A Review of the Blood Type Diet: What Do Genetics Have to Do With Eating and Weight Loss?
The idea behind the diet plan in Eat Right 4 Your Type, also called the blood type diet, is that following a diet and lifestyle that suits your blood type will make you healthier, help you reach your ideal weight, and even slow down the aging process. That’s according to the author of the book Eat Right 4 Your Type, the naturopathic physician Peter J. D’Adamo, MD. Eat Right 4 Your Type was originally published in 1996 and quickly hit major bestseller lists, and since then, Dr. D’Adamo has published a number of books on the diet, including Live Right 4 Your Type and Change Your Genetic Destiny.
“The concept of the Eat Right 4 Your Type diet is that blood types have evolved through the evolution of man,” says Chicago-based David Grotto, RD, the owner of David Grotto’s Nutrition Housecall and author of The Best Things You Can Eat. The thinking goes that "most [people] were type O — hunter-gatherers with a predominantly animal-protein-based diet.”
How Does the Blood Type Diet Work Exactly?
D’Adamo says that protein components in food called lectins bind with antigens on blood cells and lead to blood cell clumping, or agglutination. Avoiding agglutination, D’Adamo argues, can improve health by helping people manage weight better and fight cancer and heart disease.
Liz Weinandy, RD, at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, says that lectins can be dangerous to our health if eaten in large amounts, but the way D’Adamo presents their effects may be misleading. Reducing their potential health harms is relatively easy: For example, lectins found in beans can be eliminated simply by soaking the beans in water for a few hours and then boiling them for 10 minutes, Weinandy says.
But D’Adamo uses his theory to develop separate diets for people with blood types A, B, AB, and O. In addition, he recommends exercise and overall healthy habits, like drinking enough water, Weinandy explains. However, the diet is specific about which foods groups are allowed for different blood types — and that can be be restrictive, Weinandy says.
In fact, while people often have different nutritional needs, humans are complex animals, and chalking up these specifics to blood type may oversimplify those needs, Weinandy says. “To base a whole diet on that is probably not very sensible,” she says.
Most Recent in Diet and Nutrition
Is There Any Scientific Evidence to Support That the Blood Type Diet Is Effective?
While Eat Right 4 Your Type might help with weight loss, as any calorie-restricted diet would, whether it has more significant health benefits than another eating approach is another matter entirely. Critics of the plan argue there is little to no science to back up the theory that eating according to blood type can improve your health.
“What do clumping blood cells have to do with weight? I can understand heart disease and risk for blood clots,” Grotto says, “[but] as far as I know, there is no science to support the connection of agglutination and obesity, cancer, and so on.” Weinandy agrees, noting that many of the claims in the book are not scientifically proven.
In fact, an article published in January in 2014 inPLOS One found no support for the blood type diet’s claims that adherence could improve health and lower the risk of chronic disease. (1) Researchers analyzed surveys from 1,455 study participants and found that while some people benefited from sticking to a particular diet, this was actually independent of their blood type. For example, people following the type A diet tended to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure than other study participants, regardless of whether they themselves had type A, type B, type AB, or type O blood.
A Food List for Each Blood Type: What to Eat and Avoid
If you’re interested in exploring the eating plan, here’s an outline of what foods you should eat and stay away from based on each blood type:
- Type O:If you are type O, like an estimated 46 percent of the population, the Eat Right 4 Your Type program suggests that you stay away from wheat, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol. Reach instead for fruits, vegetables, and lean, organic meats. (2)
- Type A:People whose blood is type A are steered toward a vegetarian diet, including soy proteins, grains, and vegetables. They are also encouraged to eat organic and fresh food in as natural a state as possible. (3)
- Type B:People whose blood is type B are identified as omnivores who can eat a variety of foods. They should avoid certain foods — like corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, sesame seeds, and chicken — and instead opt for goat, lamb, mutton, rabbit, green vegetables, eggs, and low-fat dairy products. (4)
- Type AB:People whose blood is type AB should choose tofu, seafood like mahi-mahi and salmon, dairy like yogurt and kefir, and green vegetables like kale and broccoli. They should avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoked and cured meats, and try to eat more small meals throughout the day, according to the diet. (5)
Editor’s Picks on Diet and Weight Loss
A 1-Day Sample Menu on the Blood Type Diet for Each Blood Type
Here is a sample one-day diet for each blood type, based on D’Adamo’s recommended recipes: (6)
- Breakfast:Two slices of organic bread with almond butter, vegetable juice, and a banana
- Lunch:A spinach salad with roast beef and fruit slices
- Dinner:Lamb stew with a variety of vegetables
- Dessert:Fruit salad
- Breakfast:Buckwheat pancakes topped with maple syrup, tahini, jam, or lemon juice
- Lunch:Curried peanut tempeh with carrots, celery, and broccoli
- Snack:Trail mix
- Dinner:Rice pasta with feta and greens
- Dessert:Crumb apple pie
- Breakfast:Oatmeal with unsalted butter or ghee
- Lunch:Indian curry salad
- Snack:Kale chips
- Dinner:Apple-braised lamb shoulder chops
- Dessert:Carob fudge
- Breakfast:Silken tofu scramble with carrots and zucchini
- Lunch:Cream of mushroom soup
- Snack:White bean hummus with celery sticks
- Dinner:Grilled cod and veggies over apricot-walnut couscous
- Dessert:Flourless almond butter and raisin cookies
More Eating Approaches Like the Blood Type Diet
The Potential Benefits of the Blood Type Diet
“I have no problems with the blood type A recommendations, which is a plant-based diet,” says Grotto. “Overall, the recommendations are good for most of the blood types.”
