Macrobiotic Diet Plan is a fabulous diet plan, which practices holistic approach and caters to both physical as well as spiritual well-being of man. The diet plan is low in fat, high in fiber and is basically a vegan plan. The diet plan promises to get you young, healthy, and slender body.
Many Hollywood celebrities such as, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Alicia Silverstone, John Travolta, and numerous others are strict fans of this diet plan and have been able to maintain them in perfect shape just by following the diet plan.
Originated in Japan, Macrobiotic diet plan is a perfect blend of Zen Buddhism and western lifestyle. Except for occasional fish and meat, all other animal foods are banished in the diet plan. Spirituality being vital is to be maintained while going along with the diet plan.
Principles of Macrobiotic Diet Plan
Macrobiotic diet plan talks about bringing balance between yin and yang foods. These two forces control all the areas of life. However, they both are contrary to each other. While yin is cold, sweet, and passive, yang is hot, salty and aggressive.
For good health, it’s critical to maintain harmony between both the forces. Food items in the diet plan have been categorized into yin and yang. Foods such as whole grains and vegetables have equal properties of both yin and yang and therefore have been included in the mainstream of diet plan. The diet plan recommends refraining from foods having extreme yin or yang properties.
Who can follow Macrobiotic Diet Plan?
The plan shall be designed and monitored by nutrition experts only. Food items in the diet plan will vary according to age, sex, season, climate, activity etc. Under the supervision of dietitian, pregnant women, children, teenagers, adults can also go along-with the diet plan.
The diet plan is high in fiber and insists on consuming many soy products. Soy products being opulent source of phytoestrogen can effectively curb the formation of estrogen based cancer such as breast cancer in your body.
Due to being low in saturated fats and high in phytoestrogen, the diet program can purge females from several physiological problems such as premenstrual syndrome, menopause, endometriosis, and breast cancer.
Recommended Food Items of Macrobiotic Diet Plan
Let’s have a look at some of the recommended food items of Macrobiotic diet plan.
Whole Grains – Having the most proportionate ratio of yin and yang, whole grains are strongly recommended. 50 – 60% of daily diet should have whole grains such as barley, rice, millet, oats, rye, corn, buckwheat, wheat, brown rice etc. Though the diet program recommends only whole grains, however, you still can have small portions of pasta and bread made of refined flour.
Vegetables – 25 – 30% of daily diet should have vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, collards, cauliflower, mustard greens, turnip, bok choy, kale, mustard green, turnip greens, onions, butternut, pumpkin, squash, acorn squash, daikon radish etc.
You can have occasional vegetables, which means you can consume them two to three times in a week. They are – mushrooms, celery, snow peas, iceberg lettuce, string beans etc. You shall steam the vegetables. You can add little corn or sesame oil to improve the taste.
Sea Vegetables and Beans – 5 to 10% of your daily diet should emanate from sea vegetables and beans such as lentils, tofu, adzuki beans, chickpeas, hijiki, nori, kombu etc.
Soups – Soups should contribute 5 to 10% of your daily food intake. You can prepare soup using soy bean paste, beans, and vegetables.
Nuts, Seeds and Fresh fish – Nuts, seeds, fruits, and fresh fish such as flounder, cod, halibut etc. are allowed once in a week. Umeboshi plum vinegar, brown rice vinegar can be consumed occasionally.
Beverages – You can consume teas prepared from dandelion greens and roasted grains. Should you feel thirsty and feel like drinking something, you can drink cooking water of soba noodles.
Desserts – You can have desserts in moderation, which means two to three times in a week. Should you have perfectly hale body, you can consume naturally sweet foods such as adzuki beans, dried fruits, dates, apples, rice syrup, squash, barley, malt etc.
Forbidden Food Items
All the processed foods, junk foods, artificial colors, preservatives are strictly forbidden in the diet program. Animal foods such as dairy products, eggs etc. are assumed to possess extreme qualities of yang and therefore are forbidden in the diet plan.
Contrarily chocolates, refined sugar, fruit juice, sweetened drinks, tropical fruits, soda, coffee etc. are assumed to be extreme cases of yang and thus the plan asks you to purge them.
Some Recommendations of Macrobiotic Diet Plan
Macrobiotic diet plan is a complete guide, which will direct your steps and will pave your way to a healthy and disease free body. Let’s have a look at some of the recommendations of the diet plan.
- Stop using microwave or electricity for cooking food, use pressure cooker instead. Swear by old ways of cooking such as steaming, baking, and boiling.
- Pans, pots, and utensils should be made of materials such as ceramic, wood, glass, enameled pieces, and stainless steel.
- Consume food only when you feel hungry.
- Take small bites of food and chew them completely.
- Consume food when you have relaxed mind. Don’t fuss and let stress overtake you while eating food.
- Concentrate on food and don’t talk while eating.
- Maintain cleanliness and proper hygiene at your home, especially your kitchen should be perfectly neat and clean.
- Consumption of food supplements etc. is strictly prohibited in the diet plan.
Drawbacks of Macrobiotic Diet Plan
Macrobiotic Diet Plan has some drawbacks also, let’s have a look at them.
- Since the diet plan insists elimination of myriad vegetables and fruits, your body might become severely deficient in essential nutrients. Mostly food items in the diet plan lack in vitamin D, vitamin B12, proteins, calcium, iron.
- Though the proponents of diet plan claim to mop cancer from your body but not enough evidences are there to support the claim. If you are thinking of following the plan, consult your doctor. Seldom go ahead with the plan on your own. You might jeopardize your life, should you do that.
- The plan claims to make it your lifetime diet program. However, the long list of forbidden foods and limited items don’t motivate dieters to stick to it. The diet schedule indeed is a hard nut to break.