The Macrobiotic diet is a favourite of celebrities such as Madonna and Katrina Kaif, and involves eating plenty of natural and raw foods.

Developed in the far east, the macrobiotic diet caught on in the US during the 1960’s, as a food movement. The oriental philosophy behind the macrobiotic diet is familiar to many Indians. In particular, the underlying belief is that every living thing has a life force (‘qui’ or ‘prana’) that is split into ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ energies.

On this basis, some foods are considered yin (melon, cucumber, broccoli, etc), and some yang (chillies, coffee, onions). To work, the balance of yin and yang must be perfect for good health.

But is the macrobiotic diet really good for you? Experts say no, since the complete elimination of dairy and animal products might lead to nutritional deficiencies. Exercise caution and moderation in your approach to this diet.

Seasonal, fresh produce forms the basis 

The emphasis is on simple eating, sourcing food locally, and seasonal foods. Whole grains, sprouted seeds and vegetables, seaweed are the main foods. At the same time you must avoid processed and genetically modified food, and animal products and alcohol.

There are also specific cooking techniques like water-less cooking, fermentation, sauteing, boiling and blanching that you must adhere to.

5 Easy to follow principles

#1 Go for fruit and vegetables and eat only seasonal produce.

#2 Stay away from processed foods, artificial sweeteners, soft drinks, packaged meats, cakes and breads.

#3 Say no to meat and dairy.

#4 Steam, boil or sauté food as these involve an upward energy style of cooking instead of over-cooking that occurs in a pressure cooker.

#5 Set fixed meal times and sit down to eat and introduce variety in your meals.

Diet Plan
Whole grains, especially brown rice: 50-60%
Vegetables: 25-30%
Beans: 5-10%
Fish, nuts, seeds, miso soup: 5-20%
Soup made with above ingredients: 1-2 cups a day