brain and tissues. They have a sweetness level of 16 on the scale of sucrose of 100.


These are carbohydrates that are formed by the glycosidic linkage between the two monosaccharides. They are also sweet in taste and most of them are used in our daily life like sugar, milk, etc. These are the most common disaccharides which are given below.

disaccharide in carbohydrates
disaccharide in carbohydrates
  • Sucrose
  • Maltose
  • Lactose


Sucrose is formed by the combination of the glycosidic linkage between two monosaccharides. They are sweet in taste. Here is some examples are given below:
  • Sugar Cane 10-12%
  • Sugar Beet 12-18%
  • Honey 0.5-3%
  • Some fruits
  • Some roots like carrots.


Maltose is consists of two glucose units. It is produced by the hydrolysis of starch by partial acid and enzymes. They have a sweetness level of 32 on a scale of 100 for sucrose. 


It occurs in the milk of mammals. It is formed by the combination of glucose and galactose. Human Milk has 75% and breakdown of lactose in the human body by the enzyme Lactase. They have a sweetness level of 16 on a scale of 100 for sucrose. 



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