I'm a fan of experimenting with different diets and lately have been particularly obsessed with reading and watching documentaries about nutrition. However, I've come to realize that there are all sorts of mixed signals being given off.
There is literally an argument against eating every single food group. Sugar, the top of the old-fashioned food pyramid, has of course been discouraged (or advised to eat in moderation). Meat has been shot down by vegetarians and vegans, who say meat is unhealthy and can cause cancer and diabetes. Processed meat is a class 1 carcinogen, and red meat is a class 2 carcinogen, as mentioned by What the Health. Dairy is advised to be avoided by athletes and vegans, who say 'Not your mother? Not your milk' and rave about how much better they feel after ruling out dairy. Grains, the base of the food pyramid, has been ruled out for its high carbohydrate content by people who follow the Ketogenic diet. That means no pasta, no rice, and no bread (super difficult for me!). The Ketogenic diet also rules out legumes, certain vegetables, and limits fruits. On the contrary, the Keto diet encourages consumption of more meat and fats, directly contradicting vegans and some nutritionists. Fish has been loved by pescatarians, but nutritionists are now saying there's a high risk of mercury and other toxins in fish due to bioaccumulation, and that these toxins can build up in women, where the only way to get rid of the toxins is to have a baby (passing on toxins to the baby). Eggs. Some people love eggs, but other nutritionists talk about how horrible eggs are to your cardiovascular health. Vegetables seem to be the most agreed upon healthy option, but you can't have a diet that's just vegetables - there's not enough carbohydrates or fats to pull energy out of a diet like that.
I'm trying out the Ketogenic diet right now, but I'm not sure where to go afterward. There are so many different things that nutritionists tell us, and there seems to be a new opinion coming out every day on what we can and can't eat. There's absolutely no food item that everyone agrees on, making it very difficult to find a healthy, long-lasting and trustworthy diet.
Diet is a win-some-lose-some struggle. We need to acknowledge that no matter what we eat, someone out there will be telling us we made a mistake. We also need to realize that - when was the last time an ordinary person died from mercury poisoning because they ate fish from a market? We all need to get by. By statistics alone, the US has a high proportion of people with cardiovascular disease, most likely correlated with the American diet. To contrast, people in Asian countries have lower proportions of heart disease and cancer, likely linked to the diet with lower calories, less oil, less meat, and more seafood.
I'm still figuring this out, and finding the right diet has now become a search for what's the least bad, rather than what has the most good.