Macrobiotic Diet

The Macrobiotic Diet is a dietary regimen that is based on the consumption of grains as a staple food supplemented by other food groups such as vegetables and beans and avoiding the consumption of refined and processed foods. The diet also recommends chewing food eaten thoroughly before swallowing as well as avoiding eating too much.

This type of diet has been practiced in some form by various traditional ancient cultures such as the Incas, the Chinese during the Han Dynasty. This diet philosophy was popularized in the Western world during the late 1950’s by George Ohsawa, a Japanese philosopher who went to Europe from Japan during the 50’s.

Those who follow the macrobiotic diet believe in the philosophy that food and its quality can affect health and well-being quite distinctly. The less processed and more natural the food eaten, the better. This diet usually employs the more traditional methods of preparing and cooking foods. One of the goals of the macrobiotic diet philosophy is to practice sensitivity to the effects of the food on one’s health ad well-being.

The Macrobiotic diet, aside from the general philosophy that its adherents follow, emphasize the consumption of whole grain cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruits. It is considered as a generally vegetarian diet where meat of all kinds is usually avoided although certain animal foods can also be suggested. Protein in the diet can be taken from fish sources as well as soy products. Organically grown foods are usually preferred, with highly processed foodstuff usually avoided most of the time.

In the macrobiotic diet, whole grains usually take 50 to 60 percent of the daily food consumption. Vegetables take 25 to 30 percent with beans and legumes taking the remaining 5 to 10 percent. Some portions may also be given for the consumption of fish and seafood, seeds and nuts, fruits and beverages. During one’s transition to this type of diet, meat may be consumed in limited amounts and where naturally raised animal products are preferred.

There are also several factors that may affect the macrobiotic diet. One of these factors include the seasons. Variations in the macrobiotic diet usually go with the prevailing season or climate to reflect also the changes occurring. Selection and preparation of the macrobiotic diet may depend on the season.

Colder seasons may require cooking food longer and probably with additional amounts of salt. Warmer seasons may need lighter cooking of food with less salt needed for the diet. One’s activities may also be a factor in the selection of food to be consumed based on the macrobiotic diet. Other important factors include gender, age, health conditions and other personal considerations.