If there is one solid conclusion that we can gleam from the decades of diet fads, it is that one size does not fit all. Every body type, every metabolism and everyone’s biological makeup are completely unique, which means that although certain strict diet trends may work for one person, they might ultimately prove unsuccessful for another. The blood type diet was developed based on a deep understanding of the differences surrounding blood type and the effects different blood types have on one’s life. For example did you know that blood type can predict susceptibility to certain diseases? Or that having blood type A typically means higher fertility rates in women? Blood type can also predict different physical reactions to stress, and is also related to what bacteria thrives in your gut. Understanding how your specific blood type affects biological systems is a great starting point to understanding how eating for your blood type can drastically improve your health.
The blood type diet was developed originally by a naturopath named Peter D’Adamo. He surmised, based on his research, that different foods worked differently for people depending on their blood types. D’Adamo’s hypothesis is that certain food and blood type combinations will cause blood cells to agglutinate, thereby increasing one’s risk of heart disease and specific cancers. For some people, the lectins found in different foods will be digested differently depending on if they have blood type O or A. Lectins are the binding agent, or protein, that are naturally found in many foods. They affect the way your digestive tract binds to the food in order to absorb it. What D’Adamo found is that some lectins are blood type specific, making your blood cells and digestive lining primary targets. Some viruses and some strains of bacteria are also blood type specific.
Importantly, there is no way to avoid lectins all together. They are in nearly everything we eat! But if you eat right for your blood type, then you can start to reduce agglutination of the blood cells and thereby reduce a number of health risks and unpleasant symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms reported when diet and blood type are not inline are digestive issues such as gas, bloating and irregular bowel movements. Other common problems are skin irritations, aches and pains throughout the muscles and joints, as well as constant fatigue.
Brief Diet Overview by Blood Type
We encourage you to do your own research before leaping head first into the world of blood type diet, however below you will find a brief review of each blood type and the associated diet recommendations. Perhaps there is something that already rings a bell for you!
Type A – Called the Cultivator
This plan focuses nearly entirely on whole plant based foods: fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seeds and grains. Some foods to be avoid are dairy products, chick peas, lima beans, eggplant and tomatoes. Type A’s will also benefit from undertaking calming exercises like yoga and meditation.
Type B – Called the Nomad
Just like the name suggests, nomad blood types should have an extremely eclectic diet. Their digestive systems are typically very accommodating, and diets can includes fruit, vegetables, meat (including chicken), fish, eggs and even dairy. Some foods to avoid are corn, lentils and soy products. According to D’Adamo, Type B’s should focus on moderate exercises like hiking and cycling.
Type AB – Called the Enigma
Although it is suggested to lean more towards the vegetarian side of things, technically Type AB can pick and choose what works for them from either the diet recommendations for blood type A or type B. Avoid chicken, corn and soy though, and try to incorporate both calming and moderate exercises into your weekly regime.
Type O – Called the Hunter
Type O diet has a dairy free, and grain free focus. This blood type should consume a higher level of meat, eggs and plant based proteins into their diet. A high intensity of physical activity is suggested, while also avoiding soy, wheat, and peanuts.
Benefits of the Blood Type Diet
If you eat for your blood type, the health benefits will follow. Although it should be noted that this may be commonly referred to as a blood type diet, the word diet typically implies a short term change or restriction to food consumption. Eating for your blood type quite different because it is based on your biological makeup; your blood type does not change over time! Therefore, adopting the blood type diet is a long term solution to improve your health and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Adopting a blood type diet can help with weight loss, lower blood pressure and reduce blood sugar levels. It has also been found to boost immunity, and increase energy levels. One study found that certain similar diets lowered blood pressure (diets were similar to those for blood type A and AB). It also found that when people followed diets similar to the O type, they were able to reduce their blood levels of triglyceride (fats associated with heart issues). More research needs to be done to support the ideas D’Adamo published in his revolutionary diet, but qualitative research speaks volumes as to people’s accounts of improved health and weight loss by following the blood type diet plan.