Just what is a macrobiotic diet? Can it coexist with a low carb lifestyle? Learn more about macrobiotic diets and what their features are.
Low carb diets are about minimizing starches and sugars in a daily diet. Macrobiotic diets are about eating up to 60% of your daily intake as grain. So that is a fairly large difference between the two.
If we go past that one major difference, there are many underlying similarities. Both ask the person to aim for fresh, healthy foods - avoiding items that are processed or modified. Both have a focus on healthy vegetables.
In a macrobiotic diet you are warned to be cautious about how much sugar you ingest, as well as coffee, alcohol, and salt. So all of those are similar to low carb diets.
In one area, the macrobiotic diet is like a "vegetarian low carb" diet. That is, macrobiotic diets tend to avoid all meats. You can have fish once or twice a week, and that's it. Certainly many people on this planet thrive on a vegetarian diet, so it's quite possible to eat in a nutritious, healthy way while not ingesting meat.
It's important to note, though, that eating a meat-free diet takes active attention to each day's nutrition. The human body needs proteins and other components to keep its daily body activities running smoothly. If you take the macrobiotic approach, you have the same challenges that a vegetarian or vegan does. You need to talk with a doctor and plan out your path.
There are also a few vegetables that macrobiotic practitioners are told to avoid. These are spinach, avocado, tomatoes, and eggplant. These are all foundation foods for both a low carb and a vegetarian / vegan diet. So it's challenging to take on a diet that is both avoiding meat and also avoiding some of these powerhouses of nutrition.
Again, the macrobiotic diet does get kudos. While they focus on grains, they do talk about whole grains and brown rice. They encourage high levels of broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and other healthy vegetables.
In the end, any major change of dietary intake should be discussed with a doctor and planned out. If you decide on going with a macrobiotic diet along with low carb, it can certainly work!