The macrobiotic diet is an exclusive dietary regimen involving the consumption of grain as a fundamental food, augmented with other food groups such as vegetables. It entails avoiding eating excessively refined and processed foods. The use of animal products is also discouraged. This diet regimen advocates for a responsible manner of eating, in that food is supposed to be thoroughly chewed and overeating avoided. Macrobiotics has also been promoted as a way of life, this is because in addition to teaching good dietary behavior, it teaches its proponents to see the bigger picture, to view the ups and downs of life as opportunities to make them better human beings.
This diet appeals to health minded individuals inclined towards a more holistic spiritual and physical existence. It lays more emphasis on harmonizing yin and yang foods. This diet promotes foods such as organic vegetables, whole grains, fruit, nuts, a bit of fish, condiments, pickles and seeds. Whole grains such as barley, brown rice, oat, millet, rye and wheat should make up approximately 50 to 60 percent of an individual’s daily diet. Whole grains are promoted, however, bread made using refined flour can be eaten in moderation. Fresh vegetables make up 25 to 30 percent of the diet. Consumption of vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, turnips and mushrooms among others is encouraged. They can be casually steamed or alternatively sauteed with a small quantity of unrefined cooking oil. Sea vegetables (such as seaweed) and beans make up 5 to 10 percent of the diet.
Chickpeas, tofu and lentils are highly recommended. Sea vegetables like kombu, wakambe and hijiki are also encouraged. Soups and broths especially soups with soy bean paste, beans and vegetables are also recommended. A moderated servings of nuts, fresh fish and seeds are permitted. Drinking water should be purified. Yin foods like refined sugars, coffee, soda and spices and yang foods such as dairy products and eggs should be carefully balanced or avoided all together. All the food taken should be fresh and organically grown.
This diet promotes foods low in saturated fat while being high in phytoestrogens, which the diet proponents believe help to balance female hormones. In turn it is suggested this helps with the management of menopause and aids in preventing breast cancer.