Blood Type Diet

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I believed that no two people on the face of the earth were alike; no two people have the same fingerprints, lip prints, or voice prints. No two blades of grass or snowflakes are alike. Because I felt that all people were different from one another, I did not think it was logical that they should eat the same foods. It became clear to me that since each person was housed in a special body with different strengths, weaknesses, and nutritional requirements, the only way to maintain health or cure illness was to accommodate to that particular patient’s specific needs.

James D’Adamo

I completely agree with this statement, alternatively said: one man’s food is another man’s poison.”

Your blood type is the key that unlocks the door to the mysteries of health, disease, longevity, physical vitality, and emotional strength.

Peter D’Adamo

I disagree with this statement. In my experience of using blood type to determine an individual’s personalised eating plan I have found it to be useful on a number of occasions, particularly with recommendations on what foods to avoid. However I believe that anyone who says that there is one single KEY that unlocks the door to health is very misled.

The key to health and vitality lies in a synergy which I have written about many times and combining it with an individualised approach. To recap the elements include the following:

· Supportive nutrition which basically means eating a diet composed mainly of whole foods, emphasising quality proteins, fibrous carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, and good fats and oils and through awareness of your body’s reaction tailoring the amount of each to your own body – finding your metabolic type

· Need for muscle

· Cardio in moderation

· Plenty of water

· Adequate sleep

· Additionally and importantly the right mindset

So in the following article I will review the Blood Typing Diet.

Firstly to find out your blood type if you are not sure you could:

Consult your doctor
Give blood
Do a simple thumb prick test available at some chemists and health food stores or try the internet to pick up a test.

Science behind Blood typing

A single speck of blood contains the entire genetic code for a human being. This code was the product passed on through generations from our ancestors. The four blood types O, A, B and AB are named so because of their differing qualities in relation to the immune system.

Antigens are the chemical markers that determine your blood type. They form part of our chemical fingerprint by possessing a different antigen. Antigens are the body’s internal security system – so when your immune system finds a foreign intruder (e.g. a foreign antigen from bacteria) it checks with your blood type antigen to see if it is friend or foe.
Now in regards to the role that blood typing plays in diet: as I previously said it is more useful in knowing which foods to avoid rather than eat.

4349941783 314bb3871e m1 Blood Type Diet

Image by RogueTess via Flickr

This is due to the presence of dietary lectins, which consist of protein and are found in around 30 percent of food. They can be inhibited through cooking and digestion to some degree however if they reach the blood stream they can appear like foreign antigens interfering with digestion and absorption. They can also result in nutrient deficiencies, food allergies, infertility, arthritis, diarrhoea, irritability, IBS, intestinal gas.

Positive aspects to the Blood type diet

The basis is biochemical individuality which has been extensively documented (I encourage you to read “Biochemical Individuality” by Roger J. Williams for a more comprehensive and scientific understanding). The science behind lectins is fascinating and has some truth in my opinion but it is still far from being an exact science.
Additionally, most of the diets (except AB) recommend reducing the amount of wheat. In my experience wheat is a problem to some degree for almost everyone. It has been overused especially in the form of processed carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and breakfast cereal abusing our digestive system. Leaving wheat out of the diet has in every case resulted in health improvements in my experience.

The recommendations consist of whole foods which is an improvement for people currently consuming a SAD (Standard American Diet), but which should be renamed to SWD (Standard World Diet) – as most of the world has come under the influence of excessive sugar, trans fatty acids (from fast food) and toxic food which are far from how nature intended them to be consumed.

Negative aspects to Blood type diet recommendation

However I disagree with many aspects regarding the blood typing diet including recommended foods, the fact that the diet remains set in stone and allows no shifts, and the advice for specific exercise regimes for specific blood types. These are outlined below:

1. Foods recommended I believe are not healthy

Soy for one is heavily promoted especially for A types. I believe soy is not a health promoting food especially for males as it has been shown to affect sperm strength and number. Soy has also been linked to thyroid problems.
Vegetable oils are another concern and have been linked to heart disease and many other conditions.

