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Considering following the macrobiotic diet system? Be aware of the problems and challenges that researchers warn about the macrobiotic diet before you run into problems!

If you're considering following a more natural, holistic lifestyle, and are looking for a zen diet system to go along with it, you've likely discovered the macrobiotic diet. In several stages, this diet becomes progressively minimal, finally ending with the highest level, simply brown rice and water. Though the modern version of the macrobiotic diet is far more lenient and sophisticated, it appears to be equally as challenging to follow.

The basic tenants behind the macrobiotic diet is to improve quality of life through wellness by maintaining a perfect balance. The balance is as much a part of lifestyle- activities, stress, fun, enjoyment, family, etc, as it is about what we eat. Food is categorized into yin and yang, and many foods are not permitted because they are considered problematic, too toxic or too stimulative. 

Nutrient Deficiencies

This diet can become risky for many who jump into it because it means cutting off entire food groups. The diet mainly consists of whole grains and locally grown vegetables. Other naturally grown foods are also included, but it is almost entirely vegetarian. Nutrient deficiencies are common among people who are not taking the care to get all of the variety necessary in a healthy diet. Suddenly changing your diet completely makes it easy to miss things without realizing it right away.

Deficiencies can be problematic if left untreated for a long time. Normally, deficiencies are supplemented with vitamin and mineral supplements. Abnormally large dosages are used to boost the system, and bring levels back to normal while a person is recommended to consume more of the foods which contain the necessary nutrients. Unfortunately, supplements come in a pill form and are often synthetic, which goes against the macrobiotic diet.


Proteins are easy to miss on a vegetarian diet, since they are found in the greatest abundance in meat and animal products. Proteins are the building blocks of our body's connective tissue and muscles. They are required to help maintain and restore these structures. Dairy products and meats are not permitted on the macrobiotic diet, and they are both high in protein. Also high in good quality protein is fish, poultry and eggs. If a person decides to follow a more strict version of the macrobiotic diet, all of these foods are restricted, and proteins will have to be found elsewhere. 

Luckily, protein is not only available through animal products. Proteins are also found in many grains, including lentils and even rice. Different types of beans and beans also have enough protein to offer to support the muscles and bones. In addition, nuts yield a great amount of protein and healthy fats in small portions. Having a handful of your favorite local nuts can really have a great impact on your whole diet, and keep you within your daily protein needs.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • “Problems with the Macrobiotic Diet”. By Owen Pearson. Accessed January 2013. Retrieved from: