The Blood Group Diet
The Blood Type Diet or Blood Group Diet, devised by Dr Peter D'Adamo, requires you to follow a specific food plan suitable for your blood type. The basic premise for this diet is that the four main blood groups (A, B, AB and O – the universal blood donor) each react in different ways to different foods. We all vary in many ways – in hair colour, eyes, body types and skin colour as well as blood types. Depending on your blood type, it could well be that you may have been using the wrong diets all along. Dr D'Adamo's book, "Eat Right for your Type", a book explaining the basis of the diet, lists down the types of food appropriate for each blood type. The book, first released in 1996, has since become a New York Times best seller.
One of the reasons the body has different reactions to food is that, according to the doctor, the secretion of gastric juices varies for every blood type. Dr D’Adamo also theorizes that lentins, a protein found on the surface of some foods, can cause serious kidney problems for people with certain blood types.
All foods fall into three categories:
- Highly beneficial
Beneficial foods for your blood type act like medicine, neutral foods like food, while avoid foods "act like a poison," says D'Adamo.
For example, type Os should steer clear of whole wheat and wheat germ because "eating gluten is like putting the wrong kind of octane in your car ... it clogs the works," D'Adamo says.
The program categorises each blood type under the following diet profiles- Type O: Meat eaters, Type A: Vegetarians, Type B: Omnivores, and Type AB: Mixed diet eaters.
Most of the population has blood type O ("for old," as in humanity's oldest blood line). For those who own this blood type, “your digestive tract retains the memory of ancient times”, says D'Adamo. Here the prescribed diet is low-carbohydrate, high in proteins (such as meat and fish), and low in dairy products. They should limit the intake of wheat germ, whole wheat products and corn. The author suggests specific foods to avoid; such as avocados, brazil nuts and oranges.
Type O types are commonly affected with hypothyroidism, high stomach acid (leading to ulcers), and thinner blood with greater resistance to blood clotting. Type O should also engage in vigorous exercise.
Blood Type A ("for agrarian") should avoid red meat, eat plenty of fish and vegetables, with a low dairy intake: "the inheritance of their more settled and less warlike farmer ancestors," says D'Adamo. Only light exercise is encouraged. This group carries a risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. They also have a sensitive immune system.
Blood Type B is the nomadic blood type with a tolerant digestive system. They should consume a balanced diet and avoid chicken and bacon, eat plenty of meat and dairy, some fish, and plenty of fruit and vegetables “but, among other things, should avoid wheat, corn, and lentils”, D'Adamo says. They have the best chance of bypassing or overcoming everyday types of diseases, including heart disease and cancer. If you're type B, it's recommended you exercise moderately.
Blood Type AB is the "modern" blood type combining the A and B diets. AB has a sensitive digestive tract and should consume a vegetarian diet, avoiding chicken, beef, and pork but enjoy seafood, tofu and dairy produce. The fitness regimen for ABs is calming exercises.
The complete list of foods allowed for each blood type is included in Dr. D’Adamo’s book. The author encourages people to cut down on processed and refined foods. This is of course good advice for anyone, regardless of blood type.
It goes without saying that following a diet that caters to your blood group is not only important but also a very intricate and detailed process. You should undertake such a diet only when professional help and expertise is at hand, otherwise you will end up not eating some foods that are actually good for your health, diet and weight loss.
People follow this diet for the following reasons:
- It promotes overall health. Weight-loss is not the program’s main thrust but it does come as one of the end results.
- It’s easier to follow than some diets. Once you know under which diet profile you fall, you can eat any of the foods listed under that category.
- Most of the foods recommended in the diet are unprocessed, natural food.
Critics cite the following reasons why people should not jump to this diet:
- The diet increases the risk of heart disease for people with Type O blood.
- Restrictions of certain types of foods also restrict the intake of particular nutrients. The dieter must find other sources of these nutrients other than the foods not allowed in the specific diet plan.
Overall, the theories of the Blood Type Diet would have to be supported by a significant number of scientific studies before they could be taken seriously. While it is certainly possible that individuals may have allergies to individual foods including such common staples as wheat and milk products, there is currently no evidence to support that these allergies are down to blood type.
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