Aims The population of immigrants from the Middle East in Sweden show a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) compared to native Swedes. The exact reason for this is unknown. Here, we have performed metabolite profiling to investigate these differences. Methods Metabolite profiling was conducted in Iraqi immigrants ( n = 93) and native Swedes ( n = 77) using two complementary mass spectrometry-based platforms. Differences in metabolite levels were compared after adjustment for confounding anthropometric, diet and clinical variables. Results The Iraqi immigrant population were more obese (44.1 vs 24.7%, p < 0.05), but had a lower prevalence of hypertension (32.3 vs 54.8%, p < 0.01) than the native Swedish population. We detected 140 metabolites, 26 of which showed different levels between populations ( q < 0.05,) after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, T2D and use of metformin. Twenty-two metabolites remained significant after further adjustment for HOMA-IR, HOMA-beta or insulin sensitivity index. Levels of polyunsaturated acylcarnitines (14:2 and 18:2) and fatty acid (18:2) were higher, whereas those of saturated and monounsaturated acylcarnitines (14:0, 18:1, and 8:1), fatty acids (12:0, 14:0, 16:0, and 18:1), uremic solutes (urate and quinate) and ketone bodies (beta-hydroxybutyrate) were lower in Iraqi immigrants. Further, levels of phospholipids were generally lower in the Iraqi immigrant population. Conclusions Our result suggests an overall beneficial lipid profile in Iraqi immigrants, despite a higher risk to develop T2D. Higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids may suggest differences in dietary pattern, which in turn may reduce the risk of hypertension.