Twelve young healthy adults (five men, seven women) ingested four test meals on four occasions so we could examine the relationship between the rate of gastric emptying (GE) and the glucose response to different starchy foods. Each meal consisted of one food product containing 50 g starch: spaghetti, rice, French bread, or mashed potato. Basal and postprandial glucose and insulin responses were measured for 3 h. The foods were labeled with 3.7 MBq Tc99m-albumin and GE was studied by scintigraphy for 3 h. The rate of GE (expressed by the GE half-time) was fastest for mashed potatoes, then bread, rice, and slowest for spaghetti. Blood glucose and serum insulin responses were similar. A significant negative correlation was found between the GE half-time and the maximum variation in blood glucose level (r = -0.6, p less than 0.0001). The glucose response to all four foods is strongly related to the GE rate.