Seventeen non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients were randomly allocated to their usual diet supplemented daily with either 28 g sucrose or 30 g starch (isoenergetic with sucrose) and saccharin (equivalent sweetness). After 6 weeks, the supplements were reversed. No significant treatment effects were observed on fasting concentrations of blood glucose, plasma insulin or serum triglycerides, or on urinary excretion of glucose, sodium or potassium. Following a standard breakfast with either sucrose or saccharin and starch, no differences between meal responses were observed. This study demonstrates no medium-term metabolic contraindications to including a moderate amount of sucrose in the diets of patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.