The postprandial state is hypothesised to be proinflammatory and prooxidative, but the relative contributions of fat versus carbohydrate are unclear. Therefore, we examined inflammation and oxidative stress responses in serum and skeletal muscle before and after 1000 kcal meals, which were high in either fat or carbohydrate in 15 healthy individuals. Serum and muscle expression of IL6 was elevated 3 hours after each meal, independently of macronutrient composition (P < 0.01). Serum IL18 was decreased after high-fat meal only (P < 0.01). Plasma total antioxidative status and muscle Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase were decreased after high-carbohydrate meal only (P < 0.05). We conclude that a high-carbohydrate meal may evoke a greater postprandial oxidative stress response, whereas both fat and carbohydrate increased IL6. We speculate that the observed increases in postprandial IL6, without increases in any other markers of inflammation, may indicate a normal IL6 response to enhance glucose uptake, similar to its role postexercise.