(PI) Pros and cons of a macrobiotic diet
- [Manila Bulletin]
Is a macrobiotic diet the same as a vegetarian diet? If not, how do
they differ? What are the benefits and disadvantages, if there are
any, of a macrobiotic diet? - Stella M., Manila
A macrobiotic diet is not synonymous with a vegetarian diet because
although plant products form the bulk of the macrobiotic diet, the
diet also allows for some animal products.
What are the benefits of a macrobiotic diet? Definitely, a macrobiotic
diet, because of its vegetarian and organic nature, has some pros,
health-wise. Plant products are healthier than animal products because
they do not contain cholesterol and saturated fats—substances that
predispose one to many diseases; their total fat content is lower than
in animal products; they have high fiber content; they contain lesser
additives, preservatives, and other unnatural chemicals; and they do
not transmit animal-borne diseases such as anthrax, bovine
encephalitis, tapeworms, and certain flatworms. Furthermore, the
organic nature of a macrobiotic diet ensures that chemical residues of
pesticides, herbicides, hormones, etc. that are used in conventional
farming do not accumulate within the body. However, the claim of some
adherents of the diet that numerous serious diseases including cancer
and AIDS can be prevented and cured by the diet are unsubstantiated by
controlled scientific research. A macrobiotic diet also has its
downside. The assortment of amino acids (the building blocks of
protein) in the macrobiotic diet is not as good as in animal meat.
Likewise, the diet is short on calcium, zinc, vitamin D, riboflavin,
and vitamin B12, which comes only from animal sources. It is also low
in iron, making the person susceptible to anemia.
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