Ease of Following
The Blood Type Diet Promise
Eat according to your blood type for a healthy, energetic and slim you!
About the Blood Type Diet
All your life, you have seen some people losing weight more easily while others are forever battling with their “weighty” issues. Some people stay healthy and fit, even when they grow older while some are constantly dogged by chronic illnesses. Have you wondered why? The answer is very simple. The key to this lies in your blood type.
Knowing your blood type is important to understanding how your body will react to different kinds of foods and your vulnerability to diseases. Your blood is like your fingerprint, it is unique to your biochemical composition and you.
Following a diet plan as per your blood type is what the Blood Type diet advocates. According to naturopath Peter J D’Adamo, the creator of this diet, the foods that you eat react with your blood type chemically. Following a diet especially designed corresponding to your blood type will help your body digest the food more efficiently. The end result – weight loss, more energy and a disease-free life!
It is no wonder that the Blood Type Diet has been very popular with celebrities like Cheryl Cole, Liz Hurley, Courtney Cox and Sir Cliff Richards.
How Does the Blood Type Diet Work?
The theory of the Blood Type Diet follows the premise that your blood group determines how your body deals with the different nutrients in the food you eat. A chemical reaction occurs between the food you eat and your blood and this reaction is part of your genetic legacy. This reaction is caused due to presence of a factor called “Lectins”. Lectins are known to have detrimental effects on the lining of the gut1. Each blood group contains its unique antigen marker, a substance treated as being foreign by your body. This marker reacts adversely with certain foods which in turn lead to health problems. Further, digestive enzymes and stomach acidity levels are also linked to your blood type.
Research conducted in the middle of the twentieth century2 to find links between diseases and blood types showed that certain blood types were prone to certain diseases. More recent studies have also found links between blood types and susceptibility to certain diseases such as increased risk to pancreatic cancer3, cancer of the stomach4, skin cancer5 and epithelial ovarian cancer6, among many others.
Thus, following a diet plan specifically designed for your blood type will help your body digest and absorb food more efficiently and as a result you will feel healthier, reduce the risk of many diseases and also lose weight.
Blood Type Specific Traits
Type O: Ancient Times Or “Old”
Type O are akin to the hunter-gatherers and are intolerant to environmental and dietary adaptations. The digestive system is attuned to ancient times and so the Type Os need to eat a typical hunter-gatherer kind of a diet. They respond best to stressful situations with rigorous exercise. They require an efficient metabolism to stay energetic, lean and fit.
Type A: Agrarian
Type A have a sensitive digestive system but quite a tolerant immune system. They adapt well to settled environmental and dietary conditions. They respond positively to stress with gentle exercise and calming actions. They require an agriculture based diet to be productive and stay slim.
Type B: Nomadic
They have a tolerant digestive system that can tolerate most flexible dietary choices. Type B has the least dietary restrictions. They respond to stress positively with creativity. Type B requires moderate exercise and a balance between mental and physical activity to stay sharp and lean.
Type AB: Modern
They have a sensitive digestive system. They respond best to stress spiritually, with creativity and physical vitality. Type AB is considered an evolutionary mystery.
What’s on the Menu?
Foods that can be eaten on the Blood Type Diet are on basis of the blood type you belong to. Foods that can be eaten:
Type O: High Protein Meat Eaters
- In Moderation
Type A: Mostly Vegetarian
- Vegetables: carrots, broccoli, pumpkin, kale, leek, turnip, parsley, spinach, onions, garlic, collard greens etc.
- Nuts: peanuts
- Seeds: pumpkin seeds
- Oils: flaxseed oil, olive oil, canola oil, cod liver oil
- Fruit: grapefruit, berries, plum, fig, prune, pineapple, cherry, apricot, lemon
- Dairy: yoghurt, mozzarella, feta cheese, goat cheese, ricotta, goat milk
- Meat: turkey, chicken (eaten sparingly)
- Beverages: green tea, red wine (1 glass a day), ginger, coffee (1 cup a day)
Type B: Balanced Omnivore
- Foods rich in carbohydrates (eaten sparingly)
- Green leafy vegetables
- Certain Meats: lamb, mutton, venison, rabbit, beef, pheasant, turkey, veal
- Fish: cod, salmon, halibut, trout, sole
- Low-fat Dairy: cottage cheese, farmer cheese, goat cheese and milk, feta, low-fat milk, mozzarella, ricotta
- Olive oil
- Grains: millet, oatmeal, puffed rice, rice
- Fruits: pineapple, banana, cranberry, papaya, plum
- Beverages: green tea, ginseng, liquorice
Type AB: Mixed Moderate Diet
- Dairy: yoghurt, kefir, goat cheese and milk, mozzarella, non-fat sour cream, ricotta
- Seafood: tuna, cod, mackerel, mahimahi, monkfish, red snapper, snail, sardine
- Vegetables: beets, broccoli, celery, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, green leafy vegetables, parsnips, sweet potatoes, yam, mushroom
- Meat: lamb, mutton, turkey, rabbit
- Fats: olive oil
- Grains: millet, oatmeal, puffed rice, sprouted wheat (flour and products made of sprouted wheat), all kinds of rice (flour and any kinds of products made with rice)
- Fruits: grapefruit, pineapple, lemon, grapes, plum, berries, cherry
What’s off the Menu?
