Some seaweeds exert antioxidant and hypocholesterolaemic properties. The effects of diets including restructured meats (RM) containing Wakame (W) or Nori (N) algae on arylesterase (AE) activity and lipoprotein concentration and composition were tested. In the present study, six groups of ten male growing Wistar rats each were fed a mix of 85 % AIN-93M diet and 15 % freeze-dried RM for 35 d. The control group (C) consumed control RM, the W and N groups consumed RM with 5 % W and 5 % N, respectively. The cholesterol-enriched C (CC), W (CW) and N (CN) groups consumed their corresponding basal diets with supplementary cholesterol (2·43 %) and cholic acid (0·49 %). Cholesterol in the diet induced lower (P < 0·001) growth ratios. Both W and N diets significantly increased AE activity. VLDL-cholesterol values were lower in N rats than in W rats. AE activity increased (P < 0·001) in CC and CW rats but not in CN rats compared with their corresponding counterparts. AE was lower (P < 0·05) in the CN group than in the CC and CW groups. The CN diet partially blocked (P < 0·001) the hypercholesterolaemic induction observed in CC and CW diets and reduced TAG levels (at least P < 0·05) with respect to those of CC rats. Although dietary cholesterol supplementation increased total cholesterol, VLDL-cholesterol and (intermediate-density lipoprotein+LDL)-cholesterol (all P < 0·001) in all rats, the CN diet moderately improved the lipoprotein profile of hypercholesterolaemic rats. Changes in AE activity and plasma cholesterol in CN rats but not in CW rats suggest a possible relationship between the two parameters. It is concluded that inclusion of RM enriched with N may be used in hypercholesterolaemic diets to improve lipoprotein metabolism.