Learn About the Macrobiotic Diet

Learn About the Macrobiotic Diet

The Macrobiotic Diet had its popularity in the 1960’s and 70’s, but many people today will try the Macrobitic Way in search for a cure of some disease or sickness.

macrobiotic diet

This diet is founded on the Eastern principle of ‘yin-yang’. According to George Ohsawa, born in Japan, and founder of this popular diet, in order to achieve optimum health, one must strive for a balance of the yin and the yang. Foods that are yin tend to be expansive,such as fruits, dairiy and sugar. Foods that are yang are contractive, such as meat and grains.

Basic Guidelines for Implementing the Macrobiotic Diet:

  • 50-60% grains at each meal
  • 20-30% vegetables, mainly cooked, steamed or sautéed. Only a small amount should be eaten raw.
  • 10% beans or legumes, including soy products such as tofu, tempeh or natto. Only a very small amount of animal protein is recommended and usually in the form of fish or seafood to be eaten a few times a week. Meat, eggs and dairy are to be avoided.
  • Roasted Seeds and nuts can be eaten in moderation.
  • Local fruits can be eaten a few times a week.
  • Desserts can be eaten a few times a week. Low glycemic sweeteners that are used include: rice syrup, barley malt and amazake. Sugar, honey, molasses are to be totally avoided.
  • Oils used are basically unrefined vegetable oil such as sesame oil.
  • Condiments include umeboshi plums, fermented pickles, grated ginger root, gomasio (roasted sesame seeds) and tamari soy sauce. These condiments aid in digestion.

Discussion of the Pros and Cons:

Many health problems were claimed to become improved through the Macrobiotic Diet, however, many of the results may have come as a result of giving up the typical American diet of fast foods, hydrogenated oils, chemical preservatives and the like. I have seen people use the macrobiotic diet as a stepping stone to advance to other natural diets.

Pitfalls of this Famous Diet

  1. There may be too much emphasis placed on grains and beans. This is a high glycemic diet, and if you are hypoglycemic, and have a problem with your sugar handling, this may not be the diet for you.
  2. The Macro diet is high in soy and can be problematic since soy estrogens have been shown to cause endocrine problem and the phytic acid can lead to digestive disturbances.
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    Fermented Soybeans

    The fact that Asians have a lower incidence of breast and prostate cancer than people in the United States has been credited to their traditional diet of eating soy and not eating animal protein. There is great benefit to eating soy,however, the soy used in the traditional Asian diet is usually a fermented soy, which has more health benefits. Fermening creates probiotics, the good bacteria, which helps our bodies maintain healthy digestion, as well as increasing healthy enzymes for our overall health. If you are planning to try the Macrobiotic Diet, I would recommend to use the fermented soy products such as tempeh, and natto for your protein. You can even purchase fermented tofu. Add some roasted nuts and seeds as an extra protein source and use cold pressed olive oil and sesame oil on your salads and vegetables for some extra essential fatty acids.

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    Compare th Macrobiotic Diet to the Alkaline Diet