Macrobiotic Diet

We could explain the macrobiotic diet as a diet that's based on local and seasonal products. These are the most logical and natural foods available.
Macrobiotic Diet

Last update: 12 November, 2018

The macrobiotic diet consists of feeding yourself with organic and locally farmed foods. It includes seasonal vegetables, that are rich in complex carbohydrates, containing less fat and sugars. It also means eliminating chemically processed foods from your diet.

Nutrition is based on the consumption of whole grains, legumes, cooked vegetables and the Chinese principle of yin-yang. In this diet, foods are classified into two categories: yin and yang. There must be a balance between the foods of the two groups, to achieve physical and mental well-being.

Yin foods are those that should be consumed because they are natural. However, yang foods are prohibited or should be limited: meats, poultry, red meat, coffee, and eggs.

The macrobiotic diet is ranked over ten levels, ranging from minus three to plus seven. In the first five levels, foods of animal origin are progressively eliminated, becoming more and more vegetarian.

Woman eating a salad as part of a macrobiotic diet.

The following phases, from phase three to seven, are exclusively vegan. You have to eliminate processed foods until you reach the seven-plus phase, where you can only consume sprouted cereal grains. In addition, you have to limit the amount of water you drink, which can cause problems with dehydration.

Principles of macrobiotic nutrition

In the macrobiotic diet, there are a series of principles, we’ll look at these in more detail below:

Don’t overeat. In this diet, you can only eat when you are hungry and just until you are full.

Chew every portion in your mouth for a long time.

-Avoid highly processed foods and only choose those that are whole grain.

Avoid consuming too many yang foods. These are meats, poultry, red meat, coffee, and eggs.

-Achieve a balance between food and nature. Eat fruits and vegetables in season and eat products that are only local to your area.

Disadvantages of the macrobiotic diet

As we have already mentioned, one of the drawbacks of this diet is minimizing your intake of drinking water, which can cause dehydration problems. There are also some disadvantages that we will comment on below.

Woman with dehydration problems: disadvantage of the macrobiotic diet.

It can cause anemia. This is because eliminating animal products and eating an excess of cereals can lead to a lack of iron.

The lack of vitamin C  can cause a disease called scurvy. This is characterized by unhealthy blood, livid spots, ulcerations in the gums and hemorrhages.

-The lack of proteins can cause hypoproteinemia.

Possible long-term osteoporosis. This is due to hypocalcemia as a result of calcium deficiency from not consuming dairy products and their derivatives.

How to follow the macrobiotic diet

Remove meat from your diet and only eat fish occasionally.

Chemicals and spices are totally prohibited.

-It’s recommended to not drink any liquids during meals, only after meals and in sips.

Chew each mouthful of food approximately 50 times.

The fruits or vegetables that you consume should be free from fertilizers or pesticides.

Woman eating an apple as part of the macrobiotic diet.

Consume seasonal vegetables and avoid consuming those that come from distant countries.

Keep foods that contain vegetable oil or water, in clay or iron pans and only use unrefined sea salt.

Avoid vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes or eggplants.

Don’t consume industrial foods rich in sugars, preservatives, dyes or unfertilized eggs.

It’s advisable to consume cereals such as rice, wheat, rye, corn and not their flours.

Avoid consuming coffee and substitute with natural tea.

Things to keep in mind with this diet

Due to all of the disadvantages that this diet entails, it’s not advisable to use it to lose weight. Although, undoubtedly it would be useful since the diet is based on healthy foods that contain little fat and lots of satiety.

The goal of this diet is to give healthy guidelines, without taking it to the extreme. Many people stop taking conventional medicines and instead, use this diet to cure disease. This diet isn’t curative.

It is advisable not to follow strict diets because they won’t help you lose weight healthily. Be mindful if your goal is to lose weight, to include all food groups in a balanced way.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.