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Macrobiotic Diet Review - Does This Eating Plan Work? Are no helpful and gimmicky, shallow information deal breakers?

By Summer Banks | Published: 06/16/2016
Macrobiotic Diet Review

My love of diet plans is only bested by my passion for reviewing them J This time we took the Macrobiotic Diet into account, because it seems to be quite popular. We checked out the details, potential side effects and clinical support. We also read every testimonial and review we could get our hands on about books that explain the plan. Then, we condensed everything to give you the bottom line.

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What is the Macrobiotic Diet?

To start, the Macrobiotic Diet is an eating plan that’s focused on yin and yang. It talks strongly of grains with soy and vegetables. The details, in some cases, go so far as to suggest skipping certain types of cooking pans and utensils. Though weight-loss is one idea behind it, there’s also a connection with balance in your life.

From what we found, the most popular Macrobiotic Diet book was written by Michio and Aveline Kushi. It looks like it was first released in 1993. That could be a problem if the information is outdated. We like the focus on eating right and balancing your life, but read on…

No Helpful Information – “Really?”

First things first, we found more than a few reports that the Macrobiotic Diet information was not as helpful as desired. “When you want to follow a new eating plan you need to know everything so you know what to expect,” offered our Research Editor.

“It was not enough information about macrobiotics,” said a person of one book on the subject.

Another shared, “This is book is a complete waste of my money and time! It’s is more like a cult belief than a book on nutrition.”

Some enjoyed what they read and felt it was just enough.

As one put it, “A little difficult to read but full of good information.”

One more shared, “If only I could get everyone to read this book, who enjoys eating and being in good health!”

Nothing More Than a Gimmick?

Following along the same vein, there were also claims that the information that was provided, in some cases, was more of a gimmick than useful.

A reader who enjoyed how information was provided in one case said, “The use of charts, colors and pictures is suburb and draws the reader into the book making it easy to understand.”

Another shared the same general sentiment, “It covers the latest in scientific dietary theories so you are left with an understanding in how to incorporate these into your practice of macrobiotics.”

However, you have to look at both sides and over the fence there are people who felt the information was not what they needed.

“The writer uses a lot of gimmickry phrases which make things sound nearly religious. There are so many better and more precise books on the market covering the same field many with detailed receipts which are lacking here,” was one experience.

“I would say that this book is probably more enjoyable for someone who knows very little about Macrobiotic cooking. It is shallow on principles,” claimed another.

We’ve found it takes the smallest of things, like information that seems gimmicky, to stop any chance of long-term success. If the information on the Macrobiotic Diet is not up to par, the dieter will not have what they need to benefit.

The Science – “Clinical Proof It Works?”

There is some support for the Macrobiotic Diet, if only because it backs whole grains and vegetables. However, it was more of a fad back in the 1960s – so science isn’t exactly sold on the concept. At DietSpotlight, we want research to tell us to go ahead, but there’s really nothing here to write home about.

The Bottom Line – Does the Macrobiotic Diet Work?

Are we already reading the Kushi book? Well, we certainly like the focus on eating right and the book is affordable, but we have reservations about suggesting this type of eating plan. There are far too many complaints that the information is lacking and that could make it harder for the dieter to achieve results.

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About the Author: Summer Banks

Summer has researched over 5000 products in the past 10 years. She has years of nursing training, experience as a manager responsible for 15 supplement brands, and completed coursework on Food and Nutrition from Stanford University. full bio.

How Does Macrobiotic Diet Compare?

Previous Macrobiotic Diet Review (Updated January 5, 2009):

What You Should Know

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Macrobiotics is both a way of eating and a way of life. The term macrobiotic was first used by Hippocrates around 400 BC to relate to those with long healthy lives. The macrobiotic diet was brought to North America from Japan after the Second World War. The macrobiotic diet is based on whole foods, especially whole grains such as brown rice. Followers of the macrobiotic diet believe that the most powerful medicine we have is the food we eat and that if we eat whole, unprocessed foods, our bodies will be healthier and we will live longer.

Product Features

There are many different views on what can and cannot be eaten in a macrobiotic diet but a common combination is: 30% whole grains (especially brown rice), 40% vegetables, 10% legumes and beans, and the rest gently processed foods, like seafood and fish, and seasonings and beverages. The macrobiotic diet does not believe that animal flesh is healthy and does not include it in its guidelines. Certain vegetables are also avoided as much as possible, especially those from the nightshade family, like tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes and peppers.

The macrobiotic diet also concentrates on the time of year the food is being cooked. Lighter foods are cooked in the spring and summer and more hearty fare is prepared in the fall and winter.

The philosophy surrounding the macrobiotic diet is complex but revolves around the concept of yin and yang, the interdependence of opposing forces in the natural world. If yin and yang become out of balance with each other, the environment, or in this case, the body will suffer and become diseased.

Most health professionals agree that the basic food rules of the macrobiotic diet are sound as almost all healthy eating regimens recommend fresh whole foods. The avoidance of certain vegetables appears to be more of the philosophy of the diet rather than health-related. Tomatoes contain lycopene, an important antioxidant and cancer fighting substance. Peppers contain Vitamin C and other important vitamins. Removing these foods from your diet require some planning as to how to get the nutrients from another source.

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Advantages

  • Diet rules are balanced and healthy.
  • The Japanese are one of the most long lived populations and they have lived on the macrobiotic diet for centuries.
  • The macrobiotic diet is low in processed foods, saturated fats, and red meat which are all considered to be contrary to long-term health.

Disadvantages

  • Requires training to understand the reasons behind the food choices and how to keep them in balance.
  • Can be confusing to those who are new to conscious eating.

Conclusion

The macrobiotic diet is even more popular today than it was mid-century when it first came to North America. Doctors and scientists continue to discover the benefits of whole grains and unprocessed foods and the macrobiotic diet fits the bill. Although you should always check with your doctor before making a radical change in your eating habits, the macrobiotic diet appears to be based on both ancient and modern wisdom.

4 User Reviews About Macrobiotic Diet

Leave comments below
  • 1
    Charlie Donalson

    I was introduced to Marcobiotics in College in 1971. Jane Randolph has just Spent 6 months learning From Ilim Ashawa, Geroge Oshsawa wife. He wrote the First English Tranlation of MB, and Also met Michio Kuskhi who came to Tulsa for a Lecture. Ever since then, when I read anything About Health&Diet, I just confirms what I learned about 40 years ago.

    [Reply]

  • 2
    shirleydarouse

    my son has liver cancer where can I get a copy of the macrobiotic diet? He lives in Honolulu.

    [Reply]

    Lilian

    You can get macrobiotic cooking books from Add-All (used and new books) on the internet. I have bought a number of books from this source. Hope this helps. If you would like any specific advice I will be happy to help you.

    [Reply]

  • 3
    Ross

    Can I find ingredients at most “common” grocery stores – being on a limited budget, it gets too expensive to have to rely on “specialty” organic stores.

    [Reply]

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