The macrobiotic diet is plant-based and incorporates different lifestyle practices to embody holistic wellness for the mind, body, and soul. The macrobiotic diet has a long history, which has since adapted to be less restrictive and more mindfulness-based. Several people wonder, “what are the side effects of the macrobiotic diet?” At SHI, these worries must be addressed.
Why is There Confusion with the Macrobiotic Diet?
George Ohsawa, the father of macrobiotics, promoted a plant-based diet and a healthy lifestyle to prevent disease, prolong life, and awaken spirituality. However, his initial idea of the macrobiotic diet was impractical. It was too restrictive and oversimplified, making it difficult for individuals to adjust to and adhere to for long periods.
The macrobiotic diet has evolved and changed over time; the first version of the macrobiotic diet is very different from today’s diet. When individuals attempt to research the macrobiotic diet and its side effects, the top articles are outdated and articulate false information. Rather than focusing on the modern macrobiotic diet with significantly fewer side effects, they inform individuals about George Ohsawa’s obsolete restrictive practices that are not used today. The modern macrobiotic diet still utilizes Ohsawa’s three principles but has been adjusted for a healthier, accessible lifestyle.
In addition, other confusions with the macrobiotic diet arise from misinformation on the internet. For instance, Wikipedia defines macrobiotics exclusively as a Buddhist diet and lifestyle – this is not true! The macrobiotic diet is based on common foods, traditions, and practices from around the world to further life longevity.
Though modern macrobiotics have diverted from being restrictive, they still fulfill Ohsawa’s three original foundations: preventing disease, prolonging life, and awakening spirituality. SHI’s Director and Executive Director, Susan and Denny Waxman, have introduced a new approach centered on strengthening one’s health and increasing positivity. This rendition is more straightforward and relaxed. With more refined principles, modern macrobiotics allows individuals to add nutrients and foods, rather than take them away, in efforts for a healthier life.
Common Misunderstandings About the Macrobiotic Diet
“Will the macrobiotic diet cause nutrient deficiency?”
This is a big concern for several people when they begin the macrobiotic diet, as transitioning to something new may be intimidating at first. We receive many questions about if the macrobiotic diet is nutrient deficient and its potential side effects.
Since macrobiotics is plant-based, many people have the impression that it would be deficient in protein, iron, calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. This is not the case. Individuals will not lack in their nutrients as long as they eat a wide variety of vegetables and grains.
Contrary to public belief, the best quality of nutrition comes from plant-based foods instead of supplements and animal products. By incorporating an assortment of foods into the diet to appropriately nourish one’s body, people can reap the same benefits, if not more. For instance, eating the right vegetables or beans could provide you with more calcium than that of a cup of milk.
“Is the macrobiotic diet too unrealistic and extreme in its limitations?”
This question arises due to the lack of accessibility to accurate educational resources about macrobiotics. The modern macrobiotic diet is not unrealistic nor extreme and has minimal to no side effects.
At SHI, we focus on an open and positive approach. Diets cannot be limiting or restrictive and must contribute to your life; otherwise, they would not work. We recommend that clients slowly implement healthy meals and practices to gain comfortability. With this technique, people grow a desire and understanding for macrobiotics, making it easier to commit to and view as a benefit.
“Is the macrobiotic diet high in salt?”
Salt is typically considered an enemy. However, we all need salt in our diet to stay healthy. The macrobiotic approach to salt consumption is using high-quality sea salt, as opposed to refined table salt. Sea salt is good for our immune system and blood, whereas refined salt possesses fewer minerals and is prevalent in processed foods. Also, we suggest that people always add salt during the cooking process instead of adding it while they are eating. Adding salt during the cooking process makes it healthy and doesn’t raise your blood pressure.
A Holistic and Healthy Diet
The reality is that there are little to no side effects in a modern macrobiotic diet. Previous forms of the macrobiotic diet tend to be limiting, which could create other health problems. The strengthening health approach is far more effective and provides numerous health benefits.
There are a variety of opportunities to learn more about the macrobiotic diet. We offer individual consultations, webinars and courses to educate the public on what is best for the body. Contact SHI today.