Macronutrients and Dietary Recommendations
Whole Cereal Grains
The principal food of each meal is whole grains, comprising at least half the
total volume of the meal. Cooked whole grains are preferable to flour products, as they are more nutritionally complete. Whole cereal grains and whole grain products include
Short-grain brown rice
Medium grain brown rice
Barley, pearl barley
Sweet brown rice, mochi (pounded sweet brown rice)
Long-grain brown rice
Noodles (whole-wheat, udon, soba, somen, quinoa, rice, spelt)
Unyeasted whole-wheat or rye bread Cracked wheat, bulgur, couscous Steel-cut oats, rolled oats
Corn grits, corn meal, polenta
Amaranth Quinoa Rye flakes Spelt
One or two bowls of soup seasoned with miso or tamari soy sauce is recommended every day (approximately 5–10% of daily intake). The flavor should be mild; not too salty and not too bland. Prepare soups with a variety of ingredients, changing them daily. Include a variety of seasonal vegetables, seaweed (especially wakame or kombu) and occasionally add grains and/or beans. Daily soups can include genmai (brown rice) miso, hatcho (soybean) miso, mugi (barley) miso, or tamari soy sauce. Kome (rice), red, white, and yellow miso may be used on occasion.
One-quarter or more (25–30%) of daily meals include fresh vegetables prepared in a variety of ways, including steaming, boiling, baking, pressure, cooking or sauteing (with a small amount of sesame, corn, or other vegetable oil). In general, some smaller portion of vegetable intake may be eaten in the form of pickles or salad.
Commercial mayonnaise and dressings should be avoided.
Green and white leafy vegetables for regular use
Bok choy Carrot
Stem/root vegetables for regular use
Daikon (long white radish)
Jinenjo (mountain potato)
Ground vegetables for regular use Acorn squash
Vegetables for occasional use
Patty pan squash
Wax or yellow beans
A small portion (10%) of daily meals include cooked beans. The most suitable beans may include
Black turtle beans
Great northern beans
Whole dried peas
Bean and Wheat Products
A few times a week, the following foods may be added to vegetable dishes
or soups, as a substitute for bean dishes:
- Tempeh: a pressed soybean cake made from split soybeans, water, and a special enzyme
- Seitan: wheat gluten, prepared from whole-wheat flour
- Tofu: fresh soybean curd, made from soybeans and nigari (a natural sea salt coagulant); used in soups, vegetable dishes, and dressings
- Dried tofu: dried soybean curd used in soups and vegetable dishes
- Natto: whole cooked soybeans fermented with beneficial enzymes; served with whole grains
- Fu: dried, puffed, and baked wheat gluten or seitan used in soups or stews
These important foods are served in small quantities and comprise a few percent of daily intake. Sea vegetables are prepared in a variety of ways
— for example, in soups, with beans (kombu is especially recommended), or as side dishes. Sea vegetable dishes may be flavored with a moderate amount of tamari soy sauce and brown rice vinegar. Sea vegetables for regular use include
- Agar agar (for gelatin molds)
- Arame (as a side dish)
- Dulse (in soups, as a part of side dish, or condiment)
- Kombu (for soup stocks, as a side dish, or condiment)
- Hiziki (as a side dish)
- Irish moss (in soups or as aspic)
- Mekabu (as a side dish)
- Nori (as a garnish, condiment, or used for rice balls, etc.)
- Sea palm (as a side dish)
- Wakame (in soups, especially miso soup, as a side dish, or condiment)
Once or twice a week, a small amount of fresh white-meat fish or seafood may be eaten, if one’s condition allows. These varieties include
- Herring (fresh)
- Mahi mahi
- Red snapper
- Sea bass
- Tile fish
- Iriko (small dried fish)
- Chirimen Iriko (very tiny dried fish)
Roasted seeds and nuts, lightly salted with sea salt or seasoned with tamari, may be enjoyed as snacks. Roasted seeds are used occasionally, whereas roasted nuts are consumed much less often. It is preferable to minimize the use of nuts and nut butters, as they are high in fats and difficult to digest.
Occasional Pumpkin seeds Sesame seeds Sunflower seeds
Less often Almonds Peanuts Pecans Walnuts
Other snacks may include rice cakes, popcorn, puffed grains, roasted beans, and grains.
