What is the macrobiotic diet?
Developed by a Japanese philosopher in the early 1990s, the macrobiotic diet focuses on a holistic, balanced lifestyle. It even incorporates elements of gentle exercise and meditation. The diet is largely vegetarian, sometimes even vegan.
What is and isn’t allowed on the macrobiotic diet?
Around half the diet consists of wholegrains like rolled oats, brown rice, wholemeal bread and pasta, with a third of the diet being fruit and vegetables, and a quarter of it being beans. The occasional piece of meat or fillet of fish is permissible by some, but mostly rare. Others also incorporate nuts and seeds. Sadly, when it comes to caffeine and alcoholic beverages, these are off the menu. Sugar is also not allowed, with items like dairy, soft drinks and anything ‘processed’ also not being allowed.
How does it impact food preparation?
When it comes to food prep, you can only use wooden, glass, stainless steel or ceramics for cooking and storing food. Things like a microwave and electricity are completely avoided for cooking.
What are the benefits?
The macrobiotic diet largely focuses on whole foods and vegetables, so you’ll be getting a lot of good food into you on this diet. It’s also packed with gut-loving fibre and disease-fighting antioxidants thanks to the foods on the list that should be consumed regularly. The diet focuses a lot on mindful eating, which is incredibly important when it comes to making healthy choices and just enjoying what you’re putting into your body daily. Eliminating alcohol and caffeine, while very hard for some, is also incredibly worthwhile.
What are the cons?
For some, the prospect of going on a vegan diet isn’t all that exciting and it goes without saying that for many people, vegan eating doesn’t actually work for them. Given the restrictive nature of these diets, unless you exercise careful planning and thoughtful ingredients, you will find it particularly challenging.
As well as this, the diet eliminates all processed food and sugars. While this is certainly good for you, it’s incredibly restrictive and doesn’t help instil an approach to eating that considers balance when it comes to food choices.