10 Examples of Carbohydrates

Examples of Carbohydrates

Fructose, glucose and sucrose molecules
PASIEKA / Getty Images

Most of the organic molecules you encounter are carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are sugars and starches. They are used to provide energy and structure to organisms. Carbohydrate molecules have the formula Cm(H2O)n, where m and n are integers (e.g., 1, 2, 3). 

Examples of Carbohydrates

  1. glucose (monosaccharide)
  2. fructose (monosaccharide)
  3. galactose (monosaccharide)
  4. sucrose (disaccharide)
  5. lactose (disaccharide)
  6. cellulose (polysaccharide)
  7. chitin (polysaccharide)
  8. starch
  9. xylose
  10. maltose

Sources of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates in foods include all sugars (sucrose or table sugar, glucose, fructose, lactose, maltose) and starches (found in pasta, bread, grains). These carbohydrates can be digested by the body and provide an energy source for cells. There are other carbohydrates that the human body doesn't digest, including insoluble fiber and cellulose from plants and chitin from insects and other arthropods. Unlike sugars and starches, these types of carbohydrates don't contribute calories to the human diet.

Learn More