Before we delve into how the carnivore diet and gut health work together—if at all—it’s important that you first understand why gut health matters. Excuse me while I geek out.
I truly believe that all health starts in the gut. It’s not just about digestion. In recent years, the immune system, metabolism, hormonal balance, mood, brain function and even genetic expression have all been connected to the health of our gut. When people take proper care of their guts, their health tends to follow. Disease gets reversed—or better yet prevented—and the body functions the way nature intended. You feel energized and strong, and you’re basically living your best life.
So if this is true, then it’s important to know what determines a healthy gut. Thankfully, there’s an answer from Dr. Rob Knight and The American Gut Project. This groundbreaking 2018 study involved more than 15,000 microbiome samples from more than 11,000 human participants across 45 countries. It is by far the largest database connecting the gut microbiome to diet and lifestyle, and therefore the best tool to understand these connections.
Here’s what Knight and researchers discovered when they analyzed their database to determine the clear cut, most powerful determinant of a healthy gut microbiome: the diversity of plants in your diet. This was more important than age, gender, nation of origin and even recent antibiotic exposure.