If you’ve heard of the blood type diet, you may be torn on if it’s right for you. We’re here to give you info. All you need to do is take control of your health and decide if the blood type diet is for you.
Diet. Fad. These two words go hand-in-hand. We’ve heard it all, from eating low-carb, to juicing, to shunning eggs entirely.
And if diet fads have taught us anything, it’s that dieting is not a one-size-fits-all hat. But, how about four sizes?
Naturopathic expert, Dr. D’Adamo has suggested that diets be divided into four groups, according to the ABO blood types: O, A, B, and AB.
According to Dr. D’Adamo, blood type not only determines what you should eat and how you should exercise but also has bearing on your personality and mood. The diet – almost science fiction in quality – became popular in 1997. That’s when Dr. D’Adamo published his book, Eat Right 4 Your Type. In it, it’s is claimed that eating certain foods and exercising certain ways – in accordance with your blood type – would help you lose weight and feel better.
Though Dr. D’Adamo’s theory lacks the support of nutritionists, celebrities such as Miranda Kerr and Demi Moore have endorsed the diet. Sitcom star Courtney Cox has also been a major advocate of the blood type diet.
Their amazing physiques have inspired masses of people to follow suit.
A Blood Type Diet & The Science
We all know that our blood quality is crucial to our well-being.
Problems with your blood can have a hefty impact on your health.
But how can your diet be linked so strongly to your blood type that it affects your weight and even your mood?
Supposedly, this is where lectins come in.
Lectins are a type of protein. This protein binds sugar molecules and can have negative effects on your gut lining. Dr. D’Adamo suggests that the type of sugars that get bound depend a lot on your blood type and the type of food that you consume.
Lectins, when combined with certain blood types, may lead to agglutination (clumping) of red blood cells. Although blood clotting is a necessary development to protect your body, agglutination can have damaging effects such as strokes, thrombosis, and coronary heart disease.
In reality, most agglutinating lectins are not blood type specific, but there are a few lectins that are prone to affect certain blood types more than others. The lectins of lima beans, for example, interact strongly with the cells of type-A blood.
The ABO Blood Types
Having lightly discussed the reasoning behind the blood type theory, this begs the question: What does this mean for each blood type?
Blood Type O Diet
Type O is the oldest blood type, likened by Dr. D’Adamo as being the caveman type – and for good reason. Of all the types, type O appears to be the most primal. An ancient adaptation with amazing defense antibodies, type O comes with some interesting pros and cons.
Type O people have the highest stomach acid levels. On one hand, this means that type O people digest animal proteins and fats more easily than any other type. Simple carbs, however, are more likely to be converted into fats and triglycerides. This puts people with type O at a higher risk for heart disease.
As an added concern, higher stomach acid levels may spell trouble in the form of peptic ulcers. People with type O have been shown to have an increased risk and incidence of peptic ulcers. As a result, this is something that should be taken into consideration when determining the best diet for a type O individual.
To avoid developing ulcers and control weight gain, Dr. D’Adamo suggests following certain dietary habits. Because these type O people digest animal proteins with ease, a diet high in these proteins is very beneficial. People with type O blood may have an allergic sensitivity to dairy, however, and weight gain for this type is often related to dietary gluten, which is found in wheat, legumes and a number of other foods.
The exercise regimen of a type O reflects the primal personality of their blood makeup. Type O people benefit from strenuous exercise. Those with this blood type may not only benefit in the sense of weight loss but also mood control, as type Os may be prone to worse tempers than people with other blood types.
For the sake of a well-balanced physical and mental lifestyle, it is recommended that these people take part in contact sports such as martial arts or aerobic sports such as running.
Blood Type A Diet
If type Os are intense cavemen, then type As are the modern, hurried business types. And, no, we aren’t talking about type A personalities, though you’ll see some vague similarities in between type A personality and type A blood.
Type A people have naturally high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. When type As come in contact with stress, they produce even more cortisol and have a harder time recovering than other blood types. Cortisol can really do a number on type As, who may experience brain fog, blood thickening and disrupted sleep.
To maintain balanced cortisol levels, people with this blood type should, first and foremost, establish a regular sleeping pattern. Avoiding sugar, caffeine, and alcohol can also help balance your cortisol levels.
People with this blood type have low stomach acid levels, so they will not digest food – especially meat – as fast as others. Because of this, it is advised that these people eat smaller, more frequent meals to aid digestion. The ideal type A diet is high in organic fruits and veggies, and low in meat.
Like type O people, type As have a recommended exercise regimen. While type Os should take part in rigorous physical activities, Dr. D’Adamo suggests that these actions may have adverse effects for type As.
This type of activity, like caffeine and irregular sleep, can cause cortisol imbalances. Instead, exercises such as yoga are advised. As well, type As should take time to meditate and practice breathing.
