Madonna follows a macrobiotic diet. Should you?
Last week, Bloomberg.com ran an article on the superstar: Madonna’s Secret for Longevity Seen Aiding Bacteria Boom.
The article covers what Madonna’s chef prepares for her daily–fermented soybeans, millet, brown rice and seaweed–and discusses why ingesting “healthy” bacteria is good for our health.
One of my patients emailed me the article asking, “Should I be eating macrobiotic like Madonna? She’s strong and healthy and has an amazing body…”
It’s a great question to ponder as Madonna is definitely in amazing shape.
Is it because her diet contains no added sugar, no meat and no dairy? Maybe.
However, I’d also assume that her daily workouts with her personal trainer and her intense concert touring schedule keep her pretty fit.
But is macrobiotic the way to go?
I’m personally not a huge fan of the heavy soy content of the macrobiotic diet nor am I a proponent of avoiding animal products. Some macrobiotic followers do eat fish–but the diet prohibits meat, eggs, poultry and dairy. And, from an optimal health prospective, that recommendation doesn’t resonate with me.
Overall the macrobiotic diet consists of:
50-60% whole grains
10% beans and cooked bean products like tofu, natto and tempeh
Some fruit, nuts and seeds.
In my research and clinical experience this diet doesn’t offer nearly as much protein or fat as we need to function. And, there are just too many grains. Although I do love my patients to eat fermented foods and seaweed and to avoid processed foods– I’m not a proponent of the macrobiotic ways.
If you are Madonna and your chef is preparing homemade tofu (that is slow-cooked the traditional way and not overly processed), fermented veggies and prepares food daily based on how you’re feeling then I can see this diet being somewhat beneficial. However the typical person following a macrobiotic diet doesn’t have the time nor the resources to prepare macrobiotic meals in the way they need to be prepared for optimal nutrient absorption. And, ultimately these people will wind up being b12 deficient and running on “empty” because they are not eating enough protein or fat.
I am all for people avoiding processed, packaged, sugary toxic foods–but I also adamantly believe that eating organic grass-fed meat, eggs and dairy is pertinent to achieving optimal health. As well, eating too many grains is not a good idea as they are inflammatory and often (especially in the US) from genetically modified sources.
At the end of the day–your “diet” should feel right for you and for your body. Fads are fads. What sticks are lifestyle choices that make you feel good and keep you healthy.
Tune in to my “meet and tweet” this Sunday at 730 pm on twitter where I’ll be talking about why I am NOT a vegetarian. Follow #aimeeraupp to join in on the conversation. Until then…