To study the glycaemic effect of various Danish bread types in insulin-dependent diabetic subjects (IDDM) we looked at the incremental blood glucose areas after isocaloric meals of grained wholemeal rye bread, wholemeal bread (graham bread) and white bread in seven C-peptide negative diabetic subjects. Furthermore, we evaluated the glycaemic potency of dried fruits by exchanging 40 per cent of the starch of grained wholemeal rye bread as dried figs. Prior to the meal intake the patients had attained normoglycaemia and isoinsulinaemia by means of the artificial pancreas. The four test meals containing 50 g of available carbohydrate were taken in random order. The postprandial blood glucose response areas after whole-meal bread (1037 +/- 113 mM X 180 min) and white bread (1021 +/- 100 mM X 180 min) were significantly higher than that to grained wholemeal rye bread (786 +/- 66 mM X 180 min, P less than 0.05). Exchange of 40 per cent of the complex carbohydrate as grained wholemeal rye bread with simple sugars, such as figs, had no influence on the blood glucose response (786 +/- 66 mM X 180 min vs. 766 +/- 56 mM X 180 min). Constant and identical serum-free insulin levels at 30 mU/l and similar amounts of glucose lost in the urine were found after the four test meals. In conclusion, the difference in extraction rate of wheat in the form of white flour (0, 7) and wholemeal flour (1, 0) was not reflected in the glycaemic responses in IDDM subjects. Grained wholemeal rye bread is a fibre-rich, cheap nutrient which elicits a significantly lower glycaemic response compared to wholemeal and white bread and can be recommended to diabetic subjects.