Questions about Macrobiotics
Can we have nutritionally balanced meals without using meat?
Contrary to modern western thought, we do not have to eat meat. Whatever nutritional value animal foods may provide is also readily available from a vegetarian diet, particular an Asian diet. One of the problems associated with eating meat is consuming an excess amount of animal fat. Animal fat can build up on artery walls making them fragile.
Although animal protein contains all the amino acids, a healthy body can manufacture what is contained in animal food. In addition a healthy body maintains intestinal bacteria which can manufacture the essential amino acids. Therefore, all the necessary amino acids can be made as long as intestinal bacteria are working. It is important that we consume dietary fiber and vegetable protein to feed the bacteria so our bodies can develop and grow. If one really has a craving for meat, he/she should eat only once or twice a month.
Do we need eggs?
Eggs are often mistaken as a complete nutritional food because they contain little water but plenty of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. A growing body needs protein, energy sources (fat and sugar), and supplemental nutrients (vitamins and minerals) which are considered well-balanced in eggs. A mature body needs energy sources, minerals and vitamins for balancing hormone and enzyme activities, and dietary fiber for healthy intestines.
What are lacking in eggs are dietary fiber, and the content of iron, magnesium, and zinc. Therefore, eggs do not include the complete nutrients that are necessary for mature bodies. Another problem with eggs is that they contain high amounts of protein and fat, which can be hard on the stomach. If one would like to include eggs in their diet, it is recommended that they be eaten occasionally.
Are dairy products necessary for our bodies?
As opposed to the modern western nutritional view, dairy products, if considered at all, should be considered more as a supplemental part of our diet as opposed to being an indispensable part of our daily diet. The one advantage that dairy food has is that it is easily digestible because they are fermented.
On the other hand, dairy products contain excessive amounts of fat and high molecular protein, and are easily over-eaten. High molecular protein can be hard on the stomach for the elderly and small children. Since the immune system is not fully developed in young children, it is possible for them to react negatively to dairy foods which can develop into allergies for certain foods. For elderly people who may have weakened digestive systems, dairy products may not be readily absorbed or discharged from the body and cause a problem for the intestines.
Contrary to popular belief, dairy products are not necessary for young people. Originally dairy products were fermented for preservation purposes. However the commercial dairy products today contain excessive artificial additives. These additives can have adverse effects possibly harming the intestines and suppressing the activity of intestinal bacteria. Also the protein composition is completely different from what is needed for a healthy human body. With today's modern diet already consisting of excessive fat, today's young generation will only increase their cholesterol and fat levels.
Can we eat fish?
Fish is considered supplemental, but what is important is how it's eaten. One of the basic rules of macrobiotics is to eat it whole. The fish should be small enough, so that the whole body can be eaten. All the living things are nutritionally balanced. Eating partial fish is the same as having an unbalanced diet. Compared with other animal products, fish has less fat and more minerals particularly calcium. Fish also contains unsaturated fatty acids which help cool the body and actually help in eliminating certain fats.
Animal foods have stronger energy to fasten, solidify, and warm the body than other foods. They also contain more sodium that is &Yang& in nature, and taking too many animal foods causes thickening blood to raise blood pressure and block arteries. In order to moderate the effects of animal food, &Yin& products such as seasoning, fruit, and nightshades that have loosening, dissolving, and cooling functions and the substance potassium, are used. However, the best diet should be based on grains that are neutral in nature and supplemented with vegetables and sea vegetables. The traditional Japanese meal with rice, vegetables, sea vegetables, and pickles is recognized worldwide as the best-balanced in &Yin& and &Yang.&