2. Set in stone

Blood types don’t change however certain medical conditions, environmental influences and stress result in a need to adjust the diet accordingly. For example colder climates/winter and stress result in an increased protein need for many. Many women who have a strong awareness on the body will experience differing needs for proteins/carbohydrates/fats throughout the month. On a bigger note pregnancy will also have a powerful shift on diet. Medical conditions like Candida and high blood sugar problems will recommend the absence of starchy carbohydrates from the diet (grains, below ground vegetables), which may be good for O types but they are not the only ones who suffer from these conditions.

3. Exercise

Regarding exercise I agree some people are more suited to some exercises than others. But I believe a balance is important e.g. in terms of Chinese medicine having a Ying and Yang approach – not just doing intense exercise or light exercise and combining strength, cardiovascular and flexibility into your training.

But I would like to give you an overview according to the Author of “Eat right for your type” Peter J. D’Adamo.

As I said previously I often outline with clients some foods they should avoid according to the blood type diet, which has often been very useful.

Additionally, in my experience the recommendations for O blood types have proven the most beneficial. When I come across O type clients and they eat in this manner then in every case to date they have reported fat-loss, increased energy, vitality and wellbeing. I have also experienced this diet in relation to eating a grain based diet (which I believe is not the answer for anyone) and a vegetarian diet for a short period, and I have no doubt I am a caveman.

Obviously this diet has been a hit with many but the high protein diet is in my opinion and experience not the answer to everyone as Atkins and high protein diet proponents say.

Type 0

- Diet Profile: High Protein/ Low Carb: Meat eaters, Original cavemen/-women

- Beneficial foods: Meat, fish, vegetables, fruit

- Foot to avoid: Grains, esp. (wheat), corn, kidney beans, navy beans, lentils, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower

- Foods that help with weight loss: Kelp, seafood, salt, liver, red meat, kale, spinach, broccoli
- Risk factors: Ulcer, Inflammatory disease e.g. arthritis

- Recommended exercise: Vigorous & intense exercise, Martial Arts, Weights, Running

Type A

- Diet Profile: Agrarian’s polar opposite to O: High Carb, Low Fat

- Beneficial foods: Vegetables, tofu & soy, seafood (many varieties), grains, beans, legumes, fruit

- Food to avoid: Meat, dairy, kidney beans, lima beans, wheat

- Foods that help with weight loss: Vegetable oil, soy foods, vegetables, pineapple

- Risk factors: Cancer, Heart disease

- Recommended exercise: Gentle exercise, Yoga, Golf

Type B

- Diet Profile: Balanced, omnivore

- Beneficial foods: Meat (no chicken), dairy, grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits

- Food to avoid: Corn, lentil, peanuts, sesame, seeds, buckwheat, wheat

- Foods that help with weight loss: Greens, eggs, venison, liver, licorice, tea, meat

- Risk factors: Viruses attacking nervous system

- Recommended exercise: Moderate exercise, Walking, Swimming

Type AB

- Diet Profile: Mixed diet in moderation

- Beneficial foods: Meat, seafood, dairy, tofu, beans, legumes, grains, vegetables, fruits

- Food to avoid: Red meat, kidney beans, lima beans, seeds, corn, buckwheat, chicken

- Foods that help with weight loss: Tofu, seafood, dairy, greens, kelp, pineapple

- Risk factors: A + B characteristics

- Recommended exercise: Calming exercise, relaxation techniques

Eating according to your blood type has been a lifework for the D’Adamo family spanning over 40 years of research.

I am never quick to dismiss anyone who dedicates their life so intensely to such a topic, but I believe sometimes we do not allow new thoughts to enter and hold onto old paradigms that have lost their relevance in the name of preservation. I have found it interesting personally to know my clients blood type and then see when the eat optimally the foods they eat and the ones they leave out, but the overall correlations (over all blood types) have not convinced me to base my nutritional recommendations on blood type.

I still believe the science of Metabolic Typing to be a far more accurate model (though also not perfect), whereby I have found more consistent results.

 Blood Type Diet