What Is the Macrobiotic Diet? A Holistic Health Coach Weighs In

It seems like there are always different terms, new tools, and up-and-coming ingredients to know about on the food front. And while all of it can be enticing—after all, who doesn't want to have a pantry worthy of Food 52—it can also be overwhelming. That's why we're particularly intrigued by the latest trend of macrobiotic diets. It sounds like some complicated meal plan, but really, its guidelines are straightforward. In fact, if you have been following other diets like Whole30, you probably already have a few components.

"Supporters of the macrobiotic diet believe that whole foods grown without pesticides contain energy," says Jessica Rosen, a certified holistic health coach and co-founder of Raw Generation. "That energy is transferred to our bodies when we eat it. Factors like where the food was grown and how it was handled affect the food's energy, which in turn affects us when we eat it."

A macrobiotic diet comes down to three rules, Rosen says. Followers eat in moderation, choose locally grown ingredients that are in season, and refrain from consuming meat. "The majority of this high-fiber diet consists of plant-based foods with the only animal-based foods coming from fish and shellfish," she continues. "The premise of this diet was derived from Zen Buddhism and aims to balance the 'yin' and 'yang' of foods to produce balance in the body. It consists of eating primarily vegetables, whole grains, beans, and small amounts of wild-caught fish, fruit, and nuts."

In order to make this diet as easy to understand as possible, here's what you should keep in mind.