Blood Type B Diet
With a well-developed immune system that combats many degenerative diseases, type Bs may have won the blood type lottery. Those with this blood type have a flexible temperament and greater propensity to well-balanced health. But like the other types, type B does have certain disadvantages.
Although type Bs might be more naturally even-keeled than others, intense stress and cortisol levels may be very damaging to these people. When cortisol levels are too high, they may experience weight gain, hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar) and even a weakened immune system.
Foods high in trans fats are very high in cortisol. If you see hydrogenated oil on the ingredient list, beware. Vegetable and seed oils, fruit juices and chocolate may also impact cortisol levels. These people should avoid foods to which they have heightened sensitivity. Why? These will elevate cortisol levels as well.
It is also important for type Bs to avoid chicken. That’s the case as the agglutinating lectin found in chicken can spell strokes and immune disorders. Instead of chicken, Dr. D’Adamo suggests eating meats such as goat, rabbit, and venison. Type Bs should also eat eggs, low-fat dairy, and greens.
In theory, type Bs have great potential for mental, emotional and physical balance compared to other types. Just lay off the coffee pot.
AB Positive Blood Type Diet
This is a combo of types A and B. The makeup of type AB is complex, as are the dietary restrictions. Type AB blood comes with the best and the worst of types A and B.
For instance, type ABs have low levels of stomach acid. What does this mean? Food – especially meat – isn’t easily metabolized and is more likely to be stored as fat. It is suggested, to combat weight gain, that these people should eat frequent and small meals.
The type AB diet is ideally low in meat. Smoked and cured meats can be especially harmful to people with this blood type. However, type ABs will find fish very beneficial, and can enjoy dairy and green veggies. Tofu is also one of the leading dietary recommendations for this type.
If a person with this blood type were stressed, then they would do well to avoid caffeine and alcohol. And exercise is vital for people with this blood type. Alternating between aerobics, such as running, and relaxing exercises, such as yoga, can help ABs maintain a calm and healthy lifestyle.
Pro’s &Con’s Of The Blood Type Diet
Benefits of The Blood Type Diet
When it comes down to it, it’s never a bad thing to be careful of the way you treat your body. Say you’re a blood type A with an anxiety disorder and you take
Dr. D’Adamo’s advice to practice yoga, monitor your diet and meditate regularly?
Or say you’re a type O who is in decent physical shape and you decide that it’s time to put more effort into your workout plan?
Or maybe the diet inspires you to take it easy on the alcohol and caffeine?
This diet also encourages you to not eat unhealthy, processed foods. Instead, followers of this diet will consume organic foods and elevated nutrition from their dietary choices, without the dangerous chemicals found in pre-packaged items.
Although this does not count as empirical evidence, many people have reported great results after following Dr. D’Adamo’s suggestions. A quick search on the subject of Eat Right 4 Your Type will reveal many satisfied readers.
Pitfalls Of The Blood Type Diet
The blood type diet appears both convenient and personalized. But, our bodies are complex. Basing your diet solely on your blood type may not yield desired results. Many factors, such as allergies, deficiencies, and diseases, impact your dietary needs. It is unlikely that basing your diet on blood type will account for the numerous other factors involved.
Those who follow this diet may experience nutritional imbalances. For instance, type As are encouraged to follow a vegetarian diet. While this will work for some, others may find it hard to fulfill their body’s protein requirements. It has been suggested that this diet may have severely negative effects if followed long-term.
Dietitians and nutritionists strongly oppose the blood type diet, which, to this date, has not been supported by any legitimate studies. In fact, there are numerous studies that debunk Dr. D’Adamo’s theories. Most of the published evidence for this diet is anecdotal. While many people have experienced positive results after following the blood type diet, it is hard to link these results scientifically to blood type.
Finally, one of the benefits of this diet – organic eating – does have a sore spot. Despite the health benefits, an organic diet is not affordable for everyone. And the diet becomes more complicated if not everyone in your household shares the same blood type. Before starting this diet, take a good look at your budget.
There is little evidence to suggest that the benefits of the blood type diet are truly related to your blood type (rather than an awareness of what you’re eating and how you exercise), but that does not discount the fact that this diet has impacted some people positively.
In the end, no diet will affect two people the same way. It is vital that everyone monitors his or her calorie and nutrition intake, as well as exercise regularly. No diet plan will be healthy and successful without balanced nutrition and exercise.
It is unlikely, given the evidence, that your blood type determines everything from your personality to your preferred choice of meat (or lack thereof). Still, people have found success on this diet. If you aren’t sure whether the blood type diet is right for you, the best route to take is to talk to your doctor. While this diet may seem a thing of science fiction, you never know – Dr. D’Adamo may know something we don’t.
By Sarah Butcher