Is dietary fat burned before stored fat on a ketogenic diet?

By Dr. Stephen Phinney and the Virta Team

Certain fats, like medium-chain triglycerides found in coconut or MCT oil cannot be stored in body fat, so whatever is consumed must be promptly burned for energy. This means that if you’re adding these fats on top of your dietary fat consumption for satiety, this type of fat takes priority.

For regular dietary fats, once they are digested, they enter the circulation and participate in what is called ‘fatty acid turnover.’ Whether fed or fasted, the body is always releasing, burning, and storing fat. When insulin is high, storage predominates, but turnover continues. When insulin is low, release and oxidation predominate. If you eat fat along with a lot of carbohydrates, it is prone to be stored. When fat is consumed in the context of a well formulated ketogenic diet, it — along with fat released from adipose stores — is prone to be burned. But once digested and absorbed, dietary fat and stored fat enter the ‘turnover pool’ and are in a constant state of mixing.

Back to Keto FAQ


Related blog posts

Dr. Stephen Phinney on Nutritional Ketosis and Ketogenic Diets: Video Series - Dr. Stephen Phinney put together a three-part video series on ketogenic diets and nutritional ketosis. You'll learn the nutrition science ... Read More
Ketone Supplements: The Pros and Cons - Ketone supplements rapidly and transiently increase blood concentrations of BOHB. On the surface, this seems like it should promote positive ... Read More
Foods that contain protein How Much Protein Do You Need In Nutritional Ketosis? - When embarking on a well-formulated ketogenic diet and going through the process of keto-adaptation, there are necessary changes in how ... Read More

2 Comments

  1. Does it make sense then to reduce dietary fat for weight loss as the total amount for the ‘turnover pool’ is reduced and the body will be forced to use stored fat?

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      If you’re eating fat to satiety, you’ll naturally feel less hungry if you have excess body fat that your body is burning. Check out the chart in this post under mistake #4: https://blog.virtahealth.com/top-keto-mistakes/

      Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.