This descriptive and qualitative study investigates the social representations of food of individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The Social Representations Theory was used as theoretical and methodological framework. 14 individuals registered in a research and extension university center in the interior of São Paulo, Brasil, were interviewed in 2008. Thematic analysis was used and the results indicated that the categories “full plate”, “nibble on/snack”, “foods for diabetics have no flavor”, “these diets take everything from you” and “how to kill hunger” are anchored on the main category “foods for diabetics are not satisfying”. Health professionals should consider symbolic and cultural concepts hold by individuals with type 2 diabetes, which influence the way they see food, aiming to enable them to have a new perspective of guidance provided on diet.