Macrobiotic Diet – Dietary Plan
Macrobiotics is used by its practitioners as a tool that allows one to learn to live within the natural order of life – living in harmony with nature, eating a simple, balanced diet, and living to an active old age.
Macrobiotic Diet – Advocates
Although the therapeutic benefits of the macrobiotic approach have not been studied extensively, proponents of the diet point to the results of a 1993 study involving patients with pancreatic cancer. In this study, 52 percent of those who followed a macrobiotic diet were still alive after one year, compared to only 10 percent of those who made no dietary changes.
In addition, the macrobiotic diet encompasses many of the dietary elements linked to a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease in other research. The diet is low in fat, high in fiber, and rich in cruciferous vegetables and soy products.
Macrobiotic Diet – Criticisms
Many nutrition experts disapprove of the limited number of foods allowed on the macrobiotic diet, but concede that a moderate approach to macrobiotics poses no real harm. However, strict macrobiotic diets can be deficient in calories, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, and iron. As a result, this type of diet is not suitable for children or for pregnant or lactating women without appropriate supplementation.
Macrobiotic Diet – Caution
Critics caution that claims that the macrobiotic diet can cure specific diseases-most notably cancer – are unsubstantiated. Until more conclusive research is available on the health benefits of the macrobiotic diet, individuals with serious medical conditions should continue to seek the support of qualified medical providers in conjunction with any dietary changes.