I am a supporter of the individual rather than the population when it comes to health. What I mean by that is that all medical "scientific" studies are done on populations while largely ignoring the individual differences in that population. When reading about vegetarian/plant based diets or high protein/Paleo type diets, individual metabolism, lifestyle and genetic factors are ignored and "This is the best diet for everyone." pronouncements are made.
The best advice I have regarding diet is to follow the advice given in the excellent book The Omnivores Dilemna which concludes that after studying diets and health extensively that there are 3 basic rules that really do apply: 1. Eat real food (i.e. not processed or junk foods) 2. Eat mostly vegetables (i.e animal proteins are OK but should be less than the amount of vegetables consumed) 3. Don't overeat
Following those general guidelines, find YOUR ideal diet...the one that you feel well with physically and mentally.
I found the following on the Scientific American website in response to an article about animal protein consumption and a possible link to cancer:
I'm exhausted... Low fat, Low carbs, Low protein, cut the red meat, cut the chicken products, fish has mercury, wheat has gluten, fresh veggies lose their nutrition, are loaded with pesticides, and are genetically modified. Processed foods are contaminated (i.e., peanut butter with mouse poop).
Eggs are bad for you, eggs are good for you.
Salt raises your BP, salt doesn't raise your BP, vitamins are good for you, vitamins are bad for you.
Cut the caffeine, stop drinking bottled water, tap water is not safe, etc, etc, etc,
I'll tell you what. I am going to let my body choose what food it wants to eat from the basic food groups. I'm going to let my brain navigate the processed foods. And I'm going to enjoy myself before I die.