The macrobiotic diet is a strict eating pattern that aims at reducing toxins in the body. This diet plan promotes eating vegetables and whole grains and eliminating foods high in fat, sugar, salt, and artificial ingredients. In addition, the macrobiotic diet emphasizes eating seasonal local foods while avoiding meat, dairy products, and oily foods.
Besides changing eating patterns, the macrobiotic diet also focuses on balancing your physical and spiritual wellness.
Even though there is no scientific evidence to support the health claims associated with macrobiotics, many people report they became healthier and feel happier after following its principles. In addition, the macrobiotic diet provides health benefits to some patients when used as a complementary therapy. For example, it may benefit people with high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, or certain types of cancer.
Macrobiotics is a lifestyle that emphasizes balance and harmony. It involves a strict diet pattern, behavioral changes, and a gentle workout.
The macrobiotic diet emphasizes eating natural, organic food and completely eliminating artificial ingredients and chemicals. Besides foods, chemicals are prohibited from use in household products, including personal hygiene products.
The macrobiotic diet recommends eating foods that are unprocessed, organic, and locally grown. Consuming high-fat, processed, salty, and sugary foods is discouraged in this diet plan. Besides eliminating sugary foods and soda from your diet, macrobiotics also focuses on high-carbohydrate whole grains. Therefore, the macrobiotic diet is high in fiber, complex carbohydrates, and low-fat eating pattern.
The macrobiotic diet promotes avoiding exposure to pesticides and electromagnetic radiation, eliminating food additives, avoiding taking nutritional supplements, and exercising regularly. In addition, this eating pattern emphasizes preparing food using pans and utensils made of wood, glass, steel, or enamel.
The macrobiotic diet is not recommended for children and pregnant women. For other people, it should be followed under the supervision of a dieting specialist.
How to avoid possible nutritional deficiencies
The macrobiotic diet is a restrictive eating pattern and can lead to protein, iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B-12, and vitamin D deficiency. To avoid possible nutrient deficiencies, you should balance your diet plan.
- Protein: tofu, tempeh, lentils, beans, hemp seeds, quinoa, amaranth, green peas, oats, soy milk, brown rice, chia seeds, nuts, broccoli, spinach, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus.
- Iron: tofu, soybeans, tempeh, lentils, beans, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, pine nuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, cashews, leafy greens, oats, and quinoa.
- Magnesium: spinach, quinoa, tempeh, soy nuts, tofu, black-eyed peas, flaxseeds, almonds, cashews, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, oats, and barley.
- Calcium: tofu, chia seeds, spinach, oats, lentils, beans, almonds, and leafy greens.
- Vitamin B-12: tempeh, nori seaweed, tofu, and soymilk.
- Vitamin D: since there is no available food rich in vitamin D in the Macrobiotic diet, you should take vitamin D supplements.
Tips on improving your dieting experience
- Consult your doctor or dietitian before beginning the macrobiotic diet. You might need to make some changes to your kitchen, including your refrigerator, if you decide to try it.
- Every meal should include grains, including barley, buckwheat, brown rice, farro, and millet.
- Maintain a relatively equal volume of grains and vegetables on your plate.
The macrobiotic diet is a strict eating pattern promoting eating organic foods like whole grains and vegetables, as well as eliminating foods high in fat, sugar, salt, and artificial ingredients.
This diet may provide health benefits for people who can avoid nutritional deficiencies. However, you should remember that you cannot use the macrobiotic diet as a replacement for traditional medical treatment. In addition, before starting, people with certain medical conditions, such as cancer or obesity, should consult their doctor.
You may also consider following a Mediterranean or Nordic diet to improve your health.