The macrobiotic diet is basically a vegetarian diet, that encourages eating a
Broken down, a snapshot of the diet looks like this:Proponents consider it to be a lifestyle change, rather than a short-term diet plan.
50-60 % whole grains, especially brown rice
25-30 % locally grown and organic vegetables and seaweed
5-10 % soups
5-10 % beans and sea vegetables (which include kelp, hijiki, nori, and Irish moss), containing many vitamins and minerals.
5-20 % fish, nuts, seeds, fruits, miso soup
1-2 cups per day of soup, made from these ingredients
All processed and artificial foods and beverages are banned.
Also banned are:
Meats and poultry
Potatoes and Zucchini
Most dairy products
Coffee, caffeinated tea, stimulating beverages, alcohol
Very hot spices, chemicals and preservatives
With a decidedly Eastern slant, macrobiotic (meaning great life) teaches that foods have “yin and yang” properties affecting the body in different ways.
The choice of foods, which are combined depending on their sour, sharp, salty, sweet or bitter components, represents balance and harmony between the body and the environment (yin-yang).
Yin foods are described as cold, sweet, and “passive” while yang foods are hot, salty, and “aggressive.”
The concept carries over into the recommended methods for preparing the foods, which are steaming, baking or broiling. Microwave cooking and electric appliances are highly discouraged.
It is further reinforced by the recommendations to eat slowly, thoroughly chew the food, and not eat anything less than 3 hours before bedtime.
Ongoing studies indicate that vegetarians have a lower body mass index and weigh about 15% less than meat eaters.
The recommended dietary habits are nutritionally sound. They stress whole grains, fruits, vegetables and unprocessed foods, and discourage the intake of saturated fats.
Organic foods are expensive, and not always readily available to large parts of the population.
No meat is allowed, only fish and seafood, to which many are allergic, and which are also not readily available to everyone.
The restriction of several foods, increases the risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
The diet does not address the need for an exercise program, not even including a “general” recommendation for exercise. As a given, no diet is complete without some form of moderate exercise.
In conclusion, it’s important to understand that the macrobiotic diet plan requires a lot of commitment. It is all about making permanent changes to your lifestyle and daily eating habits.
The increase in fiber and decrease of fat is the catalyst for the weight loss. However, if your primary goal is quick weight loss, this is not the plan for you.
As always, please always seek the advice of a medical professional prior to beginning a new diet or exercise program. Your medical history is only one of the considerations your physician will take into account prior to recommending a lifestyle change.
To Your Good Health!
© 2012 – 2013, Kelli Roig RN. All rights reserved.