A risk assessment model examined the impact of 11 dietary factors on type 2 diabetes (T2D) incidence globally in 1990 and 2018. In 2018, suboptimal consumption of these dietary factors led to an estimated 14.1 million new T2D cases, accounting for 70.3% of global cases. Notably, inadequate whole-grain intake, excessive refined rice and wheat intake, and excess processed meat consumption contributed significantly to T2D burden. The proportion of diet-related T2D was highest in central and eastern Europe, central Asia, and Latin America, while South Asia had the lowest proportion. The study revealed an increase in diet-related T2D cases from 1990 to 2018, emphasizing the need for improved dietary habits to combat T2D globally.