The macrobiotic diet is based on the principle of Yin and Yang. By living in harmony with nature, the body can return to its natural state, called good health. The macrobiotic diet is generally recognized as a way of life.
Followers of the macrobiotic diet seek balance by eating a high percentage of grains and vegetables. Emphasis is also placed on seaweed and soy products. More importantly, since foods native to one’s own climate are said to help achieve "natural balance”, locally grown foods, preferably organic, are the norm. Animal fat, dairy, eggs, refined sugars, honey, molasses, vanilla, coffee, and chocolate are eliminated from the diet. Fish and seafood are occasionally consumed. Followers of the macrobiotic diet may prefer not to use animal based supplements, as in the case of Vitamin D3. The diet can become more restrictive over time. Supporters of the macrobiotic diet and many health professionals recommend a mix of raw and cooked food because cooking can, for example, destroy vitamin C but help with the absorption of carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lycopene in tomatoes, and other nutrients.
While some find the diet restrictive and assert that eggs, honey, chocolate, vanilla, and molasses offer health benefits, few disagree that a diet that includes high grain, fruit, and vegetable consumption and promotes a reduction in the consumption of saturated and trans fats is a healthy one. Some supporters suggest that this diet is promising in the treatment of cancer and aids.
There is agreement in the health community that a high fibre, low saturated and trans fats diet can help lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart diseases. Some health professionals have expressed concern about those who follow a strict macrobiotic diet because they may consume too few calories and may not be meeting the minimum daily requirements of calcium, zinc, iron, B vitamins, vitamin D, and possibly other nutrients, all of which are needed to maintain good health.
Those who follow, or would like to follow, the macrobiotic diet, especially children, pregnant, and breastfeeding women, may want to consult a health care provider to ensure that their efforts are not counterproductive. There are health care providers who consider a non-restrictive macrobiotic diet to be a step in the right direction.
Summer is fresh fruit and vegetable season in Montreal. Local markets in and around the city sell locally grown, fresh, and possibly organic foods that everyone, whether a macrobiotics, raw foods, vegetarian, vegan, or other diet follower, can enjoy,