The Macrobiotic Diet: Pros and Cons
You may have heard about the macrobiotic diet. It was developed by a Japanese educator as the way to achieve optimum health. If you are thinking about the macrobiotic diet, here are some of the pros and cons for you to weigh in on.
Macrobiotic means “long life.” It is an eating plan that has its basis in choosing fuel for our body that will not only help you physically to be your best but also to achieve spiritual health. Macrobiotic diets have gained popularity amongst celebrities like Madonna who use them to keep their bodies in great shape.
The macrobiotic diet promotes eating foods that are low in fat and high in fiber. Eating less fat means that your body burns stored fat for fuel throughout the day. Those seeking to lose weight may notice that their bodies are changing shape in less time than other diet plans.
High fiber diets work to keep the digestive system healthy. Fiber flushes out toxins in the body and also to take a bit of fat in your food with it. Fiber-rich foods are more filling so you don’t crave all of those sweet and salty snacks.
Many of the proteins in this diet come from animal sources like soy protein. A component of soy protein is phytoestrogens. These plant estrogens have been linked with reducing the risk of some cancers like breast cancer.
The amount of whole grains in the diet helps to lower the risk of high cholesterol. High cholesterol can lead to plaques in the blood vessels that can break away and cause strokes, thrombosis and high blood pressure.
Anyone who has tried the macrobiotic diet knows that it is very restrictive. When all is said and done it is essentially a vegetarian eating plan. Protein is derived from plant sources like soybeans instead of animal protein. Fish and shellfish may be consumed in moderation but what is considered meat (animal products, eggs and dairy) is not eaten.
The majority of the calories come from whole grains. These consist of brown rice, corn, rye, barley and other grains. Oats, pasta and breads are eaten in moderation.
Soup is eaten but it is miso soup made from fermented soybeans. Vegetables comprise the rest of the daily caloric intake. Eating them raw will give the most nutrients but if you want to cook them, they can be steamed boiled, sautéed or baked to your liking.
While the macrobiotic diet is high in whole grains it is not well-rounded in the total nutrition needed to meet all of your body’s needs.
The macrobiotic diet is not for everyone. Before trying it or any other diet program, consult your doctor.