Abstract Studies in humans have indicated that dietary salt restriction raises plasma levels of total cholesterol (TC) and triacylglycerols (TAG). In order to explain the mechanisms involved, a rat experimental model was developed consisting of chronic feeding ad libitum isocaloric diets with variable sodium chloride contents. Rates of synthesis of plasma TAG were measured either as the increase of plasma TAG after blocking its removal from plasma by the intra-arterial pulse infusion of Triton-WR 1339, or as the plasma rate of incorporation of [ 14C]-oleic acid [ 14C]-TAG. Plasma TAG removal rate was determined by the intra-arterial pulse infusion of a lipid emulsion. Severe salt restriction increased the plasma concentrations of TAG (71%) and of TC (10%). This result was not due to modification of the rate of synthesis of plasma TAG but was attributed to a 55% slower rate of removal of the TAG-containing lipoproteins. An increased plasma non-esterified fatty acid concentration, probably due to a salt restriction-related insulin resistance, may have impaired the activity of the enzyme lipoprotein lipase.