menu iconknow your dna logosearch icon
Is the Blood Type Diet Test Worth Your Time?
Updated on January 31, 2024
Back to top
back to top icon
At Home Health
Is the Blood Type Diet Test Worth Your Time?

It depends.

There's still no completely solid evidence that blood type diets (or the tests that come with them) are fully effective.1 However, because it does require you to be more mindful of what you eat, you can probably still lose weight following this diet.

If you’ve ever tried an unorthodox diet to lose weight or deal with a specific health concern, you aren’t alone.

There are new diets all the time, and many people have varying degrees of success with them. Many of these diets require you to drastically change your eating habits and even meal frequency, which can make them challenging for some.

One example of a diet that includes a major change in eating habits for many people is the Blood Type Diet.

Is the Blood Type Diet Test Worth Your Time? 2

What is the Blood Type Diet?

The Blood Type Diet was introduced to the public in 1996 in Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s book Eat Right 4 Your Type. The book claims that people with different blood types should eat different types of food in order to achieve optimal health.

According to Dr. D’Adamo, the best diet for anyone is based on his or her blood type.2

He believes that everyone within a certain blood type group carries genetic traits passed down from their ancestors that provide insight into the foods they should be eating. The type of diet your ancestors ate is the diet you should be eating now to feel your best.

The blood groups and their corresponding recommended diets are as follows:3

Type A

People in this group descended from agrarian or cultivator ancestors who ate diets rich in plants and free of red meat. Today, this is essentially a vegetarian diet.

A plant-based diet suits type A blood because they're believed to have more sensitive immune systems and have a higher risk of contracting diabetes and cancer.

Foods for blood type A:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Seeds
  • Lean meats
  • Legumes

Foods to avoid for blood type A:

  • Red meats and processed meats
  • Wheat products
  • Majority of dairy products (look for alternatives)

Type B

This is the nomad group. People in this group eat plants and most meats and can benefit from both animal protein and vegetables. They normally have strong immune and digestive systems, making their diets a little more flexible.

However, they need to focus on keeping their diets balanced to maintain that natural strength.

Foods for blood type B:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Eggs
  • Meat (but try to avoid or lessen consumption of chicken and pork)
  • Grains

Foods to avoid for blood type B:

  • Wheat
  • Peanuts/nuts
  • Chicken and pork (in limited quantities)
  • Lentils

Type AB

This is the enigma group and also the rarest because only a small percentage of people have this blood type. It is a mix of the first two groups, and they can eat a good variety of foods.

While they can eat more combinations of food, they're believed to have a higher risk of stomach cancer. They're encouraged to eat smaller meals, even if they're more frequent, to better metabolize all their food.

Foods for blood type AB:

  • Seafood
  • Dairy
  • Tofu
  • Grains
  • Beans (but not kidney beans)

Foods to avoid for blood type AB:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Corn

Type O

People in this group descended from hunter-gatherers and should eat a gluten-free, high-protein diet with a lot of meat, fish, and poultry. It’s similar to the paleo diet.

People with type O blood are more efficient at digesting protein and fat, so a higher concentration of meat is fine.

Foods for blood type O:

  • Lean meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits

Foods to avoid for blood type O:

  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Refined sugars

Know Your DNA Reviews

Best DNA Kit

Don't miss out on the opportunity to learn more about yourself. Read our best DNA test page to find the best one for you.

Does the Blood Type Diet Work?

Studies on the blood type diet still come up inconclusive.4 Some studies have shown promise, but many positive outcomes are usually independent of the experiment group's blood types and result from a healthier diet in general.

While some have shown favorable results, several factors still need to be considered:

  • Ethnicity
  • Cultural food behaviors and attitudes
  • Geographical factors
  • Access to food

Many healthcare experts believe that any of these diets would be suitably healthy and an improvement over the standard American diet of modern times.

The theory that the blood type diet follows explores lectins and their effect on metabolism.

What Are Lectins and How Do They Affect Diets?

Lectins are proteins that bind sugar molecules and, according to Dr. D'Adamo, are the link between blood type and dietary success. They're found in food molecules and respond to your body's molecules.

Dr. D'Adamo believes that if you consume the right type of lectins for your body, your metabolism may benefit, and you can lose weight or lead a healthier lifestyle in general. Certain lectins are "compatible" with your blood type because of how the blood groups developed from different diets.

Dr. D’Amado believes that lectins target different blood types. This means that eating the “wrong” lectins causes red blood cells to clump (called agglutination), which can cause various uncomfortable symptoms or slow down weight loss.

