Two levels of dietary carbohydrate (40% and 60% of calories) were incorporated into typical US diets and fed for 15 days each to eight patients with endogenous hypertriglyceridemia. Fasting blood samples were drawn on days 13, 14, and 15 of each dietary period, and analyzed for glucose, insulin, cholesterol, and triglyceride concentrations, as well as for triglyceride and cholesterol content of the various lipoprotein classes. In addition, these same measurements were made before and for three hours after the noon meal on days 14 and 15. Fasting plasma triglyceride (TG) and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-TG concentrations were significantly increased (P less than 0.005) on the low-fat-high-carbohydrate diet. In addition, integrated postprandial insulin, TG, and VLDL-TG responses to the noon meal were significantly (P less than 0.01-0.001) elevated on the low-fat-high-carbohydrate diet. No dietary-induced changes were noted in either the fasting or postprandial values of glucose cholesterol, chylomicron-TG, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, HDL2-cholesterol, or HDL3-cholesterol. These results indicate that low-fat-high-carbohydrate diets accentuate the metabolic risk factors for coronary artery disease that are already present in patients with endogenous hypertriglyceridemia.