When dieticians speak of carbohydrates, do they include dietary fibre? Also, what are carbohydrates? Saccharides and polysaccharides?

2 Answers 2


This is from Uviv. Cal. San Francisco, "Understanding Fiber",

To summarize – you need to take the total amount of carbohydrate in a serving MINUS the carbohydrate in the fiber.
(Source: Diabetes Teaching Center at the University of California, San Francisco)

  • When you are calculating the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels, you distract fiber from total carbohydrates, and when you are calculating calories, you consider that fiber has 2 Cal/g.
    – Jan
    Aug 1, 2018 at 8:16
  • @Chalmondley, I actually added the link in my answer after him. This answer here is correct, so my comment was just to prevent confusion, because they are various viewpoints from which this topic can be discussed.
    – Jan
    Aug 1, 2018 at 11:20

Carbohydrates can be categorized according to how well they are digested or absorbed:


  • Sugars:
    • Monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, galactose, mannose...)
    • Disaccharides (sucrose, lactose, maltose...)
  • Oligosaccharides (fructo-oligosaccharides, galacto-oligosaccharides...)
  • Polysaccharides:
    • Starch
    • Glycogen


  • Sugar alcohols or polyls (maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol...)

c) NON-DIGESTIBLE (2 Cal/g):

  • Dietary fiber (various oligo- and polysaccharides, such as oligofructans and cellulose)

Diabetics who want to calculte how carbohydrates will affect their blood sugar levels need to subtract the amount of fiber from total carbohydrates.

Source: Calories in specific carbohydrates (Nature.com)

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