Also, the Eat Right 4 Your Type diet does help people reduce calories and can lead to weight loss. “Unlike a lot of other fad diets, the general advice is good,” Grotto says. “I have dealt with patients who say they feel better after following the diet.”
Can the Blood Type Diet Help People With Certain Conditions?
But there is some evidence that people with certain blood types may be more prone to certain illnesses. For instance, “individuals with type O blood may be at a greater risk for duodenal ulcers. Those who are type A may be at an increased risk for atrophic gastritis,” says David J.A. Jenkins, PhD, MD, the Canada research chair in nutrition and metabolism at the University of Toronto. Some blood type O patients have specific proteins that are attacked by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which is commonly linked to ulcers.
More on Your Blood
Similarly, that bacteria has also been associated with atrophic gastritis, though the exact relationship between type A blood and atrophic gastritis is not known.
But there’s no evidence to support the theory that eating a diet tailored to a certain blood type has any effect on these conditions, Dr. Jenkins says.
Is the Blood Type Diet Safe? What to Expect If You Try It
There’s concern that the Eat Right 4 Your Type diet for those with blood type O is too protein heavy. “Animal protein, especially red meat, has been linked to health problems, such as heart disease and colorectal cancer,” says Grotto.
Also, dietitians say it’s possible that individuals may experience nutritional deficiencies when following the eating plan.
“The Eat Right 4 Your Type diet recommends calcium supplements for [type O and type A individuals] who can’t eat dairy, for example,” says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, RD, a pediatric and sports dietitian at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center who is based in Akron, Ohio. “But you can only absorb a certain amount of calcium from supplements, and you get so much more from food. If you follow this diet for a long time, you could experience vitamin and mineral deficiencies.”
More on Nutrition
Another potential long-term problem with the blood type diet is a drawback common to many diets: Restriction leads to boredom. “When you take away favorite foods, it’s almost a death knell for any dietary program, whether there is solid advice or not,” Grotto says. “If you tell people to avoid fruit or anything made with white flour, they can go back to those foods with a vengeance later on.” Some critics argue that Eat Right 4 Your Type places too much emphasis on blood type and fails to take into account individual differences. “I would look at an individual’s food preferences and health challenges, such as stroke risk, hypertension, and allergies,” Grotto says.
Should You Try the Blood Type Diet for Weight Loss and Health Improvements?
“Whatever you do to lose weight, it has to be reasonable to be sustainable,” Weinandy says. She notes that the blood type diet may work for some people, but given how restrictive it is, people may have trouble sticking with it long term — and thus not be able to keep off the weight they lost.
Still, for people curious about the benefits of the blood type diet, Weinandy sees no harm in trying it for a short period of time.
Video: Blood Type Diet: Fact or Fiction?
How to Make a Phone Call to Mexico
This is the cheapest supermarket gin per shot
Watch a clip of Kavanaughs testimony below
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez Are Serious CoupleGoals in This Video
Eat To Live Longer
The Mental Health Gene
How to Grow Eyebrows Fast
How to Steam Spinach
10Unobvious Signs That Your House IsBeing Watched byRobbers
Stop Making These 7 CV Mistakes Immediately
Declutter Your Bedroom And Sleep Better Tonight With These Genius Products
14 Incredible Riads That’ll Make You Want to Book a Trip toMarrakesh
Genius Wedding Photographer Calls Client Ugliest Bride Ever on Facebook