OBJECTIVE - The monosaccharides resulting from the digestion of ingested carbohydrates are glucose, fructose, and galactose. Of these three monosaccharides, only ingested glucose resulted in a large increase in the plasma glucose concentration. Fructose (Metabolism 41:510-517, 1992) and galactose (Metabolism 42:1560-1567, 1993) had only a minor effect. Therefore, we were interested in determining whether we could design a mixed meal, using foods of known monosaccharide, disaccharide, and starch composition, the ingestion of which would result in only a small rise in plasma glucose concentration. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - The experimental meal was composed of very little readily digestible starch but rather large amounts of fruits and vegetables. It contained 43% carbohydrate, 22% protein, and 34% fat. The results were compared with a second type of mean that contained 55% carbohydrate, 15% protein, and 30% fat, with an emphasis on complex carbohydrates (starch). It also was compared with a third meal that contained 40% carbohydrate, 20% protein, and 40% fat, typical of that consumed by the average American. The test meals were ingested in random order by people with type 2 diabetes who were not treated with oral hypoglycemic agents or insulin. Each subject ingested each type of meal. The same identical meal was ingested at 0800, 1200, and 1700. RESULTS - The integrated 24-h plasma glucose area response was statistically significantly smaller (P < 0.05) after ingestion of the low-starch meals compared with the high-starch, high- carbohydrate meals or the typical American meals. The 24-h integrated serum insulin area response also was statistically significantly less (P < 0.05) after ingestion of the low-starch meals compared with the high-starch meals or the typical American meals. The serum triglyceride area response was similar after ingestion of all three test diets. CONCLUSION - A diet in which fruits, nonstarch vegetables, and dairy products are emphasized may be useful for people with type 2 diabetes.