The increased risk of coronary heart disease associated with the metabolic syndrome may be partially explained by prothrombotic deviations of the haemostatic system. Individuals with insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia and obesity are characterized by elevated plasma fibrinogen and factor VII coagulant activity levels and raised concentrations of plasminogen-activator inhibitor, the main inhibitor of endogenous fibrinolysis. These haemostatic abnormalities may be corrected with dietary treatment of the underlying clinical disorder. Dietary trials of diseased and healthy volunteers suggest that the optimal antithrombotic diet is a low-fat diet with a high content of foods rich in complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre. The dietary fatty acid composition has a profound effect on blood lipids, but seems of minor importance for the haemostatic system.