A diet which relies mainly on whole grains and vegetables, thought by some to lengthen life and promote mental and physical well-being. Proponents of this diet say that it can prevent and cure disease, including cancer (there is no scientific evidence to prove that a macrobiotic diet can cure or treat cancer).
This diet consists largely of whole grains, cereals, and vegetables, so those who follow it may experience the health benefits associated with eating low-fat, high-fiber foods. However, if not properly planned, macrobiotic diets can lead to poor nutrition. The macrobiotic diet is strictly not recommended for pregnant women or children and may not provide sufficient protein and nutrients for others. Some older, more restrictive versions of the macrobiotic diet (such as consumption of only whole grains and water) can actually be unsafe and are no longer recommended by macrobiotic counselors.
The macrobiotic philosophy and diet were first described by the Japanese philosopher George Ohsawa, who began teaching his philosophies of health and dieting in the 1930s. The philosophy of macrobiotics was brought to the US in the 1960s, and interest in the diet increased in the 1980s following a book written by physician Anthony Sattilaro.