As of 2015, not much specific research has been conducted into the overall health benefits of a macrobiotic diet, but there are a few obvious benefits and several potential drawbacks; for one, the macrobiotic diet emphasizes eliminating processed foods and eating a lot of whole grains and vegetables, but overall, it is a highly restrictive diet that may not be realistically sustainable for most healthy adults. The diet doesn't have specific guidelines, but in general, it requires that its followers avoid any meat other than seafood and focus heavily on eating whole grains. Strict adherence to a macrobiotic diet without any supplemental nutrition such as vitamins can even lead to malnutrition.
In addition to being potentially dangerous in how restrictive it can be, the macrobiotic diet may not be feasible for all people to follow, particularly those who do not have access to a wide variety of unprocessed grains, fruits and vegetables. One of the earliest versions of the macrobiotic diet was highly unrealistic, requiring that its followers eat nothing but brown rice and drink nothing but water. This put many followers at risk for malnutrition and eventual death from starvation. More modern versions of the diet are more inclusive than this, allowing the occasional consumption of seafood and the intake of protein in the form of nuts and seeds.