With all the talk about plant-based diets, it should be no surprise that this diet would soon follow. After all, we have had the Twinkie Diet, The Potato Diet and the The Big Mac Man who ate two Big Macs every day since 1972, a total to date of 30,000.
The debate about meat vs. vegan has been going on for many decades. In 1928, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, an Arctic explorer and anthropologist and Karsten Anderson, a Danish explorer became the subjects of a year long controlled diet of meat only to settle the long-held controversy. Bottom Line: It was reported to be that “both men were in good physical condition at the end of the observation in 1930…. there was no subjective or objective evidence of any loss of physical or mental vigor. The researchers detected no evidence of kidney damage or diminished function, and vitamin deficiencies did not appear… nor did mineral deficiency, although the diet contained only a quarter of the calcium usually found in mixed diets.” Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease. Gary Taubes ,2007, p.324.
My opinion: I am not promoting any of these diets, although I often lean more to the plant-based. I would think that simply any of these very restrictive diets obviously become monotonous and there are no clear-cut health or environmental advantages to any of them. In longer term studies, some vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies may become apparent depending on your diet choice. For example, if meat centered, vitamin C or some beneficial phytochemicals may be lacking; for a plant-based diet, vitamin B12 or vitamin D could be in short supply.
More recent research although observational, indicates that nutrient-dense plant-based diets have been the mainstay of cultures that have a history of good health and longevity (The Blue Zones, e.g.). We are primarily omnivores which not only helped us survive our early origins, and gives us culinary choices ( best of both worlds – vegan and non-vegan). Any extreme diet is doomed for failure and questionable in terms of health and simple sustainability (i.e. long-term adherence). The best diet for you is one you can live with.