Macrobiotic Diet Plan
What is the Macrobiotic Diet?
The Macrobiotic diet and Macrobiotic diet plan follow the beliefs of the man who developed the diet. His name was George Ohsawa (Japanese) and according to him, the way to good health is to keep things simple in your diet.
His diet was a restrictive diet and included ten restrictive stages, each stage becoming more strict as the diet progressed.The diet was considered to be too strict which is why it is no longer recommended by those in the diet field. The main reason being that it could lead to nutritional deficiencies in the long run.
More recently, another man by the name of Michio Kushi built on the basic theory of the macrobiotic diet and made the diet popular once again.
Yin and Yang
The macrobiotic diet principles are formed around the Ancient Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang.This philosophy is used to show how opposites are intertwined in the world and how they relate to one another.
For example, cold and hot, fire and water or life and death, all opposing forces are looked at as physical manifestations of this idea.
With the macrobiotic diet it is thought that eating foods in season and from your local vicinity means you will get the best yin yang.
Balance is the key, so avoiding foods considered to high or low in yin or yang can begin the disease process.
You can learn more about Yin and Yang here.
Who Follows the Macrobiotic Diet?
Since the macrobiotic diet is low in fat, it is a good diet for anybody that wants to lose weight or for those who want to restrict fat in their diet.
- It is also high in fiber so for anyone that has issues with constipation or other bowel problems it would be a good diet.
- It is very close to being a vegetarian diet in that it emphasizes beans, whole grains and vegetables. It does not include dairy foods or sugar. Saturated animal fat is a no no.
- This diet is intended to be followed by anyone that wants to meld their spiritual and physical well-being as well as the well-being of the entire planet.
- So, if you are a person that likes the idea of a diet that brings together all the elements of what it is to be healthy this diet is for you.
- The macrobiotic diet menu includes soy foods that contain phytoestrogens which may make it a good diet for women approaching (or already in) menopause because soy mimics the hormone estrogen which women in menopause lose.
Macrobiotic Diet Guidelines
Meat, Fish and Seafood
Small portions of fish or seafood a few times each week.
Eggs, chicken, turkey dairy are avoided.
Seafood and fish eaten along with horseradish, mustard, daikon, wasabi and ginger to help clean out the body systems and detox.
Between 50-60 percent of each meal should be from whole grains.
Examples include, whole wheat, millet, corn, barley, brown and whole grain rice, buckwheat or other whole grains. Also, breads, oats,pasta noodles, baked foods or other flour type foods are eaten on occasion.
Soup is eaten often on the macrobiotic diet menu. Shoyu and miso are eaten along with veggies being 25 to 30 percent of what you eat each day. Vegetables can be eaten raw, steamed baked or boiled and comprise around a third of total food intake each day.
On the macrobiotic diet plan, beans make up about 10 percent of the diet daily. Beans, tofu, natto and tempeh to name a few.
Eating local is part of the macrobiotic diet plan. Grapes, pears, apples, melons, berries to name just a few. Pineapple, papaya, mango are most often not eaten.
Nuts or Seeds
Some seeds and nuts can be eaten here and there, either lightly salted with sea salt or shoyu. Roasting is common for nuts.
The macrobiotic diet plan allows for some desserts a few times a week. Natural foods made with squash, beans or dried foods are commonly made into recipes or eaten raw or plain.
Sea salt, brown rice vinegar, umeboshi plum, ginger root, sesame seeds, seaweed and scallions are used.
Using barley malt, amazke or rice syrup to sweeten food instead of refined sugar is usual. Types of sugars to be avoided are honey, molasses, chocolate or artificial sweeteners.
Dark sesame oil is often used for macrobiotic diet meals along with corn oil, mustard seed oil and sesame oil.
Depending on your age, gender and other health issues or needs the macrobiotic diet plan can be made up to suit you as a person.
Pros Of The Macrobiotic Diet Plan
- Low in fat
- Low calorie in general
- Avoids processed and refined foods which may help some health conditions
Cons of The Macrobiotic Diet
- Very restrictive
- This diet may lack enough of all nutrients especially things like calcium, iron or protein.
- Since this diet does not have a lot of research about its true health benefits it is not usually a diet that is followed to help correct any type of illness. However, in general when you add more vegetables and foods from nature to your diet and eliminate processed and refined foods there is a good chance you could improve such chronic conditions like arthritis or digestive problems.
Sample Macrobiotic Diet Plan
Here is a sample macrobiotic diet for a day’s worth of meals:
1 cup of Buckwheat or other whole grain cereal with soya milk
Vegetables such as sliced carrot stick
or a mix of all the above
1 to 2 cups of Bean soup
Unsalted nuts or seeds
Steamed broccoli with 1 cup of steamed brown rice with shrimp
This is just one example of how you could eat a macrobiotic diet. There are many combinations of the macrobiotic diet plan and menu including macrobiotic meal plans that are possible.
A good book to read is the Modern-Day Macrobiotics: Transform Your Diet and Feed Your Mind, Body and Spirit which will give you a very good overview of the macrobiotic diet and macrobiotic diet plan. It includes a detox diet and several other diets the macrobiotic way.