Basics of the Blood Type Diet


The Blood Type Diet, pioneered by Dr. Peter D’Adamo, was introduced almost 50 years ago with the book, Eat Right For Your Type. The diet has seen a resurgence in popularity over the past few years as the people look for more individualized health plans.

The diet has boasted celebrity advocates such as Cheryl Cole as well as thousands of passionate followers. With a new book out last January reiterating his finding, D’Adamo continues to promote the supposedly revolutionary diet regimen. But what does the blood type diet really entail? And are its claims valid?

The main basis of the diet revolves around lectins, complex and varied sugar-binding proteins found in food. The idea is that a reaction is caused between lectins and the food you eat. When you eat a food containing protein lectins that are incompatible with your blood type antigen, the lectins target an organ or bodily system and begin to attack blood cells in that area. If you eat foods containing lectins incompatible with your blood type, according to D’Adamo, you may experience inflammation, bloating, a slower metabolism, even diseases such as cancer. Likewise, eating foods with the proper lectins for your blood type will help maintain health.

All foods fall into three categories on the Eat Right for Your Type diet; highly beneficial, neutral and those to avoid. Beneficial foods for your blood type act like medicine, neutral foods like food, while avoid foods “act like a poison,” as quoted by D’Adamo.

The diet is based around the simplest variations in blood types; the ABO classification system. The concept is that each blood type originated at a different time in human development, therefore, each will have different nutritional needs.

According to D’Adamo, if you’re blood type O your digestive tract retains the memory of ancient times, so your metabolism will benefit from lean meats, poultry, and fish. You’re advised to restrict grains, breads, and legumes, and to enjoy vigorous exercise.

Type A flourishes on vegetarian diets as it developed during a more agrarian time period in human history. The type A diet contains soy proteins, grains, and organic vegetables and encourages gentle exercise.

The nomadic blood type B has a tolerant digestive system and can endure low-fat dairy, meat, and produce but, among other things, should avoid wheat, corn and lentils. If you’re type B, it’s recommended you exercise moderately.

The most modern blood type, AB, has a sensitive digestive tract and should avoid chicken, beef, and pork but enjoy seafood, tofu, dairy, and most produce. The fitness regimen for type AB consists of calming exercises.

It is recommended that all types eat a diet rich in fresh, natural foods so as to help purify the body. It is also recommended to cut out processed foods, alcohol and caffeine.

D’Adamo’s diet has come under fire in the past for a variety of reasons, the most notable of which is the lack of published evidence for his findings.

“I know of no plausible rationale behind the diet,” says John Foreyt, PhD, a researcher at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Another criticism comes from the inconsistencies in some of the classifications of the blood types themselves. According to the diet, people of blood type B are the only ones who can process dairy products developed some 10,000 years ago. However, people with blood type B also tend to be from Southeast Asia, and not from northern Europe, whereas lactose intolerance is more common among people of Asian, South American, and African descent and least common among those descended from northern Europe.

The basic premise of D’Adamo’s diet system is commendable; healthy eating, exercising and being aware of the different in personal diet needs. However, a lack of solid research will probably continue to leave most people skeptical about the diet itself.

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  1. Aggregate Post 4/27 | Food + Health - April 30, 2012

    […] your blood type part of your diet. According to Get Fit Get Life, the new diet, the Blood Type Diet,  has people debating the validity of the diet’s claims. […]

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