Atherogenic dyslipidemia comprises a triad of increased blood concentrations of small, dense low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles, decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles, and increased triglycerides. A typical feature of obesity, the metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus, atherogenic dyslipidemia has emerged as an important risk factor for myocardial infarction and cardiovascular disease. A number of genes have now been linked to this pattern of lipoprotein changes. Low-carbohydrate diets appear to have beneficial lipoprotein effects in individuals with atherogenic dyslipidemia, compared to high-carbohydrate diets, whereas the content of total fat or saturated fat in the diet appears to have little effect. Achieving a better understanding of the genetic and dietary influences underlying atherogenic dyslipidemia may provide clues to improved interventions to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in high-risk individuals.