OBJECTIVES Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in Jordan. However, little is known about nutrient intakes of minority groups in Jordan with and without diabetes. Our study aimed to examine if the intake of energy, macronutrients and some micronutrients differed between normal and diabetic adults among Circassians and Chechans in Jordan. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS This cross-sectional study was conducted among 437 Circassians (160 males and 277 females) and 355 Chechans (119 males and 236 females) aged > or = 18 years. They were recruited from the Chechan and Circassian communities living in Jordan. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES A participant was defined as affected by type 2 diabetes mellitus if diagnosis was known to patient or if his or her condition complied with the American Diabetes Association definition. One 24-hour dietary recall for each participant was collected by face-to-face interview. RESULTS Most of the measured anthropometric and biochemical parameters showed a significant difference between normal individuals and those with impaired fasting glucose or diabetes. Intakes of nutrients involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes including protein, fat and fiber did not differ between stratified participants according to blood glucose status for both Circassians and Chechans. CONCLUSIONS Intake of nutrients did not differ in participants with normal blood glucose from those who had impaired fasting glucose or diabetes in the two studied populations. These two populations may need genetic studies to identify the risk factors other than dietary and lifestyle factors for type 2 diabetes.