Dr. Greger on Macrobiotic Diets

Whenever I’m speaking at events, people tell me these amazing stories about reinventing their health through evidence-based nutrition. Has healthy eating changed your life? Tell us your story here, and we may share it on our social media to help inspire others.

Speaking of inspiration – the team at NutritionFacts.org was blown away by your great feedback about our new shirts. If you ordered one, we’d love to see how you’re wearing it and spreading the healthy lifestyle message with everyone who sees you! Tag @nutrition_facts_org or use the hashtag #nutritionfactsorg on Instagram so we can see your pics.

New DVD covers macrobiotic diets, ginger, cheese, and more 

My new DVD is out today and is available as a streaming video so you can start watching it immediately. As you can see below, there’s a whole grab-bag of goodies, with new videos on cheese, coffee, ginger and macrobiotic diets. All of these videos will eventually be available for free online over the next few months, but if you don’t want to wait, you can watch them all streaming right now. You can also order it as a physical DVD on DrGreger.org or Amazon.

Here’s the full list of chapters from the new volume—a preview of what’s to come over the next few months on NutritionFacts.org:
  1. Aloe Vera for Psoriasis
  2. Dietary Supplements for Autism
  3. Urinary Tract Infections from Eating Chicken
  4. Bean Pastas and Lentil Sprouts
  5. Benefits of Blueberries for Mood and Mobility
  6. Does Adding Milk Block the Benefits of Coffee?
  7. Does Marijuana Cause Lung Cancer?
  8. Can Cannabis Cure Cancer?
  9. Best Food for Periodontal Disease and Gingivitis
  10. Pros and Cons of a Macrobiotic Diet
  11. Benefits of a Macrobiotic Diet for Diabetes
  12. Best Food for Late Pregnancy
  13. Best Food for Labor and Delivery
  14. Do Cell Phones Cause Salivary Gland Tumors?
  15. Benefits of Ginger for Obesity and Fatty Liver Disease
  16. Are There Risks to Energy Drinks?
  17. Are There Benefits of Energy Drinks?
  18. Are Acid Blocking Drugs Safe?
  19. The Best Diet for Upset Stomach
  20. Benzoyl Peroxide vs. Tea Tree Oil for Acne
  21. Can Saunas Detoxify Lead from the Body?
  22. Best Brain Foods: Berries and Nuts Put to the Test
  23. Best Brain Foods: Greens and Beets Put to the Test
  24. Is Cheese Really Bad for You?
  25. Is Cheese Healthy? Compared to What?
  26. How the Dairy Industry Designs Misleading Studies
Order my new DVD at DrGreger.org/collections/dvds, on Amazon, or as a video download/streaming at DrGreger.org/collections/downloads. And remember, if you watch the videos on NutritionFacts.org or YouTube, you can access captions in several different languages. To find yours, click on the settings wheel on the lower-right of the video and then “Subtitles/CC.” 
If you were a regular supporter, you’d already be an expert on all these new topics by now, having already received a link to the new DVD. New DVDs and downloads are released every nine weeks. If you’d like to automatically receive them before they’re even available to the public, please consider becoming a monthly donor.

Anyone signing up on the donation page to become a $25 monthly contributor will receive the next three downloads for free, and anyone signing up as a $50 monthly contributor will get a whole year’s worth of new DVDs (as physical DVDs, downloads, streaming, your choice). If you signed up for physical copies, your copy is already on its way to you. If you do not have it by August 26, please email DVDhelp@NutritionFacts.org and we’ll make everything all better.

Calling all Hindi Translators

We are looking for volunteers with experience in English-Hindi translation as we bring the latest research on evidence-based nutrition to more people in India! We are also taking applications for more Hebrew and Mandarin translators. Apply today and help us spread the word.



Now on Apple News

There’s now one more place you can find life-changing content—right on your iPhone. I’m excited to announce that we’re now publishing blogs five days a week on Apple News. Just search for NutritionFacts.org, then tap the heart to follow and get the articles in your news feed.  



