Postprandial lipaemia impairs endothelial function, possibly by changes in oxidative stress, but whether this affects cardiac output and/or systemic vascular resistance (SVR) at rest and in response to dynamic exercise remains uncertain. The present study set out to investigate the effects of a high-fat meal (HFM) v. a low-fat, high-carbohydrate meal (HCM) on cardiac output and SVR. A HFM (50 g fat) and an isoenergetic HCM (5 g fat) were randomly fed to thirty healthy adults using a crossover design. Cardiac output, heart rate and blood pressure (BP) were measured, and stroke volume and SVR were calculated over a 3 h rest following the meal, during exercise 3 h postprandially and for 45 min post-exercise. Blood samples were collected at fasting, 3 h postprandially and immediately post-exercise. Plasma TAG increased by 63·8 % 3 h following the HFM, and NEFA fell by 94·1 % 3 h after the HCM. There was a 9·8 % rise in plasma 8-isoprostane-F2α concentration following the HFM, and a 6·2 % fall following the HCM. Cardiac output increased postprandially, but the difference between meals at rest or exercise was not statistically significant. The HFM resulted in a 3·2 mmHg (95 % CI 0·7, 5·7) smaller increase in exercise mean arterial BP compared with the HCM due to a greater fall in exercise SVR. Postprandial lipaemia induced by a HFM does not affect cardiac output and/or SVR at rest, but it blunts the increase in BP during exercise.