What Are the Food Guidelines for the Macrobiotic Diet?

What Are the Food Guidelines for the Macrobiotic Diet?

The guidelines for a macrobiotic diet emphasize eating large amounts of whole grain foods and moderate quantities of vegetables and bean products. There are restricted foods on this diet, such as alcohol, meat, animal fat, fruit juices, sodas, processed foods, eggs, dairy products and poultry, as noted by WebMD.

While on the macrobiotic diet, nearly 40 to 60 percent of the daily intake of food must be whole grains that are organic and locally grown. Whole grains recommended are brown rice, corn, millet and barley, notes the Kushi Institute. Grains can be cooked in a variety of ways. Between 20 to 30 percent of food eaten daily should be vegetables, such as kale, cabbage, mustard greens, turnips or winter squash. Some vegetables to avoid are tomatoes, eggplant and asparagus.

The portion of beans and sea vegetables should be about 5 to 10 percent. Bean products include chickpeas, lentils, soy, tofu and miso, while sea vegetables include dulse and nori. Permissible beverages are grain-based teas and spring water. Soup made with vegetables and whole grains is also allowed. Refined sugar is prohibited, but an alternative can be rice syrup.

Foods to eat only a few times a week include fish, fresh fruits and nuts. Cooking oils should be vegetable-based.

The macrobiotic philosophy, which was developed in Japan, is based on yin-yang principles. The macrobiotic lifestyle places an emphasize on a balanced diet to achieve health and well-being, as noted by Vanderbilt University.