A balanced diet according to traditional Chinese medicine must involve the eating of the five main flavours Pungent, Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Salty foods. So for those of us who study and practice any of the Li Family Arts (Li Jia Shu) and also abide by the Chinese Macrobiotic Diet that was passed onto us by Master Chee Soo. Which he termed (Chang Ming Yin Shi) or the Long Life Diet, then it is important that the meals that we make should involve the main Five Flavours (Wu Zi Wei), this is what we call in traditional Chinese medicine has a balanced diet. Whereas in the west a balanced diet is meat and two vegetables.
Each of the Five Flavours (Wu Zi Wei) or tastes that we eat corresponds to the functioning of Yin & Yang energies within our internal organs (Zangfu) to allow us to remain in good health. The Pungent (acrid) flavour is beneficial for the Lungs and Large Intestines, A Sweet flavour effects our Stomach and Spleen, The Sour flavour effects our Liver and Gall Bladder, and the Bitter flavours effects our Heart and Small Intestines, whereas the Salty flavours effects our Kidneys and Bladder.
In the west there is a great awareness of people becoming more over weight and suffering with obesity. This can be to a lack of regular exercise and the eating of a poor diets, which are sweet and high in calories. Whereas, in traditional Chinese medicine the sweet foods that many people eat and help put more weight on is mainly down to the fact that sweet foods taste better and the individual feels better in themselves when they consume sweet food. In traditional Chinese medicine the consumption of eating Sweet Foods will effect the energies of the Stomach and Spleen which are in charge of our digestive system, and if you are a certain individual who has a weak digestive system then the large consumption of sweet foods will obviously boost and strengthen the individual digestive system, which in turn can allow the energy of the Stomach and Spleen to become to excessive, which can then weaken the Heart and Small Intestine. To many people eat sweet foods mainly to please their Stomach and Spleen and do not balance the different flavours in their meals to benefit the functions of the other internal organs.
A balanced diet should involve Pungent, Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Salty foods, not just an over consumption of one particular flavour like Sweetness. Which can lead to individuals becoming more over weight and leading towards health issues like Obesity and Diabetes. The eating of the Long Life Diet (Chang Ming Yin Shi) should be about maintaining the balance of our Yin & Yang Energies in the functioning of our internal organs to help us remain in good health.