Updated on: November 3, 2020

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 great success with them. Many are drastically different than the average way of eating for most people. One example of a diet that includes a major change in eating habits for many people is the Blood Type Diet.

blood type diet

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 sold millions of copies and continues to be popular.

According to Dr. D’Adamo, the best diet for anyone is based on his or her blood type. He believes that everyone within a certain blood type group carries genetic traits passed down from their ancestors that provides 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 types and their corresponding diets are as follows:

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.

Type B

This is the nomad group. People in this group eat plants and most meats, but not pork or chicken. They can include some dairy, but avoid corn, wheat, tomatoes, lentils, and a few other foods.

Type AB

This is the enigma group. It is a mix of the first two groups. People in this group eat seafood, dairy, tofu, grains, and beans, but avoid kidney beans. They should also avoid beef, chicken, and corn.

Type O

People in this group descended from hunters and should eat a high-protein diet that includes a lot of meat, fish, and poultry. This diet also includes certain vegetables and fruits. Type O’s should avoid legumes, grains, and dairy. It’s similar to the paleo diet.

Many healthcare experts believe that any of these diets would be suitably healthy and an improvement over the standard American diet of modern times. But is there a connection between your blood type and how you should eat, as Dr. D’Adamo claims?

Maybe.

Research has shown that lectins are the link between blood type and dietary success. Lectins are proteins that bind sugar molecules. These are anti-nutrients and tend to affect the gut negatively.

Dr. D’Amado believes that lectins target different blood types, so eating the “wrong” lectins causes red blood cells to clump. There is some proof that certain lectins found in raw legumes cause clumping that is specific to certain blood types. For example, raw lima beans cause clumping in people with type A blood. However, 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 their current way of eating for most people.

However, the Blood Type Diet isn’t as personalized as it might seem at first glance. It doesn’t take into account 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. But 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 is a good foundation for healthier eating, but most people will need a better-rounded eating plan for long-term success and good health.

Can the Blood type Diet Help People with Certain Conditions?

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 tend to be more aware of what they are eating. 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 or not, try following the diet for a different blood type. You might see similar results, which means the “magic formula” doesn’t have all that much to do with your blood type.

Increase Immunity

Some people believe the Blood Type Diet improves immunity and reduces your 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 are eating foods that don’t trigger inflammation and provide them with 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.

A healthy diet – any healthy diet – boots health and well-being. 

Some diets are better than others based on your nutritional needs. You can use the Blood Type Diet as a starting point for better eating. 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.

Joel is a writer with a passion for the science of DNA and the power of its manipulation.
Resources

“The Blood Type Diet: An Evidence-Based Review.” Healthline, www.healthline.com/nutrition/the-blood-type-diet-review.

Watson, Stephanie. “The Blood Type Diet.” WebMD, WebMD, 11 Dec. 2013, www.webmd.com/diet/a-z/blood-type-diet.

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