Several types of carbohydrates (sugars or saccharides) can be distinguished:
- Simple sugars (monosaccharides) such as glucose (dextrose) and fructose (fruit sugar)
- Dual sugars (disaccharides) such as sucrose (beet sugar)
- Fructans such as inulin, levan and oligofructose
- Complex sugars (polysaccharides), such as starch and dietary fibres such as cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin.
Please note: Lignin is not considered to be a carbohydrate. It belongs to the non-carbohydrates. For convenience reasons, in ‘Laminitis – understanding, cure, prevention’ the collective of dietary fibres are regarded as carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates can be grouped as follows:
- Ethanol-soluble carbohydrates (ESC): simple and double sugars
- Water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC): ESC and fructans
- Non-structural carbohydrates (NSC): WSC and starch
- Structural carbohydrates (SC): Dietary fibre.
NSC occur in cells and saps of plants. SC occur in cell walls of plants.
Please note: Some types of fructan are regarded as ESC because of their relative simple chemical structure. In the book, to remain clear, all fructans are included to the group of WSC.