Saturday, 6 March 2010

Macrobiotic Diet

Macrobiotic Diet

Firstly we need to look at what is the Macrobiotic Diet.  Both the diet and philosophy were developed by a Japanese health educator George Ohsawa who firmly believed that simplicity was the key to well being and optimal health. Due to the strenuous restrictions the macrobiotic diet was revised in 1978 by Michio Kushi.  The word macrobiotic originated from Greek roots and means long life.

The macrobiotic diet consists of low fats and high fiber and is predominantly vegetarian diet consisting of whole grains and vegetables. The diet comprises in a rich source of phytoestrogens which is obtained from the soy products. People that suffer from chronic diseases as well as cancer have been recommended to follow diets such as macrobiotics due to the low fat and high fiber contents of the diet.

The main contents of a macrobiotic diet consists of 50 to 60% whole grains per meal such as whole wheat, barley, brown rice, millet, corn and buckwheat as well as other whole grains. Foods that can be eaten occasionally are pasta, bread, rolled oats and products that contain flour. One can also have 1 or 2 cups of soup a day which is made from fermented soybean.

The daily intake of vegetables per day make up 25 to 30% of your daily food intake and a third of the vegetables should be eaten raw. However one can steam, boil or bake the vegetables. Then 10% of your daily food intake should include your bean products such as tofu or natto. You are allowed to eat small amounts of fish which can be consumed 2 or 3 times per week and the fish can be eaten with ginger, wasabi or mustard which helps with detoxification. One should avoid eating dairy products as well as meat and poultry.

One can eat fruit several times a week such as apples, peaches, pears, apricots, grapes melons berries, pineapple, mango and papaya as well as most other fruits that are available. Seeds and nuts can be eaten in moderation and desserts are allowed two to 3 times a week and may consist of dried fruits or baked apples and should you need a sweetener then you are allowed to use malt, rice syrup and barley malt. Sweeteners such as honey, chocolate and carob should be avoided.

You need to use unrefined vegetable cooking oil and the best to use is sesame oil, corn oil and mustard seed oil. You can also use condiments such as grated ginger root, fermented pickles, brown rice vinegar, roasted seaweed and natural sea salt. The use of soybean products must be included into the diet daily.

The macrobiotics diet plan is personal and factors such as season, gender, age, climate and activity as well as health needs all need to be taken into consideration. However there are nutritionists that have stated that this diet is far too restrictive and that it also lacks in nutrients such as protein, iron, magnesium, calcium and Vitamin B12 and maintain that a lack of protein could result in low energy levels.

However soy products contain a high protein level and the macrobiotic diet contains sufficient vitamins and minerals which can be obtained from most of the foods such as your fruit and vegetables. The only vitamin lacking is B12 which can only be obtained from red meat.

1 comment:

PDM said...

There’s an interesting post over at the Health Journal Club that makes the case that people should just not eat anything that wasn’t a food 100 years ago. Gets rid of the aspartame, bleached GM flour, high fructose corn syrup garbage they try to pass off as food these days. If interested you can read on it here,