There are many diets to consider when looking to change your eating habits, lifestyle, health, and weight.
George Ohsawa, who advocated that there are positive health benefits associated with a simple lifestyle, developed the microbiotic diet. The diet consisted of ten restrictive steps that required the dieter to exercise a high degree of self-control.
For example, the final stage of microbiotic nutrition involves the dieter consuming only brown rice and water. Diet planners no longer recommend this first version of the microbiotic diet due to its over-restriction nature.
Microbiotic nutrition appeals to some because it not only focuses on a dieter’s physical well-being, but also addresses the spiritual and planetary aspects of health.
The microbiotic diet is low in fat and high in fiber. Vegetarians could easily follow this diet as the diet emphasizes vegetables and whole grains.
The microbiotic diet requires small amounts of sugar, dairy and meat.
Soy products are also a regular part of the diet because they contain phytoestrogens, which are believed to have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels, menopause, and some cancers. For this reason, patients suffering from cancer or other chronic diseases have followed this strict scheme.
The phytoestrogens may also prove beneficial in preventing estrogen-related cancers such as breast cancer. It is important not to confuse this healthy way of eating with a cure for serious ailments and diseases.
On the microbiotic diet, 50-60% of each meal consists of whole grains, including brown rice, barley, millet, rye, corn and buckwheat. This diet allows for an occasional meal of oatmeal, pasta, noodles, bread, or baked goods.
1 to 2 bowls or cups of soup are needed per day. It is recommended that a dieter choose shoyu or miso that contains fermented soybeans.
Vegetables make up 25-30% of the daily food intake, with 1/3 of the vegetables should be eaten raw. Boiling, steaming, baking, or sautéing should prepare all other vegetable servings.
10% of the daily food intake should consist of cooked beans. Bean products such as tofu or tempeh can also be eaten.
The most common cooking oil used in meal preparation is dark sesame oil. Other oils to consider include light sesame oil, corn oil, and mustard seed oil.
Natural sea salt, shoyu, brown rice vinegar, grated ginger root, fermented pickles, toasted sesame seeds, and sliced scallions are some of the spices that can be used to add flavor to dishes.
When it comes to animal by-products during the microbiotic diet, small amounts of fish or seafood each week are acceptable.
Dieters should stay away from eggs, dairy, meat, and poultry.
When consuming fish or seafood, microbiotics should consume horseradish, wasabi, ginger or mustard to aid in the detoxification process against the effects of the seafood.
Other foods allowed during the microbiotic diet include moderate consumption of seeds or nuts, and desserts such as apples and kibble.
Dieters should not consume sugar, honey, molasses, chocolate or carob.
The diet allows fruit such as pears, peaches, apricots, grapes, berries and melons several times a week. Avoid tropical fruits like pineapples and mangoes.
Microbiotic nutrition can be tailored to each individual based on age, gender, health issues, and climatic and seasonal factors.
There are a few side effects associated with this diet. Certain nutrients are not absorbed into the body through this diet, such as protein, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, and calcium. This can affect a dieter by lowering their energy levels and lead to health complications.
Some nutritionists frown upon this diet, believing it is too restrictive.
Thanks to Stephen Todd