Currently, the prevention and treatment of CVD have been a global focus since CVD is the number one cause of mortality and morbidity. In the pathogenesis of CVD, it was generally thought that impaired cholesterol homeostasis might be a risk factor. Cholesterol homeostasis is affected by exogenous factors (i.e. diet) and endogenous factors (i.e. certain receptors, enzymes and transcription factors). In this context, the number of studies investigating the potential mechanisms of dietary fatty acids on cholesterol homeostasis have increased in recent years. As well, the cluster of differentiation 36 (CD36) receptor is a multifunctional membrane receptor involved in fatty acid uptake, lipid metabolism, atherothrombosis and inflammation. CD36 is proposed to be a crucial molecule for cholesterol homeostasis in various mechanisms including absorption/reabsorption, synthesis, and transport of cholesterol and bile acids. Moreover, it has been reported that the amount of fatty acids and fatty acid pattern of the diet influence the CD36 level and CD36-mediated cholesterol metabolism principally in the liver, intestine and macrophages. In these processes, CD36-mediated cholesterol and lipoprotein homeostasis might be impaired by dietary SFA and trans-fatty acids, whereas ameliorated by MUFA in the diet. The effects of PUFA on CD36-mediated cholesterol homeostasis are controversial depending on the amount of n-3 PUFA and n-6 PUFA, and the n-3:n-6 PUFA ratio. Thus, since the CD36 receptor is suggested to be a novel nutrient-sensitive biomarker, the role of CD36 and dietary fatty acids in cholesterol metabolism might be considered in medical nutrition therapy in the near future. Therefore, the novel nutritional target of CD36 and interventions that focus on dietary fatty acids and potential mechanisms underlying cholesterol homeostasis are discussed in this review.