Are we designed to eat certain foods based on our blood type? Could eating food based on your blood type actually help you to reduce your body fat percentage? Peter J. D’Adamo believes so. He’s the naturopath who created the diet — the Blood Type Diet.
My partner, Holly, and I, along with all our kids, primarily eat the same foods, just like any normal family. But a growing field in nutritional genomics (nutrigenomics) is challenging that simple approach to feeding our (and your) family. The latest scientific research suggests that the intricate interplay between DNA and diet may have a powerful influence on why I can’t eat the pasta we all love, and why one of our sons, Jax, will sniff sugar out like a bloodhound.
...scientists now know that food influences your genes. Food is capable of switching certain genes on or off, and that variations in our genes determine how well our bodies metabolise those foods.
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The Blood Type Diet evolved out of scientific studies into genetics. The terms, “food is medicine” and “food is information” are becoming popularised by people like celebrity chef, Pete Evans, and functional medicine doctor, Dr. Mark Hyman. Where they’re coming from is that scientists now know that food influences your genes. Food is capable of switching certain genes on or off, and that variations in our genes determine how well our bodies metabolise those foods.
To establish what foods to eat for your blood type, you take a blood sample (you can order these kits online from upwards of $30) by finger prick and send your sample off to a lab to identify a series of bio-markers. These bio-markers will determine how your body breaks down and metabolises food. Or you can just donate blood at Red Cross – they’ll tell you for free!
The Blood Type Diet
I’ve given each blood type a name for their diet. Please note, D’Adamo does not refer to the diet for each blood type in this way. I’ve just labelled them like this (i.e. the gluten-free diet) to make it easier for me to remember and hopefully for you as well.
Type O: The high protein diet
According to D’Adamo, Type O’s ancestors were aggressive predators and therefore, modern day Type O’s are prone to anger, impulsiveness and hyperactivity when under stress. They are also predisposed to ulcers and thyroid problems. For this reason, Type O’s should focus on eating more lean meat, poultry, fish and some vegetables; and limit or avoid grains, beans and dairy. Interestingly, they should also avoid certain vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, fermented olives, eggplant, potatoes and corn. The vegetables that are beneficial include kale, collared greens, broccoli, romaine lettuce and spinach.
Type A: The vegetarian diet
Type A’s have a sensitive immune system; therefore, Type A’s should eat a mostly vegetarian diet — high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans and whole grains. Meat is not off limits but should make up only a small part of the diet. Eggs and dairy should also be limited.
Type B: The gluten-free diet
According to D’Adamo, Type B’s ancestors were traditionally nomads. As a result, they should eat a more varied diet than the other blood types. Type B’s should eat “essentially” a paleo diet of meat, green vegetables and eggs, with some dairy. They should avoid wheat, corn, lentils, peanuts and tomatoes. In addition, D’Adamo claims Type B’s should avoid chicken because it contains lectin. Lectins protect a plant against predators (microorganisms, pests, insects and … humans).
Type AB: The seafood diet
Type AB’s have low stomach acid so according to D’Adamo, it is important to focus on foods such as seafood, dairy and green vegetables. Due to this low stomach acid, they should be wary, if not avoid, caffeine, alcohol and cured or smoked meat.
Peter D’Adamo’s Blood Type Diet is the same whether your blood type is positive or negative.
In summary, the idea that we are prone to digest certain foods better than others is an interesting concept that I believe will grow as the field of nutrigenomics grows. Though, for now, it’s important to note that the Blood Type Diet is not supported by scientific evidence.
When I look at all of the foods that each blood type can and cannot eat, fundamentally each one recommends eating more vegetables and less processed foods. Even the type A diet, where many vegetables are not recommended, there are also so many vegetables that are recommended. It’s just more important which ones you choose.
To do your own research and learn more about the Blood Type Diet, you can get a copy of Peter D’Adamo’s book, “Eat Right For Your Type”, here.
Question: Have you tried the Blood Type Diet? If so, what was your experience? If you haven’t and you know what your blood type is, what stands out to you for your blood type? Leave your questions and comments in the discussion section below.
[Image source: Aqua 4 Balance]
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