The aim of the present study was to examine whether the level of dietary cis fatty acid (cFA), or the isomers (trans or cis) and/or the saturation of the fatty acids at high dietary fat levels altered the intracellular glucose metabolites and certain regulatory enzyme activities in the skeletal muscle and liver of rats. The animals were fed for 30 d on either a recommended control diet (7 % cFA, w/w) or a high-fat diet (20 % fatty acids, w/w). The high-fat diet was enriched with either cFA, trans fatty acid (tFA), a moderate proportion of saturated fatty acid (MSFA), or a high proportion of saturated fatty acid (HSFA). The most striking findings were observed in the gastrocnemius muscle with a HSFA diet. There was a significant increase in glucose-6-phosphate (306 %), glucose-1-phosphate (245 %), fructose-6-phosphate (400 %), fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (86 %), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (38 %), pyruvate (341 %), lactate (325 %), citrate (79 %) and the bisphosphorylated sugars as compared with the cFA diet. These changes were paralleled by an increase in muscle triacylglycerol content (49 %) and a decrease in glucose (39 %). In addition, the amount of cFA and the other types of fatty acid (i.e. tFA and MSFA) led to no great differences in glucose metabolism as compared with the respective control group. These data support the hypothesis that glucose changes induced by a HSFA diet are a multifaceted abnormality. Glucose and lactate transport and intracellular glucose metabolism could be the key biochemical defects involved in this detrimental effect on glucose metabolism.