Macrobiotic diet

Macrobiotic diets combine the concepts of Buddhist spirituality and certain dietary principles with the goal of balancing spiritual and physical wellness.

It was developed in Japan,

A macrobiotic diet consists largely of whole grains, cereals, and cooked vegetables, aiming to avoid eating dairy products, meats, and oily foods.

Its staple of grains supplemented with local vegetables and avoidance of highly processed or refined foods and mostly animal products.

Macrobiotics emphasizes locally grown whole grain cereals, pulses (legumes), vegetables, seaweed, fermented soy products and fruit, combined into meals according to the ancient Chinese principle of balance known as yin and yang.

A specific macrobiotic diet is determined by taking into account his or her age, sex, level of physical activity, and native climate.

Those individuals who follow this eating plan may experience some of the health benefits that are associated with eating low-fat, high fiber foods.

Macrobiotic diets can lead to poor nutrition, and is not recommended for pregnant women or children and may not provide sufficient protein and nutrients for others.

There is no good evidence to support that a macrobiotic diet is helpful for people with cancer and other chronic diseases.

Whole grains and whole-grain products such as brown rice and buckwheat pasta, a variety of cooked and raw vegetables, beans and bean products, mild natural seasonings, fish, nuts and seeds, mild beverages are recommended.

Nightshade vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant; also spinach, beets and avocados are not recommended or are used sparingly in macrobiotic cooking.

Proponents of a macrobiotic diet believe that nightshade vegetables can cause inflammation in the body and osteoporosis.

Cooking utensils should be made from certain materials such as wood or glass.

Materials including plastic, copper, and non-stick coatings are to be avoided, and electric ovens should not be used.

Most macrobiotic diets are not nutritionally sound.

People following such a diet are at increased risk of developing scurvy.

Nutrient intake should be monitored especially in children, because of their importance in facilitating growth and function: calcium, protein, iron, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin B12, riboflavin, vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids.

Fish provides vitamin B12 in a macrobiotic diet.

Vitamin A, as its precursor beta-carotene, is available from plants such as carrots and spinach.

Adequate protein is available from grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and bean products.

Sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include soy products, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and fatty fish.

Riboflavin along with most other B vitamins are abundant in whole grains.

Iron in the form of non-heme iron in beans, sea vegetables and leafy greens is sufficient for good health.

Macrobiotic diet versions that involved eating only brown rice and water has been linked to severe nutritional deficiencies and even death.

Strict macrobiotic diets that include no animal products may result in nutritional deficiencies.

Macrobiotic diets may be worse for people with cancer, who may have to contend with unwanted weight loss and often have increased nutritional and caloric requirements.

Children may also be particularly prone to nutritional deficiencies resulting from such diet.

Macrobiotic diets have not been tested in women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, but some may not include enough of certain nutrients for normal fetal growth.

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