Based on Far Eastern philosophy, the macrobiotic diet translates literally as "great life". As our diet plan review explains, despite its reputation, there is more to the macrobiotic diet than just brown rice.
The basic ingredients of the macrobiotic diet are:
50% whole grains
25% cooked or raw seasonal vegetables
10% high-protein foods such as fish or pulses
5% fruits, nuts or seeds
5% sea vegetables such as seaweed
All the food included in the diet meal plans and recipes should be grown organically, and eaten fresh. Food should never be cooked in a microwave, and rice has to be cooked in a pressure cooker. Food should always be eaten and chewed slowly.
The following foods are not allowed:
The theory behind this relates to the Far Eastern idea of Yin and Yang - as these foods are considered to have too extreme yin or yang properties.
On the positive side, this programme is high in natural unprocessed foods, including vegetables and complex carbohydrates. It provides the essential fats but is low in saturated fats. For this reason, it functions as a weight-loss programme. However, it is more of a way of life than a weight loss strategy. There are claims, mostly unsubstantiated, that the programme has healing properties and can help cure conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
On the negative side, the diet meal plans for this programme are very strict, and there is always a risk of nutritional deficiencies such as calcium and iron deficiencies with such a limited number of foods allowed.