Live Q&A Sept 27

Every month now I do Q&As live from my treadmill, and the next one is Sept 27.
Facebook Live: At 12:00 p.m. ET go to our Facebook page to watch live and ask questions.
YouTube Live Stream: At 1:00 p.m. ET go here to watch live and ask even more questions! 

You can now find links to all of my past live YouTube and Facebook Q&As right here on NutritionFacts.org. If that’s not enough, remember I have an audio podcast to keep you company at http://nutritionfacts.org/audio.

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

21 responses to “Dr. Greger on Macrobiotic Diets

Comment Etiquette

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

  1. Took a look and dabble in macrobiotic diets years ago. Seemed to be ok but really held a bias for a Japanese historical diet.

    Was that a pretty good diet..probably. Problems arose when its founders started to edge into variances which were not nutritionally sound to clense or combat specific maladies. One or more died as result trying to live on just rice I think it was.

    Later on the founder died at a early age, his seventies. And a major mover in this, one who was stating things….. like one must never use electric for cooking as it presents with cancer risk,…came down with breast cancer and died from it. At also a pretty early age.

    They were staunch advocates of all types of seaweed. In retrospect, my personal take was some of the seaweeds are known now to be grossly contaminated with arsenic I think it is. Historically in Japan probably not, but now they are. Those contaminants may directly lead in overt overconsumption form to things like breast cancer.

    They started a organic food line however which was quite good and still remains.

    Overall I think with her death from breast cancer, that was the end of macrobiotics as any real alternative diet. Some however still adhere to it but it has little popularity. Most of the founders group, transplants from Japan, did not really live all that long, seventies usually to my recollection.
    It was really a complete lifestyle thing not just a diet. Some odd things were abstracted like potatoes I think it is. Any mushrooms and this and that. Mainly with a stated reason but as I take it, as historical Japan did not have them in diet.
    One of the founders got sick on potatoes poorly cooked at a boarding school after the war.
    So it seemed a bit nationalistic.

    1. Zen Buddhism is another transplant from Japan after the war whose rise and fall in popularity roughly parallels this. Zen declined when one of the major founders in America was implicated in sex scandals.
      Still around but just not so popular when once it was.

      A major place, very popular a decade plus now ago, here in NM had the same problem with its leader involved in a sex scandal.
      It also came to light some of the variants of zen, their major movers, were implicated in support of the war regime. So that caused a decline as well. The government would only allow government approved buddhist places to exist so the major ones were in approval of the government and its actions. Though the disapproved and minority ones did not.

      So the rise and fall of both coincide a bit for differing reasons however. Both seem to have a nationalistic trend within them however.

      1. To explain it a bit. The war, the rationalization for the heinous things the Japanese did to other nations around that time period, particularly the Koreans and Chinese, were in ideology framed around the contention Japanese were superior to others particularly their other Asian brethren such as the Chinese.

        They were considered subhuman in a way to Japanese. The religions allowed by government were made to reflect that. And this macrobiotic thing was really a celebration of the historical Japanese diet as superior. The people in it were very nice and well thought but the underpinnings of it may not be that.
        I take it as a unconscious psychologically based response to Japanese defeat and subjugation by others but that is only a personal opinion.

        In effect it failed completely by my read.

        1. To be clear macrobiotics arose after the war. I take it as a psychological means or response to that event.
          It is quite a thing of psychological affront to have oneself, ones government, ones nation, quite thought superior to all others….. completely defeated and devastated to the extend of foods having to be supplied by their conquerors as the place had been so disrupted.

          So it was thought those type foods so supplied were not good ones…hence with time macrobiotics, Japanese dietary preference in a specific type diet. By my read.

          1. Ron,

            That is really interesting.

            I have heard the word Macrobiotic all of my life, but literally only associated it with seaweed and not being able to eat Nightshades.

