Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) have in rodents been shown to have protective effects on glucose homeostasis during high-fat overfeeding. In this study, we investigated whether dietary MCFAs protect against insulin resistance induced by a hypercaloric high-fat diet in humans. Healthy, lean men ingested a eucaloric control diet and a 3-day hypercaloric high-fat diet (increase of 75% in energy, 81–83% energy [E%] from fat) in randomized order. For one group (n =
, the high-fat diet was enriched with saturated long-chain FAs (LCSFA-HFD), while the other group (n = 9) ingested a matched diet, but with ∼30 g (5E%) saturated MCFAs (MCSFA-HFD) in substitution for a corresponding fraction of the saturated long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs). A hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp with femoral arteriovenous balance and glucose tracer was applied after the control and hypercaloric diets. In LCSFA-HFD, whole-body insulin sensitivity and peripheral insulin-stimulated glucose disposal were reduced. These impairments were prevented in MCSFA-HFD, accompanied by increased basal fatty acid oxidation, maintained glucose metabolic flexibility, increased nonoxidative glucose disposal related to lower starting glycogen content, and increased glycogen synthase activity, together with increased muscle lactate production. In conclusion, substitution of a small amount of dietary LCFAs with MCFAs rescues insulin action in conditions of lipid-induced energy excess.