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The Macrobiotic Diet is part of the Far Eastern philosophy of Macrobiotics (literally “Great Life”).
Despite a reputation of being nothing but brown rice, there is more to the Macrobiotic Diet than just brown rice. The food guidelines have been evolving over a number of years.
The basic diet is essentially:
- 50% whole grains
- 25% seasonal vegetables, cooked or raw.
- 10% protein foods – such as fish or legumes.
- 5% sea vegetables
- 5% soups
- 5% fruit, nuts, or seeds.
Food should be organically grown and eaten fresh. The Macrobiotic lifestyle also governs how food should be prepared.
No microwave should be used – rice must be cooked in a pressure cooker. Food should be eaten and chewed slowly, in a relaxed manner.
What’s not allowed?
Sugars, spices, alcohol, eggs, meat, and cheese. This has everything to do with the extreme yin and yang properties.
What’s good about the Macrobiotic Diet?
The macrobiotic diet is high in natural, unprocessed foods, complex carbohydrates, and vegetables. It is low in saturated fats, whilst providing the essential fats.
It could be considered a weight loss diet, due to these factors, and the potential lower calorie count. However Macrobiotics is more of a way of life, than just another weight loss fad.
There are a number of claims made about the healing properties of the macrobiotic diet. Conditions such as cancer and heart disease have apparently been aided by this diet. However some claims are unsubstantiated.
The macrobiotic diet can be fairly strict. Where a diet is strict there is a potential for nutritional deficiencies – particularly calcium and iron.
Modern Day Macrobiotics which retails for $19.95.
By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
- Ernst, E., CAM-Cancer Consortium. (2014). Macrobiotic diet. link
- Knuiman, J. T., West, C. E. (1982). The concentration of cholesterol in serum and in various serum lipoproteins in macrobiotic, vegetarian and non-vegetarian men and boys. Atherosclerosis, 43(1), 71-82. study link
- Bowman, B. B., Kushner, R. F., Dawson, S. C., Levin, B. (1984). Macrobiotic diets for cancer treatment and prevention. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2(6), 702-711. study link
Last Reviewed: February 28, 2019
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