            I genuinely think I didn’t become Vegan earlier because Macrobiotic and raw were my only associations of what it was.

            Raw seaweed is something I tasted enough of when body surfing as a young person. I don’t mind it in Miso Soup, but don’t have it often, because of the whole stupid stomach cancer thing.

            1. You are fascinatingly good at giving brushstrokes to culture, but this was my favorite, because it links back to the topic and gives emotional motivation and mental motivation.

              You just made macrobiotics psychologically interesting.

              I watched Master Chef the other night and one of their baskets was to make a meal out of the food people throw away and one man had a father who are food out of dumpsters when he was young and he connected to the food basket of things people throw away at such a powerful level.

  2. It is always exciting to see the new translations and you have a blog 5 days per week on Apple news!

    Dr. Greger, you have a very hard working team and it is inspiring to see the evidence!

    Very exciting that you are getting the word out!

  3. I say it, but it isn’t a line.

    I look at Hindi, Hebrew, and Mandarin and already feel overwhelmed by the potential number of lives, which might be saved.

    I genuinely envy you that you have found this way to genuinely prevent suffering and pain around the whole world.

    1. And by envy, I am not meaning that I am actually jealous.

      I am standing up and applauding wildly.

      Hooray for saving lives!!!

  4. Perhaps Dr G and the team could consider doing ome videos on the effect of air, water and noise pollution on human health and longevity. Since we ingest pollution via the air we breathe and the water we drink, it is a subject that is at the very least nutrition-related. The site has also discussed polluition issues before

    ‘Most air pollution-related deaths are from non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In terms of global disease burden, air pollution is the cause of over one-third of deaths from stroke, lung cancer, and chronic respiratory disease, and one-quarter of deaths from ischaemic heart disease.’


      1. Tom,

        Those are cool topics.

        The concept that noise is related to things such as: “cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbance, tinnitus, and annoyance”

        Sleep disturbance should make it related probably to Cancer and Car Accidents. Annoyance might relate it to murder.

        When I was in College, they allowed kegs in the dorm and there were big parties I think starting Wednesday nights through Sunday morning. I started driving home every weekend and I would literally not remember the drive at all and would literally crawl up the stairs to my bedroom and sleep from Friday night until Sunday night. My mother was so worried that it happened every weekend. I was not faking total exhaustion from noise pollution.

        I am so lucky that I didn’t get killed on those drives.

        1. When I lived in California, I was sleep deprived from shootings and helicopters. USC was not in such a great area. Those shootings happened nearly every night.

          When the Rodney King thing happened, you could watch the buildings on fire on television and smell the smoke. I remember wealthy students were beaten up and I remember a black man asked me if I could walk him into a store because he was afraid of being shot.

          It is going to turn out that I have been sleep-deprived for decades.

          This is the worst though.

          1. Sorry that I could just bounce off all of your topics.

            I know that it is just loneliness right now.

            I have never had any time in my life when I didn’t have multiple best friends, plus some protective elderly relatives and I don’t have that now and I still can’t mentally process why, except that I know I don’t process information properly and I do things like interacting the same way in every setting.

            Ron, you have an internet persona. That is fascinating to me.

            I feel like I am the same in both places.

            Lurking around looking for people who genuinely care passionately about almost anything.

            Laughing, I talk too much even on the internet and even on a nutrition site. Silent noise pollution.

        2. I am laughing at myself, because I used literally twice in one sentence and that means it is a lie.

          The dorms did have kegs and loud music and I did drive home and feel like I couldn’t remember the ride and I did climb the stairs on all 4’s and sleep all weekend, but it was probably just parts of the year.

  5. Writing about Rodney King, I realized that I became a vegetarian in the middle of that time period.

    I only know, because there was a 24 hour diner which hadn’t closed ever or something like that and it was forced to close and that diner was the one I had my last meat meal.

