© 2016 the American Physiological Society. High-fat, low-carbohydrate Diet (HFLCD) impairs the myocardial response to ischemia-reperfusion, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. We sought to determine the magnitude of diet-induced alterations in intrinsic properties of the myocardium (including insulin sensitivity and substrate oxidation) and circulating substrate and insulin differences resulting from diet, leading to this impaired response. Rats were fed HFLCD (60% kcal from fat/30% protein/10% carbohydrate) or control diet (CONT) (16%/19%/65%) for 2 wk. Isolated hearts underwent global low-flow ischemia followed by reperfusion (I/R). Carbon-13 NMR spectroscopy was used to determine myocardial substrate TCA cycle entry. Myocardial insulin sensitivity was assessed as dose-response of Akt phosphorylation. There was a significant effect of HFLCD and I/R with both these factors leading to an increase in free fatty acid (FFA) oxidation and a decrease in carbohydrate or ketone oxidation. Following I/R, HFLCD led to decreased ketone and increased FFA oxidation; the recovery of left ventricular (LV) function was decreased in HFLCD and was negatively correlated with FFA oxidation and positively associated with ketone oxidation. HFLCD also resulted in reduced insulin sensitivity. Under physiologic ranges, there were no direct effects of buffer insulin and ketone levels on oxidation of any substrate and recovery of cardiac function after I/R. An insulinketone interaction exists for myocardial substrate oxidation characteristics. We conclude that the impaired recovery of function after ischemia-reperfusion with HFLCD is largely due to intrinsic diet effects on myocardial properties, rather than to diet effect on circulating insulin or substrate levels.