A recent Cochrane review concluded that low glycaemic index (GI) diets are beneficial in glycaemic control for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). There are limited UK data regarding the dietary GI in free-living adults with and without T2DM. We measured the energy and macronutrient intake and the dietary GI in a group (n = 19) of individuals with diet controlled T2DM and a group (n = 19) without diabetes, matched for age, BMI and gender. Subjects completed a three-day weighed dietary record. Patients with T2DM consumed more daily portions of wholegrains (2.3 vs. 1.1, P = 0.003), more dietary fibre (32.1 vs. 20.9 g, P <0.001) and had a lower diet GI (53.5 vs. 57.7, P = 0.009) than subjects without T2DM. Both groups had elevated fat and salt intake and low fruit and vegetable intake, relative to current UK recommendations. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with T2DM may already consume a lower GI diet than the general population but further efforts are needed to reduce dietary GI and achieve other nutrient targets.