how is dietary fat processed in the body?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 29, 2012 at 8:30 PM

im curious if the body will metabolize it for energy or will it store it? i understand that is probably different depending on a situation, so ill set one up. so say i was on a fast for ~16 hours and i eat a big fatty steak. how will the body handle that? also if that is a dumb situation i guess what i really wanna know is if you just give the body a lot of fat for energy, how will it go about using it? does the fat get put into the blood like glucose(im pretty positive that is not what happens hah) so its available for use? also in the situation with the large steak, will the insulin increase from the protein in the steak make all the fat in the steak be stored?even though you have been fasting for 16 hours and need the energy? sorry for so many questions. it will be greatly appreciated if you answer them all thoroughly! please!it will not go to waste as i am college student studying nutrition.



on October 01, 2012
at 07:57 PM

A college student studying nutrition? Sounds like a great question to ask a biochem professor.

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on September 30, 2012
at 05:27 AM


Spend 3 hours on this and it's all clear. My M.S. studies cover most of this stuff and I've had to go through some very in-depth and tedious text.

This site is still one I refer to more than anything else.


on October 14, 2012
at 10:31 AM

Neither. Fat is almost always used as a structural molecule in the body. Your fat stores are generally burned and ketones are produced from those, not from dietary fat.



on September 30, 2012
at 05:25 AM

Your steak is mainly protein and fat.

While Protein is preferably used for repair and muscle-building, a part of it will be converted to sugar and used for energy or to replenish glycogen stores. If you eat more than you need for repair, the surplus will be used for energy as protein can't be stored.

While fat can very well be used for energy (especially if you're fat-adapted), you probably won't need all the energy of your meal exactly at the time when your body has processed it. So the rest goes into storage. But if you're fat-adapted, your body will have no problem to access this body-fat. This way, fat of a meal ending up in fat cells is no problem as those fat cells will supply your energy for the rest of the day.

Neither fat nor muscle is static: there is always muscle breakdown and build-up going on, and filling up and emptying of fat cells. Only if you consume much more energy than you spend, your body will create new fat cells.

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