- Vegetables: cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, cauliflower, eggplant, potatoes, shitake mushrooms, corn, avocado, leek
- Fruits: melon, cantaloupe, orange, tangerine, strawberry, blackberry, honeydew, rhubarb
- Dairy products
- Meats: bacon, ham, goose
- Oils: corn oil, peanut oil, cottonseed oil
- Nuts: cashew, peanut, pistachio
- Spices: vinegar, cinnamon, nutmeg, white and black pepper, corn syrup
- Condiments: ketchup, pickles, mayonnaise, relish
- Beverages: beer, coffee, black tea
- All Meats: beef, pork, lamb, veal, duck, goose, venison
- Dairy products
- Oils: corn oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil, sesame oil
- Nuts: cashew nuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts
- Some Vegetables: olives, potatoes, yams, tomatoes, cabbage, eggplant, mushroom, peppers, sweet potatoes
- Some Fruits: mango, papaya, coconut, orange, tangerine, melon, cantaloupe, honeydew
- Spices: vinegar, peppers, capers
- Condiments: mayonnaise, pickles, relish, ketchup
- Beverages: beer, seltzer water, distilled liquor, soda, black tea
- Processed foods
- Nuts: cashews, pine nuts, pistachio, peanuts
- Seeds: pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
- Beans: black-eyed peas, garbanzo
- Grains: wheat (bran, durum, whole, germ), cream of wheat, shredded wheat, rye and products made with rye, corn, buckwheat, barley, wild rice, couscous
- Vegetables: tomatoes, corn, olive, avocado, artichoke, pumpkin, radish, sprouts
- Meat: chicken, duck, quail, pork, goose
- All shellfish
- Dairy Products: American cheese, blue cheese, ice cream, string cheese
- Fats: canola oil, corn oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil
- Beverages: distilled liquor, seltzer water, soda
- Cured or smoked meats
- Meats: beef, chicken, duck, goose, veal, venison, quail
- Seafood: all shellfish, anchovy, frog, octopus, herring, turtle
- Dairy: blue cheese, American cheese, buttermilk, parmesan, ice cream, whole milk
Exercise Regime According to Blood Type
The Blood Type Diet prescribes an exercise regimen to be followed to complement your food intake and according to your blood type.
- Type O: Type O should follow a rigorous aerobic exercise pattern such as running just as their hunter-gatherer ancestors.
- Type A: The best exercises for Type A are mostly the calming kind like yoga or golf.
- Type B: Activities including a mental component is recommended such as swimming, tennis, and hiking for Type B.
- Type AB: Type AB should do a combination of calming exercises with activities of moderate intensity.
Advantages of the Blood Type Diet
- Maintain Active Lifestyle: The Blood Type Diet encourages you to maintain an active lifestyle and follow an exercise routine along with the diet plan according to your blood type. The diet focuses on achieving overall improved health.
- Avoid Processed and Refined Foods: The focus of all the four diet plans according to the four blood groups is on healthy and real foods that are close to their natural state. The diet plans discourage eating processed or junk food. For example, it is recommended that Type AB should not eat cured meats while Type A should focus on fresh and organic fruits and vegetables. Consumption of refined sugar and grains are discouraged for all blood types.
- Plant-Based Eating Encouraged: The Blood Type Diet encourages Type A to follow a largely plant-based diet. In fact, regular consumption of specific vegetables and fruits are recommended as part of the diet plan for all the blood types. Studies state that people who get their protein from plant foods rather than animal sources are less likely to suffer from heart disease and cancer7.
- Reduces the Chances of Certain Diseases: As discussed earlier, there has been research showing a link between blood types and certain diseases. The Blood Type Diet uses these studies – to a certain extent – to limit the kind of foods that each blood type should consume, thereby constraining the occurrence of these diseases.
