OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between consumption of certain foods and macronutrients and urinary glucose excretion, which is a predictor of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study, Denmark, 1993-97. SUBJECTS: Participants in the Danish study 'Diet, Cancer and Health'. After exclusion of persons with postprandial urine samples and persons with diabetes or other diseases potentially resulting in glycosuria, the study population included 14 743 men and 18 064 women aged 50-64 y. We identified 183 men and 43 women with glucose in their urine. RESULTS: Consumption of poultry was negatively associated with glycosuria in both men (odds ratio, OR=0.87; 95% confidence interval, 95% CI=0.77-0.98) and women (OR=0.69; 0.48-1.00). Fiber from fruit showed a weak negative association with glycosuria in both men (0. 95; 0.90-1.01) and women (0.89; 0.78-1.02), whereas a significant negative association with total fiber (0.68; 0.51-0.91) and fiber from vegetables (0.94; 0.88-0.99) was seen in men. Intake of fish tended to reduce the risk of glycosuria in women only (0.80; 0.63-1. 02), whereas ingestion of milk products increased their risk significantly (1.15; 1.06-1.24). CONCLUSION: Although statistical significance and consistency in the two sexes were not achieved for all end-points, the study indicates a protective effect of dietary products like poultry, fruit and cereals against glycosuria and suggests a promoting effect of milk. SPONSORSHIP: The Danish National Board of Health and the Danish Cancer Society.