This study was designed to determine whether the rate of hydrolysis of different starches by pancreatic amylase in vitro was proportional to the postprandial glucose and insulin response to those starches after oral ingestion. Lean young men consumed four test meals of rice containing 75 g starch: white rice, unpolished (brown) rice, ground white rice, and ground brown rice. Postprandial glucose and insulin responses were measured over 4 h and showed the following pattern: ground white rice congruent to ground brown rice greater than white rice greater than brown rice. The maximum increases in blood glucose after the four meals were brown rice 0.9 mM, white rice 1.5 mM, ground brown rice 3.3 mM, and ground white rice 3.6 mM. Samples of the cooked rices were incubated in vitro with pancreatic amylase for 30 min and the percentage starch hydrolysis determine. The relative rates of starch hydrolysis correlated very closely with the peak glucose responses: brown rice 17.6%, white rice 30.8%, ground brown rice 68.2% and ground white rice 71.8%. These results indicated that the rate of intestinal hydrolysis of starch is an extremely important determinant of the metabolic responses to a particular starch. The rate of starch hydrolysis can be determine simply by an in vitro method and should assist the design of diets for the treatment of diabetes.