Overcoming what Conventional Wisdom has taught us may take a while to sink in, but it obviously works. What is your favorite shattered myth of CW that you have challenged and defeated?
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That the government has our best interests at heart.
(I'm assuming the question adresses not just diet/health issues)
The myth of consumerism is mine. The concept that we must have stuff, must buy things, must spend money in order to be happy.
Folks today act as if they cannot survive without an enormous, soulless new house for their family of 4, a dozen credit cards, and new cars. Couples insist that they 'must' both work to make ends meet and have children that they put in child care from 6 weeks old. They have vast lawns that they pay someone else to tend and waste water on and a 2 car garage so full of junk that their cars can't be parked in them. Families never see each other except running out the door. They never cook, but eat out all the time. They must have the latest stuff, and overindulge their children with gadgets (I saw a wee girl abt 2 years older than my daughter - abt 9 - with her own cell phone the other day.)
All of this is just bad. We need to not only be eating more like we were meant to be but living more simply as well, IMHO.
I am a minimalist in most things. I think that the simplest solution is probably the best. Paleo fits me perfectly because of this. I wear simple comfy clothes, minimal or no shoes, my meals are plentiful, robust, and wholesome but simple: cooked meat and veg with scant seasonings.I'm a scavenger extraordinair and never refuse freebies, shop at thrift stores and yard sales, and repair, reuse and recycle as much as I can.
Conventional wisdom (CW) is more like conflicted-interest wisdom. There is a lot of money to be had in the marketed solutions to my failures.
To specifically address your question, would the answer every myth about my diet except protein work?
Without a doubt, the food pyramid has been my favorite myth to debunk. Conventional wisdom says to eat very little fat, while I eat a lot. CW says I need grains, specifically whole grain in my diet to be healthy, and I eat none.
The only thing that everyone seems to agree on is that protein needs to be a moderate part of your diet and that Omega 3 fats are good for you.
As for other aspects of my life:
Nike, er CW, tells me to wear shoes for maximum support while running, but I've found that running barefoot eliminates shin pain while giving your calf muscles one tough workout.
CW tells me to stay out of the sun, but I've found that an hour a day leads to me having even energy levels later in the day, a better night's sleep, and (upcoming bad pun) a much sunnier disposition.
I think that if you're trying to follow a paleo/primal lifestyle, you'll find yourself bucking CW daily, even hourly with good results.
WTF! Whoever coined that term was a blind fool abetted by conflicted liars. Thinking about it for 5 seconds shows how absolutely stupid on the face of it the term is. It's not a paradox, it's an explanation.
That I, usually a pretty skeptical and rational engineer type, never remotely questioned it until I came across the Paleo movement leaves me utterly amazed at how powerful the CW is in this regard.
The idea that we must have carbohydrates...especially in the form of whole grains. I can't remember when I last consumed grains and my health has skyrocketed.
My favorite CW myth is that we need anthing other than meat to thrive, be lean and strong.
Definitely the myths surrounding fasting...I really fell for the whole 'your metabolism will grind to a halt' thing. This still seems to be accepted without question in the general public. I am incapable of persuading anyone that it's false even with actual real life results.
That fat makes you fat. They are the same words, right, so they must be causally related? What a load of crap. Sugar and carbs make you fat, and bloated, and sick. I just wish I had known that 10 years ago.
It is the conviction that people have that it is impossible to survive and function without bread / past / potatoes. Almost every book, pamphlet in the doctor's waiting room, health magazine stress the importance of grains to health. A dangerous myth!
The myth that you need carbohydrates for energy. I think it speaks volumes that our bodies are able to synthesize glucose for the blood via gluconeogenesis using metabolites from amino acids and fatty acids, but that we can't synthesize protein from carbohydrates. We are clearly designed to operate in conditions of extreme carb deprivation, but will eventually break down and die if we have protein deprivation. Conventional wisdom teaches that we "need" healthy grains and carbs to live. No doubt we can make use of carbohydrates, and get lots of benefits from micronutrients that come bundled with various carb sources, but CW is 100% backwards on the question of what we NEED.
Favorite CW debunked: That saturated fat is deadly. (Dear lord, what monster would cook his family's food in LARD?!!)