Desserts are best when sweetened with a high-quality sweetener, especially those made from grain, such as rice syrup, barley malt, and amasake, and may be enjoyed in small amounts. Dried fruit and fresh fruit may be eaten on occasion by those in good health. Fruit juice is not recommended as a regular beverage. Only locally grown fruits are recommended. Thus, if you live in a temperature zone, avoid tropical and semitropical fruit.
Sweets Sweet vegetables
- Apple juice or cider
- Barley malt Chestnuts
- Dried local fruit
- Rice syrup
Temperate- climate fruit
- Peaches Pears Plums
Please use spring or well water for teas. It is best to drink only when thirsty.
Recommended beverages may include
Bancha twig tea (kukicha) Bancha stem tea
Boiled water Roasted barley tea Roasted rice tea Spring or well water
- Dandelion tea
- Grain coffee
- Kombu tea
- Mu tea
- Umeboshi tea
- Barley green tea
- Local fruit juice
- Nachi green tea
- Sake Soymilk
- Vegetable juices
The following condiments are recommended for daily or special uses:
Tamari soy sauce: Use mostly in cooking. Please normally refrain from using tamari soy sauce on rice or vegetables at the table.
Sesame salt (gomashio): 10–20 parts roasted sesame seeds to 1 part roasted sea salt. Wash and dry roasted seeds. Grind
seeds together with sea salt in a small earthenware bowl called a suribachi, until about two-thirds of the seeds are crushed.
Roasted seaweed powder: Use either wakame, kombu, dulse, or kelp. Roast seaweed in the oven until nearly charred (approximately 350° for
5–10 minutes) and crush in a suribachi.
Sesame seaweed powder: 1–6 parts sesame seeds to 1 part seaweed [kombu wakame, nori, or ao-nori (green nori)]. Prepare as you would sesame salt.
Umeboshi plum: Plums that have been dried and pickled for over one year with sea salt are called ume (plum) boshi (dry) in Japanese.
Shiso leaves: Usually added to umeboshi plums to impart a reddish color and natural flavoring. Umeboshi stimulates the appetite and digestion and aids in maintaining an alkaline blood quality.
Shio (salt) kombu: Soak 1 cup of kombu until soft and cut into 2″ square pieces. Add to 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup tamari, bring to a boil and simmer until the liquid evaporates. Cool and put in a covered jar to keep. One to two pieces may be used on occasion as needed.
Nori condiment: Place dried nori or several sheets of fresh nori in approximately 1 cup of water and enough tamari soy sauce for a moderate salty taste. Simmer until most of the water cooks down to a thick paste.
Tekka: This condiment is made from 1 cup of minced burdock, lotus root, carrot, miso, sesame oil, and ginger flavor. It can be made at home or bought ready-made. Use sparingly due to its strong contracting nature.
Sauerkraut: Made from cabbage and sea salt, this can be eaten sparingly with a meal.
Other condiments for occasional use:
Takuan daikon pickle: A dried long pickle that can be taken in small amounts, with or after a meal.
Vinegar: Grain vinegar and umeboshi vinegar may be used moderately
Ginger: May be used occasionally in a small volume as a garnish or flavoring in vegetable dishes, soups, pickled vegetables, and especially in fish and seafood dishes
Horseradish or grated fresh daikon:
May be used occasionally as a garnish to aid digestion, especially served with fish and seafood.
Pickles: Made with rice bran, brine, or other naturally pickled vegetables may be used in small amounts with or after meals.
Oil and Seasoning in Cooking
For cooking oil, only high-quality, cold-pressed vegetable oil is recommended. Oil should be used in moderation for fried rice, fried noodles, and sauteing vegetables. Generally two to three times a week is reasonable. Occasionally, oil may be used for deep-frying grains, vegetables, fish, and seafood.
- Corn oil
- Dark sesame oil
- Mustard seed oil
- Sesame oil
- Safflower oil
- Sunflower oil
- Olive oil
- Commercially processed oils
- Peanut oil
- Soybean oil
Naturally processed, unrefined sea salt is preferable to other varieties. Miso (soy paste) and tamari soy sauce (both containing sea salt) may also be used as seasonings. Use only naturally processed, non-chemicalized varieties. In general, seasonings are used moderately.
- Ginger Miso Sauerkraut Tamari
- Tamari (shoyu) soy sauce
- Unrefined white or light grey sea salt
- Umeboshi plum
- Horseradish Mirin
- Rice or other grain vinegar
- Umeboshi vinegar
- Umeboshi paste
- All commercial seasonings
- All spices