Abstract The effect of two vegetable sources of dietary fiber (DF) from Africa, plantain and cassava, has been studied on lipid metabolism and intestinal ATPases in cholesterol-fed rabbits. In an eight-week experiment, it was shown that both sources of DF are capable of reducing serum cholesterol levels in rabbits by diverting cholesterol from the blood to the liver. The DF from plantain had more effect. When the rabbits were switched from test to control and back to the test diets only those on plantain diet maintained a steady state level of serum cholesterol. The other diets caused a drop in serum cholesterol levels in the absence of dietary cholesterol and a sharp rebound on the introduction of cholesterol-based diets. Cassava diet was hypertriglyceridimic at all times. The ATPases were highly elevated in the ileum of rabbits fed the cassava diet and this was associated with the higher content of insoluble and particulate components of cassava which may cause cell sloughing and alteration in the morphology of the intestine. Also, because the available minerals will be distributed between those that will physically interact with DF and those to be transported, a rise in specific activity of the vectorial enzyme was stimulated to meet the challenge of competition for minerals.