It was almost 100 years ago, in 1918, when Lulu Hunt Peters, M.D., told Americans that they could stay healthy by counting and capping their calorie intake, in what is widely considered the first best-selling nutrition book in U.S. history. In the century since, healthy eating advice has erupted into an enormously lucrative—and frequently confusing—industry, one populated not only by contradictory scientific claims but also by a host of charlatans and questionable corporate backers.

As with so many areas of our lives today, healthy eating has become vexingly complex; consumers are inundated with marketplace noise that can leave us uncertain about whom we can trust when it comes to advice about cholesterol, "good" fats, and every other nutritional choice we make. Year after year, Americans have been instructed that the real key to health is to avoid sugar, dairy, meat, or gluten; to cut carbs or stick to seafood; to eat three square meals a day or many small ones; or to embark on an endless parade of juice cleanses and trendy diets.

This month, we're bringing the full weight of our scientific expertise to your questions about nutrition so that you can make better-informed decisions. Our independent experts provide clarity on hidden sugarsstealthy sodium, and ways to minimize meat for a healthier diet. We'll clarify whether foods such as eggs, soy, and honey are good for you—or not. And we'll bring you up to speed on the ways that some food labels can be deceiving, while showcasing what to look for if you want meat and poultry that's raised without antibiotics. At CR, we are working hard with consumers, businesses, and lawmakers to improve those labels and improve the quality of the food that gets brought to market, so you can focus on making smart, healthy choices.

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the November 2017 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.