Nutrition myths are every-where! They've been around for as long as we have, but in the age of social media and messages that can travel the globe in a matter of seconds, misinformation about nutrition seems more widespread than ever before. We are often heard or read about a bizarre new fad diet or celebrity-endorsed eating plan that is not backed by science. Here are five nutrition misconceptions that we are happy to bust in this article.

1. MYTH - Going gluten-free means your diet will be healthier

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye grains. It's not an unhealthy food! If you are diagnosed with celiac disease or if you have a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten, a health care practitioner will likely prescribe a gluten-free diet for you.

Otherwise, there is no evidence that eating a gluten-free diet is healthier. A gluten-free diet is also not intended to help with weight loss. Eating gluten-free can actually make it harder to get enough of the fiber, vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients that the body needs to thrive, since many of the nutrient-dense grains that contribute to our fiber and micronutrient intake contain gluten.

Gluten-free diets can absolutely be healthy – whether they are depended on the food choices of gluten-free you make and how much variety you incorporate into your daily diet.

For example, if you follow a gluten-free diet primarily made up of commercially prepared, packaged and processed products, it will promote your health as little as a diet that is primarily made up of heavily processed packaged products that do contain gluten.

2. MYTH - Regularly do juice fasts/detoxes/ cleanses to rid the body of excess toxins

Scientific evidence does not support the notion that juice fasts or cleanses are effective in detoxing the body, getting rid of excess toxins or promoting health. In fact, very-low-calorie juice fasts that include a laxative regime as a part of the program can be dangerous and cause negative health effects such as dehydration, disruption of intestinal flora, electrolyte imbalance and impairment of normal bowel function. Our liver, kidneys and lungs are already really effective at detoxing the body and do so regularly!

To feel and look your best every day, live a nutrition lifestyle made up of a variety of mostly minimally processed, nutrient-dense, whole foods.

3. MYTH: Don't eat fruit because it has too much sugar

It’s easy to get confused between refined sugars and natural sugars found in fruits. Fruit does indeed contain sugar. But there are key differences between the natural sugars found in whole fruits and the refined sugars added to processed foods to make them taste better and increase their shelf life.

First, fruit contains fiber which helps slow the absorption of fructose, the main type of sugar found in fruit, into your bloodstream. This is good because it helps prevent the surges in blood sugar that when repeated, can over time lead to insulin resistance and increase risk for type 2 diabetes. The fiber in fruit also helps us feel fuller longer, which in turn, helps us eat fewer calories and therefore better manage our weight. Third, the fiber in fruit also contributes to the good bacteria in our intestines, which in turn contributes to better gut health. A good rule of thumb is to “eat a rainbow of fruits.” This is because the many different colors in fruits (and all produce, for that matter) are an indication of different types of nutrients.

4. MYTH: Organically grown produce contains more nutrients than conventionally grown produce

Organic fruits and vegetables may help reduce your pesticide intake and organic farming practices tend to be kinder to the planet and more sustainable for the environment. These are compelling reasons to choose organic. But there’s no convincing evidence that conventional and organic produce are substantially different in nutrient composition. Other variables like ripeness have a greater influence on the plant’s nutrient content.