good bad carbs

While many have praised the macrobiotic diet as a life saver, some have also expressed great concerns. Is it too restrictive? Is it too high in salt? Will I lose too much weight? That being the case, in this article, we will discuss and address all the common misconceptions about the macrobiotic diet. 

To learn how to incorporate macrobiotics into your life, schedule time with Denny now!

What is a Macrobiotic Diet?

The macrobiotic diet is plant-based, which includes an array of grains, beans, vegetables, seeds, nuts, fruits and fermented foods that promote a long, healthy and active lifestyle. Many people who have followed a macrobiotic diet plan have been able to heal their body and maintain lasting health. All in all, when you consume a plant-based diet with a positive attitude, you feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. 

Why Is There Confusion About the Macrobiotic Diet?

George Ohsawa, the father of modern macrobiotics, travelled the world to teach and promote this plant-based diet and lifestyle to help prevent disease, prolong life and awaken spirituality. However, his ideal diet, based heavily on grains, seemed too restrictive for many people. The macrobiotic diet that we practice and recommend has greatly evolved over the years. 

Modern macrobiotics still uses the principles developed by George Oshawa, but has adapted to make it an easier and more open diet and lifestyle. This allows for a more approachable, manageable and even more effective practice for long-term health. 

Other confusions about a macrobiotic diet come from the internet. Wikipedia and other health articles define macrobiotics as a “fad Japanese diet.” This is not true! Macrobiotics has a long history and is based on the practices and lifestyles of the world’s long-standing civilizations, including Japan. It also draws from the rest of Asia, India, Europe, the Middle-East and Africa. That being said, macrobiotics is actually an international diet and lifestyle that is consistent with the latest scientific and medical discoveries.

Misconceptions About Macrobiotic Diet

There is still a lot of misunderstanding out there about macrobiotics. So let’s take a look at some of the top concerns:

Too Restrictive 

Too many restrictions and people often give up. Additionally, no one can be satisfied if they feel they can’t enjoy certain foods. That is why SHI Macrobiotics is based on adding healthy foods and lifestyle practices. The foods include not only grains, but beans, vegetables, soups, naturally pickled and fermented foods, seaweeds, fruits, nuts, seeds, and organic, Non-GMO soy products. 

The SHI, approach of slowly adding healthy, macrobiotic meals into your life helps you feel positive about the experience and continue on a macrobiotic path.

High in Salt 

Salt is often blamed for several health conditions, such as heart-related diseases, high blood pressure and hypertension. However, in macrobiotics there is no hidden salt as in commercial processed foods. We can easily adjust the amount of sea salt, miso or soy sauce in cooking. This makes it easy to satisfy your needs and desires. Macrobiotics also encourages swapping refined salt for unrefined white sea salt and decreasing intake of processed foods. Sea salt has a wide variety of healthy trace minerals that support health. Moreover, we recommend adding salt during cooking, not at the table. This allows the salt to be absorbed smoothly, while also bringing out its beneficial aspects. 

It’s also important to realize that any diet becomes unhealthy if you overindulge. For instance, miso soup, which is a long-time staple of the macrobiotic diet, can be high in salt. It is vital to use a small amount of miso in the soup so it is tasty, but not salty. Miso soup promotes optimal health, stronger immunity and improves circulation. 

Lose Too Much Weight

When macrobiotics is practiced properly, it will bring you to an ideal weight. This is accomplished by including healthy, complex carbs (whole grains, beans and starchy vegetables) into one’s diet. Complex carbs are the most filling and satisfying foods. 

Too Difficult

Many believe a macrobiotic diet is about sticking to a few basic foods and eating the same meals over and over. However, macrobiotics encourages people to be adventurous with meals and cuisines. Try new things. That is how you continue to be satisfied, excited and happy. 

Nutrient Deficiencies

It is often believed that a plant-based diet lacks nutrients, such as calcium, protein and potassium. However, plant-based foods truly provide the best and highest quality nutrients compared to animal foods, milk or dairy products. Overall, if you eat a variety of vegetables, beans and whole grains, you will be strong, vibrant and healthy.


Again, this is another big misconception as the long-term benefits of a macrobiotic diet outweigh immediate costs. To start off, a macrobiotic diet involves cooking more meals at home, which will eventually cut the additional expenses incurred when you are getting takeout, or eating at a restaurant. Most importantly, you know the quality of the food you have cooked. Food that is prepared by a vendor, or restaurant, often will not be of the same quality. This may pose future health concerns, which means if you take care of yourself now, there will be fewer worries later, such as medical bills, hospital bills etc. 

Related: Can You Eat Eggs On A Macrobiotic Diet? 

Macrobiotic Counseling

A macrobiotic diet and lifestyle should be adjusted from person to person to get optimum results. That is why consulting a macrobiotic specialist is essential. With more than forty-five years of experience, Denny Waxman is an accredited macrobiotic counselor. Contact Denny Waxman to set up your macrobiotic consultation session today!

For more interesting articles about nutrition, macrobiotics, and living a healthy lifestyle, please visit Denny’s macrobiotic blog.