What’s the Deal with Macrobiotics Diet? – An Inside Look!

Do you have a friend who has recently announced, “I’ve gone macrobiotic!” She is likely enthusiastic beyond belief and you are left sitting there wondering, “What’s the deal with a macrobiotic diet?” So, almost everyone knows about the Hindu prohibition against eating beef. This is one example of how a religion is tied to a way of eating. Judaism is another key example in terms of keeping “kosher” which literally means ritually correct. But did you know that macrobiotic diets are also tied to a form of religion as well? Probably not.

What Is A Macrobiotic Diet?

Macrobiotic-Diet-ReviewMacrobiotic diets go much further than just providing the body with basic nutrition and food that is good for you. Following a macrobiotic diet is to take on a new way of living in a very comprehensive manner. People who follow a macrobiotic diet feel that it leads them to the truth as they develop their personal compass as a way to lead to self-discovery. A macrobiotic lifestyle reaches beyond nourishing the body through healthy food choices. Macrobiotics is an entirely new way of relating to food.

People who follow a this type of diet will be quick to tell you that it is a way of life, not just a diet. The overall idea behind it is a sound one, and one that you would might want to apply to your life. As a combination of Zen Buddhism and Western vegetarian diets, macrobiotic diets center around eating an organic, natural, plant based diet in an effort to have a Zen-like connection between yourself and the food you are consuming.  The word “macrobiotic” actually comes from the Greek words for “long/great life.”

A macrobiotic diet will focus on the kinds of food which are typically absent from most diets in North America. You will be eating more whole, natural food such as beans and vegetables. Adding these alone would be beneficial for almost everyone. Be warned, though, adopting a completely macrobiotic diet can be very difficult and will require major shifts in your lifestyle. Eating in restaurants will become virtually impossible something most people are unwilling to give up.

I know you might be thinking, “Yeah, so what?” but try to stay with here just a little bit longer. The balance of yin and yang are balanced by different types of foods. Sour, sweet, salty, sharp, and bitter all characterize different foods that you will eat. Yin foods are things that are sweet, cold and passive. Yang foods, on the other hand, are salty, aggressive, and hot. Anything that falls too far to one end of this spectrum are not allowed. Originally, the goal was to restrict it more and more until you were left with a diet of brown rice, but now it is closer to a spiritual vegetarian diet. Regardless of how you feel about vegetarian diets, you can’t doubt that, if nothing else, they make you feel amazing once your body adjusts.

What Type of Food is Included?

First off, meat is included, so don’t worry too much about that. I’ve heard it described as “flexitarian” because you can eat meat occasionally, although you still have to follow the same kind of practice as far as choosing your products.

Everything should be unprocessed, natural, and ideally raw. It is also important to cook everything in a traditional way. Baking, steaming, and boiling are all fine, but don’t even think about frying anything! Grains, vegetables, soy, soups, beans, nuts, fruits, seeds, and anything else that falls into this category is allowed. The experts discourage vitamins and supplements, but if you need to balance out certain nutrients, you shouldn’t hesitate to add them to your diet.

Typically, your daily intake should look something like this:

  • 50% – Whole Grains – with NO refined sugars added
  • 30% – Vegetables – fresh and uncooked when possible
  • 5% – Beans
  • 15% – Lean Meat, Nuts, Fruitmacrobiotic_diet_food_pyramid

What Are The Benefits?

I can’t say whether or not this diet is going to balance your energy between yin and yang, but aside from the promises of better health, it also shows promises in terms of weight loss. People on this kind of diet say that they feel stronger, more energetic, have better immune systems, and generally have a better outlook on life. Call that balancing an ancient energy if you want, but the truth is that it is a great feeling.

Fat loss is easy with this kind of restriction on portions and available foods. You still have to be careful, though, since the amount of grains that you are eating can make it easy to go overboard and gain weight. As long as you stick to the complex carbohydrates that you are supposed to eat there isn’t any reason to think that you won’t lose plenty of weight.

An added bonus that a lot of people attribute a macrobiotic diet to a spiritual union with the universe. I can’t give you any information about whether or not you will have this feeling, but it stands to reason that you will feel more connected with the world when you are eating natural, whole foods and taking in foods in their actual form, instead of a over-processed reproductions of a product. A large part of eastern religions are based around a communion with the natural world and I think this sounds like a great way to do just that.

Are There Any Risks?

One of the biggest concerns that I have encountered when talking about the macrobiotic diet is the lack of protein. There isn’t a great deal included here, but as long as you make sure to get an adequate amount every day you should be just fine. This can be in the form of red meat once or twice a week, fish or weven protein bars.

Should You Try It?

This diet is not for everyone but if you think it sounds like it may be feasible for you, then by all means, go ahead and give it a whirl. You may not be into the spiritual aspects of it but that’s fine. It is a perfectly good way of eating if you can manage it. Many cancer survivors adopt a macrobiotic diet as a way to help keep themselves in remission.

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