- Foods Recommended Are Healthy: Most of the foods recommended as a part of the Blood Type Diet, irrespective of the bllod type, are healthy. This makes the diet not such a bad option to follow as, whether or not the foods relate to your blood type, you’re eating healthy.
Disadvantages of the Blood Type Diet
- Restricting Diet Plan: The Blood Type diet can be severely restricting and does not allow you to cater to your personal tastes. For example, if you love eating meat then you won’t be very happy on a Type A diet that is predominantly a vegetarian diet. Even the type of condiments and spices that you use in your food are restricted according to the blood type.
- Diet Not Gluten-Free: The Blood Type Diet is not a gluten-free diet plan and does not ban gluten.
- Diet Plan Does Not Consider Ailments: Since the dietary recommendations of the Blood Type diet is solely on basis of your blood group, it does not consider any ailments that you may suffer from which may be detrimental to your health rather than being beneficial. For example, if you have chronic diabetes you may be asked to eat high protein according to your blood type while another person with diabetes may have to omit dairy or chicken from their meal plan. This may be in conflict with the diabetes treatment you may be undergoing.
- Categories of Food Eliminated: The Blood Type Diet recommends that Type O people should avoid eating whole grains while Type A individuals are discouraged from consuming dairy products. Elimination of categories of food may result in nutritional deficiencies. Also, the restrictions placed by the Blood Type Diet may result in deficiency in calcium and fiber. It is very difficult and not practical to restrict the consumption or eliminate complete categories of food and this is not recommended by nutritionists.
- Dietary Supplements Required: The Blood Type Diet recommends that you should take a variety of dietary supplements if you are following this diet. This may an expensive option as it is recommended that you take supplements that are sold by the creator of this diet, Dr. D’Adamo.
- No Scientific Evidence: There is no independent scientific research to support the claim that the Blood Type Diet has any effect. There is also no scientific support that if you follow this diet plan, you will lose significant weight.
- Not Practical: The Blood Type Diet may not be very practical to follow. The diet is very individualized, which means that it is very difficult for families to follow it together, as different blood types would require different meal and exercise plans.
- Diet Not Individualized: The Blood Type Diet does not take into account your medical history, medication you may be using, food likes and dislikes, food allergies, current or target body weight, diet history etc. An ideal diet should take all these factors into account.
There have been studies that show that following the Blood Type Diet has the following benefits:
- Type A: lower blood pressure8 and BMI, reduction in the circumference of the waist, reduced insulin9 and triglyceride levels.
- Type O: lower triglyceride levels 10 11.
- Type AB: lower insulin, total cholesterol, triglyceride and blood pressure levels12 13.
- Type B: improvement in HDL cholesterol levels 14.
Who Is It For?
- The diet plan recommended for Type O is suitable for athletes and bodybuilders who belong to the blood group O as this is a typically high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet and it also recommends vigorous physical activity and exercise regime suitable for this category of people. This diet plan closely resembles the Atkins diet and also the Paleo diet.
- If you have a poor digestive system and you belong to the blood type A, then the Type A diet is suitable for you as it recommends eating plant-rich food that is easily digested. This diet is especially suited to individuals on a vegetarian diet since it does not include any meat whatsoever.
Who Is It Not For?
- If you love eating meat and potatoes and belong to the blood group A, then the Type A diet may not be right for you. The Type A diet is predominantly a vegetarian diet that recommends eating plant-rich food and a diet that is completely red meat free.
- If you belong to Type A or O, cutting down dairy products and meat or eliminating them from your diet is recommended. Cutting down on dairy products can lead to poor intake of calcium and if you are suffering from weak bones can lead to osteoporosis in the long run. Avoiding meat can result in reduced iron intake which can lead to anemia.
The Final Word
In the Blood Type Diet, the “one-size-fits-all” approach does not work. There is no one common meal plan to fit all blood types.
The Blood Type Diet recommends that you avoid simple carbohydrates and all processed foods. Doing this can by itself help you lose weight. It has not been scientifically proved that the eating according to your blood type will lead to weight loss. There is also no research that states that the Blood Type Diet will make you more energetic or support digestion.
The choices of food that you can eat according to this plan is to be restricted and limited as per your blood type. You can expect to spend quite some time in the kitchen planning and preparing your meals.
However, by replacing weight-gaining foods by healthier options recommended by the Blood Type Diet and following the recommended exercise routine, you can be more energetic, healthier and also lose weight.