Recently, it has been remarked that dietary fatty acids and fatty acid receptors might be involved in the aetiology of diabetes. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the relationship between dietary fatty acid pattern, fatty food preferences and soluble CD36 (sCD36) and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). The study was carried out with thirty-eight newly diagnosed type 2 DM patients and thirty-seven healthy volunteers, aged 30–65 years. In the study, socio-demographic characteristics, dietary fat type and fatty acid pattern of individuals were recorded. After anthropometric measurements were taken, blood CD36, glucose, TAG and insulin levels were analysed. The results showed that although the type of fatty acid intake did not differ between the groups (P>0·05), the consumption of olive oil in the type 2 DM group was lower than the control group (P<0·05). Mean blood glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, TAG and sCD36 levels were determined to be higher in the type 2 DM group (P<0·05). However, there was no correlation between sCD36 levels and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) value, blood insulin and TAG levels, waist circumference, dietary fatty acid pattern and food preferences in the type 2 DM group (P>0·05). Crucially, elevated sCD36 levels increased the type 2 DM risk (OR 1·21, P<0·05). In conclusion, sCD36 level may be a possible biomarker, independent from the dietary fatty acid pattern, for type 2 DM owing to its higher levels in these patients. Therefore, the new insights make CD36 attractive as a therapeutic target for diabetes.