The insulin resistance syndrome has recently been implicated in the etiology of coronary heart disease, with a possible metabolic defect at the level of the adipocyte. We report the effects of a low- versus high-glycemic-index (LGI and HGI, respectively) diet on insulin and glucose response as assessed by oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in isolated adipocytes in a group of 32 patients with advanced coronary heart disease. The area under the insulin curve following OGTT was significantly reduced after 4 weeks in the LGI group (P < .03), but not in the HGI group. Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in isolated adipocytes harvested from a presternal fat biopsy was significantly greater following the LGI diet (P < .05). This study demonstrates that simple short-term dietary measures can improve insulin sensitivity in patients with coronary heart disease.