Weight Management

Macrobiotic Diet: Bring Awareness and Better Health!

Macrobiotic diet is all about achieving a balance of yin and yang. According to an ancient philosophy in the Far East, our health and life in general is governed by the opposing forces of yin and yang. Yin is the feminine principle that is associated with cold, sweet and passive food. And yang is the masculine principle that is associated with hot, salty and aggressive food. A macrobiotic diet combines the essentials of both.

Macrobiotic diet originated in Japan and incorporates principles of Zen Buddhism. It is mostly a vegetarian diet with some fish thrown in to suit the Western palate. If you like natural, plant-based food, this diet may work for you. It is also supposed to be spiritually beneficial for your lifestyle and attitude. The word macrobiotic essentially means "great life".

Macrobiotic diet consists of:
* 50% - 60% brown rice and other whole grains
* 25% - 30% seasonal vegetables
* 5% - 10% beans
* 5% - 20% fish, fruits, nuts, seeds

Also drink a soup made from these ingredients a couple of times a day. For transition into a macrobiotic diet, you may eat other natural products until you feel the need. Deviating from traditional styles, it is not uncommon in the West to add tomatoes, eggplant and pepper in the diet, which is allowed. However, food should be prepared in traditional methods like baking, boiling and steaming. Microwaves are not be used.

Practitioners also stress the importance of eating food slowly and chewing thoroughly.

Foods to avoid:
Sugar, spices, dairy products, poultry and meat, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, preservatives, and refined flour are to be strictly avoided. In addition, all foods that are considered extreme, over-stimulating or concentrated should be avoided. These foods are on the far end of yin and yang properties, and not useful in bringing about a balance.

Positives:
According to practitioners, a macrobiotic diet not only helps in weight loss, but also improves quality of life, wellbeing and happiness. It consists of natural and unprocessed foods, and is low in saturated fats. The objective of eating natural food is to purify the body and in the process help you become sensitive to how food affects life. The awareness that a macrobiotic diet brings in a person enhances the feeling of wellbeing.

The ADA has approved planned macrobiotic diets for all stages of life. Macrobiotic diet is rich in fiber and low in fats. Phytoestrogens, present in soy products, could be beneficial in treating breast cancer, although not scientifically proven.

Negatives:
Some experts suggest nutritional deficiencies in macrobiotic diets. Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, iron, calcium and protein are necessary for the body and a macrobiotic diet may not be able to provide these.
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