    1. I, at one time, would try a new item never before tasted, each week, as a study of my personal diet.
      In the end I found I stayed really with what I was taught to like, by earlier childhood days. But did learn taste was arbitrary.

      Veganism was a secondary thing to that, but is really just based on personal moral view for me.
      I think I was vegetarian (I don’t think yet vegan)when I tried macrobiotics however, but a brand new one.
      Some may wonder why it pretty much dropped off the mass media landscape so suddenly and so completely. This to my personal opinion is the why to that.
      Take away the seaweed and probably the woman who led the charge on macrobiotics would have lived to a hundred. But she could not admit things had changed, places become polluted, and even in diet we can not return to the past…hence things like the necessity for B-12 supplementation.
      Though they admitted pollution and hence their organic line, apparently, that did not extend into seaweeds.

      But her dying did make me rethink the abhorence of all things electrical that group held as well.
      For quite a while I did not use microwaves, electric blankets, even electric ovens ranges and things of that sort, based a bit on their views on that.
      So I did a rethink. I am not overt in those things now, assuming reasonable precautions but at one time I would completely stay away from them.

      1. That is interesting Ron.

        Not using electric appliances makes life cheaper.

        Did you use gas or propane or cook over a fire?

        Or just eat things raw?

        One of my roommates in California was more of an outdoors person. He cooked campfires and grills more than anything. He won his grill on Wheel of Fortune, back when they gave prizes. Won the show and the car and all kinds of ridiculous prizes, like $400 worth of chocolate covered pretzels and a Gucci gift certificate worth that much, which for them gets you a t-shirt. Wondering if he still has the grill. Thinking he probably does. Someday, I have to send him a grilling video from Dr. Greger. But he ended up owning restaurants, which serve as many SAD foods as possible, after having a SAD movie he wrote get made.

        1. I believe at that time I was still living in a city and used Nat Gas.
          I did not use a microwave till much later. But I do think they are the most efficient of cooking methods as they cook the item not the surroundings. Some select things are not conducive to microwaves however.
          So I use regular electric on my range now but a lot of microwave as well.
          I favor them in the interest of global warming.

          My energy consumption electric runs about 35 USD a month for a entire house not a apt or condo or that. Part of that is more expensive as I specify to the utility to use renewable source for most or all of it. And I do use electric heat on occasion but mainly just in the bath in the mornings. So I guess the range does not use that much.

          Electric water heaters use way lots of energy. I use LPG for that.

          Me and three others a couple of days of the week on average…..can’t get much lower I think for a entire house.
          But just bought a more efficient refrigerator so I am trying.

          1. To explain a bit…in my belief structure one suffers karma, result from action and or thought or intention.

            Some can be relatively immune from immediate effect of karma, due to past lives influence. A Donald Rumsfeld may produce any amount of bad things, but live to a ripe old health age.
            If I do anything with bad intention I suffer. If I even envision some harm to others, per example, I typically immediately suffer physical injury, pull a muscle or something.

            If I did not pay attention to global warming and its negative effect and do things to stop it….as I live in a forest…. my house would certainly burn down in short order, due to global warming related drought in a forest fire,

            So also I must not eat meat dairy and such things. I will die as result of the suffering I cause. I was starting to wither and devolve when I did that. I can also not be willfully ignorant, to ignore the vast damages our government is occurring(though I can do nothing to stop them) or I will quickly become demented. I worked for eight years in a political thing to no effect, but it served purpose of this sort.

            So my karma is of the immediate sort. Most do not suffer this kind, I do. I don’t mind it makes it easy to make choices.

            Microwave or regular oven…clearly easy choice. The remote chance of harm from microwave…..what is that compared to global warming a real present thing?

            I can only think those who are to much concerned with that harm are completely self centered and will have result which will be in the end, bad. But like with Donald Rumsfeld….who knows, in the immediate. Me in the immediate..house burns down…what a bad thing ;(

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This