Macrobiotic Diet

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Macrobiotics is a way of incorporating healthy eating and living into a lifestyle. Throughout history the Macrobiotic diet has been practiced by philospophers and physicians who strived to attain a natural order of life. This included eating a simple, balanced diet while living in harmony with nature. The modern Macrobiotic Diets were started in the 1920s by a Japanese educator named George Ohsawa. At the core of his macrobiotics theories is the essential ying and yang, which are the opposing forces that govern all life. In macrobiotics, the forces of yin and yang are kept in balance and this is said to help people achieve good health and longevity.


Common Macrobiotic Foods

The standard foods incorporated in a macrobiotic diet are:


Health Risks Associated with Macrobiotic Diet

The macrobiotic diet can be a very healthy diet plan. Even still, the strict diet plan may pose health risks to some people. Supporters of macrobiotic diets claim that macrobiotic eating has many positive health effects, and some health studies indicate that people on the diet have a decreased risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer. Despite these health benefits, some dietitians and nutritionists are sceptical of macrobiotic diets - especially the stricter macrobiotic diet plans. This is because the selection of foods is limited and may cause nutritional deficiencies.


Given the lack of meat, cheese and eggs (all being convenient sources of diet nutrition), an obvious health risk is vitamin and mineral deficiency. This lack of nutrition is almost certain to occur when following an extreme macrobiotic diet. Nutritional studies of children consuming a macrobiotic diet revealed growth retardation in 6- to 18-month-olds, lack of energy, and deficiencies of protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, and riboflavin. Diet researchers also found that the breast milk of mothers on a macrobiotic diet contained abnormally low levels of vitamin B12, calcium, and magnesium. Another diet health study associated macrobiotic diets with an increase in iron-deficiency anemia. Macrobiotic diets have also been linked with weakened bones and skeletal deformities associated with vitamin D and calcium deficiency.


The absence of animal protein in the macrobiotic diet may cause a deficiency of vitamin B12 unless you include unfermented soy products fortified with B12.


Macrobiotic Diets - Caution

If you develop any symptoms of general nutritional deficiency, such as fatigue, muscle and joint pain, poor concentration, irritability, or susceptibility to infections, please see your doctor.