The Blood Type Diet
By Janet Early
Can eating a diet based on your blood type grant you optimum health?
That’s what Dr. D’ Adamo, a naturopathic physician, professor and author of 1996 NY Times Bestseller, Eat Right For Your Type believes. While scientific research regarding this belief is scarce, the diet does propose an interesting and new way to look at the way you eat.
What Is The Blood Type Diet?
The Blood Type Diet is founded on the ideology that people react differently to food based upon their blood types. This is because blood type is related to your ancestry and different cultures have adapted to certain diets and lifestyles. Therefore, Dr. D’ Adamo suggests that people should consume the foods that their blood types are historically accustomed to eating.
Dr. D’ Adamo writes that blood types can indicate what diseases you are most susceptible to, how you react to stress and the makeup of your gut bacteria.
Before we explore which food plan is recommended for each type, let’s dig into the science behind his logic.
There are four blood types:
- Type O (The most ancient type)
- Type A (Historically agrarian, AKA farmers)
- Type B (Historically nomadic)
- Type AB (Modern type)
Antigens found in your red blood cells are what determine your blood type. These are substances within the body that can provoke an immune system response. The immune system will attack foreign antigens that are not found on the body’s own cells.
On his website, Dr. D’ Adamo identifies four major ways blood type can influence the microbiome, the bacteria and other organisms that live in the human body:
1. Molecular Mimicry
D’ Adamo advocates that microorganisms produce antigens that cooperate well with people who have the blood type that is compatible with those antigens.
Certain bacteria prefer one blood type to another and will look to that blood type antigen for energy. The consumption process produces advantageous byproducts for digestion.
Microorganisms use the antigens to attach to cells and tissues, which can produce unfavorable symptoms for people with certain blood types.
4. Inappropriate Response
Based on one’s blood type, microorganisms can cause problematic immune system reactions as well as high levels of inflammation in the body.
So basically, Dr. D’ Adamo suggests that if your diet is tuned to enable the most favorable microbiota balance for your blood type, you will experience LESS inflammation and bad immune reactions and MORE benefits for your digestive and overall health.
The Diet Plans At A Glance
Sensitive immune systems
The vegetarian, high-grain diet
- No meat
- Minimal dairy
- Benchmarked by vegetables and fruits
- High in whole grains, legumes and beans
Vulnerable to blood sugar drops
The meat & veggies diet
- No chicken
- Low-fat dairy
- High in vegetables
- Meat such as beef, halibut, rabbit, turkey and venison
Low stomach acid
The non-GMO, mostly pescetarian diet
- No caffeine, alcohol, or smoked or cured meats
- Green veggies
- Avoid antinutrient proteins called lectins
The hunter & gatherer diet
- Red meat, fish and poultry
- Fresh veggies and fruit
- No grains or legumes
Who, If Anyone, Should Try This Diet?
Since the “Eat Right For Your Type” diet is fairly new and lacking in scientific evidence, people should proceed with caution. Any dramatic changes to one’s diet plan can produce a myriad of issues and consulting a physician before making such changes is highly recommended.
That said, the principles behind this diet get some things very right:
- People’s bodies respond to food, stress and exercise in different ways. Whether these differences are caused by blood type, genetics, or other factors, the underlying fact stays true that nutritional and lifestyle plans that work for one person often won’t have the same effects on another. It is important to tweak your health plan to find what works best for you.
- The plan emphasizes vegetables and healthy protein sources, while shunning the highly processed foods of the Standard American Diet.
- People should place great importance on righting the bacterial balance in their guts to lead to optimal health.
You get your blood type from the same people that gave you your good looks: your biological parents. Whether you are type A, B, AB, or O depends solely on your folks’ blood types. You can find out your blood type any time you donate blood. You can also ask your doctor if you are curious.
Janet Early is a health enthusiast living in Los Angeles and working as a researcher for a major television company. An aspiring writer, Janet discovered her passion for wholesome nutrition and natural healing while navigating the struggles of balancing food sensitivities in a modern world. In addition to nutrition, she enjoys traveling, storytelling and embarking on daily adventures.
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