While certain lectins found in raw legumes can cause clumping specific to certain blood types, most lectins cause clumping for all blood types, so most are not blood-type specific.

Is the Blood Type Diet Safe?

For the most part, yes, the Blood Type Diet is safe. It includes whole foods and will be an improvement over the run-of-the-mill American diet.

However, the Blood Type Diet isn’t as personalized as it might seem initially. It doesn’t consider a person’s medical concerns, ideal body weight, food allergies, or medications. It also doesn’t consider what foods a person likes or dislikes, which means it can be difficult to maintain long-term.

The diet also recommends supplements based on your blood type, which isn’t always an accurate prediction of what you need and don’t need.

Some people find the Blood Type Diet overly restrictive.

Ultimately, it might be a good place to start if you want to clean up your current diet. However, after a few weeks, it’s best to listen to your body and include foods you crave in appropriate serving sizes. 

The Blood Type Diet can potentially be a good foundation for healthier eating, but most people will need a better-rounded and scientifically-backed eating plan for long-term success and good health.

Can the Blood Type Diet Help People with Certain Conditions?

The blood type diet can potentially alleviate certain conditions, but further research needs to confirm these claims.

Still, there are several reasons someone might try the Blood Type Diet. These include:

Weight Loss

Weight loss is one of the most common reasons to try a new diet, including the Blood Type Diet.

Most people do lose weight on this diet, but it’s no more or less than they’d lose by altering their diet in other healthy ways.

The Blood Type Diet is restrictive, so they consume fewer calories, eat more whole foods, and are more aware of what they eat. This translates to weight loss regardless of their blood type.

If you’d like to determine if eating for your specific blood type is the reason for your weight loss, try following the diet for a different blood type. You might see similar results, meaning the “magic formula” doesn’t have much to do with your blood type.

Increase Immunity

Some people believe the Blood Type Diet improves immunity and reduces the risk of certain diseases.

While this might be true, it’s less about eating based on your blood type and more about cutting processed and junk foods out of your diet.

People feel healthier with this diet because they eat foods that don’t trigger inflammation and provide the vitamins and nutrients their bodies need.

Eliminate Chronic Health Issues

Many people who have tried the Blood Type Diet found that nagging health issues dissipated once they were on the plan.

They experienced fewer bouts of heartburn, improved their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, experienced fewer feelings of depression, reduced incidences of headaches, and felt better overall.

While their health improvements are linked to the Blood Type Diet, many health experts believe they would experience the same benefits by cleaning up their diets and eating better in any case.

Many health issues are linked to food intolerances, poor gut health, inflammation, and hormonal issues. Eating healthy, regardless of blood type, leads to feeling better physically and emotionally.

Any healthy diet boosts health and well-being, and the blood type diet generally requires balance and restriction.

Remember that some diets are better than others based on your nutritional needs. It's best to consult a dietitian or your healthcare provider to be sure. From there, you can undergo DNA testing and other blood tests to determine specifically what foods your body needs and what foods don’t agree with your body due to allergies or intolerance.

The Blood Type Diet is a great option for getting you in a healthier frame of mind and learning more about how your body reacts to food, but it’s just the beginning of eating right for your life.

Is the Blood Type Diet Better than Other Diets?

Not necessarily.

The blood type diet generally has the same framework as many other diets (more balanced in terms of variety of foods, focus on nutrition and restricted consumption, etc.), which is usually what causes weight loss and a healthier lifestyle no matter the diet.

It may be better in terms of not having to worry too much about hyper-specific foods or calorie counting, but the goal is pretty similar across the board in terms of the most popular diets out there.

It's not necessarily better than other diets, but it can help—just not necessarily in the way some blood type diet fanatics advocate.

Know Your DNA Reviews

Best Microbiome Test

Looking for the best microbiome kit on the market? Look no further! Our review round-up page has all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Updated on January 31, 2024
Dr. Dhingra
Dr. Harshi Dhingra
Medical Reviewer
Dr Harshi Dhingra is a licensed medical doctor with a specialization in Pathology. Dr. Dhingra has of over a decade in diagnostic, clinical, research and teaching work, including managing all sections of Pathology laboratory including histopathology, cytology, hematology and clinical Pathology.
Kelly Brown
Kelly Brown
Content Contributor
Kelly has experience working with clients in a variety of industries, including legal, medical, marketing, and travel. Her goal is to share important information that people can use to make decisions about their health and the health of their loved ones. From choosing the best treatment programs to improving dental and vision health to finding the best method for helping anyone who is struggling with health issues, she hopes to share what she learns through informative content.
Back to top icon