Did you shift from a Carnivore diet to a Carnivore diet with fruit? Unfortunately, it’s no longer a Carnivore diet.
But the good news is that this is likely a dramatic upgrade for your gut!!! Let me explain.
One of the major problems with a Carnivore diet is the potential negative consequences to the gut. Sure, there are tons of anecdotal reports of people with major gut problems seeing major progress with the diet.
However, short term benefits don’t necessarily translate into long term health. Many people feel great eating pizza and cookies. That doesn’t mean it’s great for their long-term health.
So what are the potential long term negative effects of the Carnivore diet? Ultimately, there are some potential bad things that can go on with the gut. Specifically, colon cancer and IBD. And, generally speaking, a more inflammatory microbiome.
But how does a Carnivore diet with fruit change all that?
A Carnivore diet with fruit has fiber
One fairly commonly reported issue with a Carnivore diet is that it lacks fiber. This isn’t great for the gut because fiber attracts beneficial microbes.
As a result, these beneficial microbes ferment the fiber into short chain fatty acids such as butyrate. Butyrate does many great things in the gut, acting as the primary fuel source for cells in the colon where microbes create it. On top of that, butyrate acts as an anti-inflammatory, helps prevent leaky gut, and promotes a thicker mucus layer.
Sure, you can make the argument that you don’t “need” dietary fiber or butyrate. But you also don’t need more than 50g of protein per day. What you need and what is best for your health aren’t the same thing.
Another argument is that you can get butyrate from protein. We covered high protein foods that may lead to butyrate here.
Unfortunately, aside from pork, they’re almost all plant-based. This means you’d need to eat A LOT of meat to get enough of the amino acids that bacteria convert to butyrate.
The problem with this is that delivering a lot of protein to the colon leads to the generation of some nasty byproducts that are not so great. This include hydrogen sulfide(H2S), ammonia, p-Cresol, and heme iron.
This is where polyphenols come in.
It also has polyphenols…
Another thing fruit has is polyphenols. Polyphenols are plant defense mechanisms that give them their vibrant colors.
Like fiber, polyphenols tend to make it to the colon where most of our gut bacteria reside. However, we can break down polyphenols into absorbable units, we just don’t absorb them very well.
Polyphenols have a number of beneficial effects on the gut and microbiome. First, they increase butyrate production through multiple routes, including prioritizing the growth of microbes that create it.
Second, they have a beneficial effect on the bile acid pool. In particular, they reduce the amount of secondary bile acids which promote inflammation and colon cancer.
Finally, polyphenols may counter the negative metabolites of concern in a Carnivore diet. Research in animals, and to a lesser extent in humans, finds that polyphenols reduce:
- Hydrogen sulfide-A gas that is toxic at high levels which prevents cells from utilizing butyrate and thins the mucus layer
- Ammonia-Another gas which negatively impacts the gut environment
- p-Cresol-A metabolite that decreases diversity by targeting beneficial bacteria
- Protects against the oxidative effects of heme iron, and decreases absorption
As you can see, a Carnivore diet with fruit is a dramatic upgrade from a Carnivore diet without fruit. You can have your meat and eat it too!
So if you’re looking to punch up your Carnivore diet, add some vibrantly colored high fiber fruit and rest easier knowing that you are protecting against most of the potential long term negative effects of the diet.