Leaky gut syndrome is the theory that an impaired gut barrier allows toxins to enter your bloodstream, which in turn could give rise to other diseases, per Cleveland Clinic.
According to a 2022 study published in the journal Gut, a meat-enriched diet can be a contributing factor when it comes to leaky gut which can lead to diabetes (via University of South Florida Health). Senior author of the study and director of the USF Center for Microbiome Research, Microbiomes Institute, Dr. Hariom Yadav shared, “We describe the unique role of the microbiome as a garbage cleaner of our body and our diets byproducts, such as how a meat-enriched diet increases the garbage in our gut that changes the microbiome. This creates leaky gut and inflammation that ultimately induces diabetes.'”
Red meat — beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, etc. — in particular is considered problematic for your gut. In fact — when compared with skinless chicken, fish, and plant proteins — red meat, which is high in saturated fat (the type of fat that has been linked with cardiovascular disease), could actually be damaging your heart health starting from your gut, per a 2022 study published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.
This isn’t surprising, since gut health has been linked with several factors like immunity, autoimmune disease, mood and mental health, cancer, sleep, and heart problems (via Better Health Channel). An assistant professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Dr. Maria Pena, told Livestrong that the inflammation-causing nature of red and processed meats can also lead to constipation and bloating.