Macrobiotic Diet
 
Macrobiotics is the art and science of health and longevity through the study and understanding of the relation and interactions between ourselves, the foods we eat, the lifestyles we choose to lead, and the environments in which we live.

The macrobiotic approach is based on the view that we are the result of and are continually influenced by our total environment, which ranges from the foods we eat and our daily social interactions to the climate and geography in which we live.

In considering all factors that influence our lives, the macrobiotic approach to health and healing views sickness as the natural attempt of the body to return to a more harmonious and dynamic state with the natural environment. As what we choose to eat and drink and how we live our lives are primary environmental factors that influence our health and create who we are, the macrobiotic approach emphasizes the importance of proper dietary and lifestyle habits

What is Macrobiotic?
A special type of vegetarian diet where it is followed for spiritual and philosophical reasons. Aims to maintain a balance between foods seen as ying (positive) or yang (negative). The diet progresses through ten levels, becoming increasingly restrictive. Not all levels are vegetarian, though each level gradually eliminates animal products. The highest levels eliminate fruit and vegetables, eventually reaching the level of a brown rice diet. 

From a member of ivu-sci:
According to Donna Secker and Stanley Zlotkin writing in Essentials of Human Nutrition, "macrobiotic diets consist of unpolished rice, pulses and vegetables with small additions of fermented foods, nuts, seeds and fruit; animal products are not consumed" (not sure about the last phrase - I thought that fish was allowed in the macrobiotic diet).
The authors warn that "in infants consuming a macrobiotic diet, a clear relationship has been demonstrated between diet, nutrient intake and physical and biochemical evidence of deficiency for several nutrients including iron, vitamins B12, D, and riboflavin. Slower growth rates and higher incidence of nutritional diseases such as rickets, kwashiorkor and anaemia have been reported." 

General Principles of Eating

  • Increase complex carbohydrates 
  • Eliminate refined and processed sugar 
  • Reduce fat (especially fat from animal sources) 
  • Reduce cholesterol 
  • Eliminate refined salt 
  • Avoid junk food 
  • Don't Overeat and be sure to chew well 
  • Macrobiotic Dietary Recommendations
    1. WHOLE CEREAL GRAINS. Between 40-60% of the volume of every meal should include cooked whole cereal grains prepared in a variety of ways. Whole cereal grains include brown rice, barley, millet, oats, corn, rye, wheat, and buckwheat. It is best that only a small portion of this amount be taken as flour products in the forms of noodles, unyeasted whole grain breads, and other partially processed products, because flour products tend to be more difficult to digest and create excess mucus more easily than the whole grains. 
    2. SOUPS. Approximately 5% of your daily food intake should include miso, tamari (shoyu) broth, or vegetable soup (one or two bowls). The flavor should not be overly salty.
    3. VEGETABLES. A wide variety of vegetables should be used daily. Approximately 25-35% of each meal should be used.
    4. BEANS. Approximately 10-15% of your daily diet should include cooked beans and bean products such as tempeh, tofu, and natto.
    5. SEA VEGETABLES. High in necessary minerals approximately 5% of your daily diet should include sea vegetables such as nori, hijiki, wakame, kombu, arame, etc.
    6. SUPPLEMENTAL FOODS. A small portion of a variety of other foods such as fish, fruit, nuts, and seeds should be included in the diet.
    7. BEVERAGES. Recommended daily beverages include roasted twig tea (kukicha), roasted brown rice tea, roasted barley tea, cereal grain coffee, and other traditional teas that do not have strong aromatic properties and stimulating effects can be used.
    8. FOODS TO AVOID. Meat, eggs, animal fat, poultry, sugar, and dairy products including butter, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, and milk. All artificially colored, preserved, sprayed, or chemically treated foods are also best avoided.
    Articles:
    What is Macrobiotics?
    Macrobiotic Diet
    Macrobiotic Pyramid
    Kushi Institute recipes

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