There’s a lot of knowledge to conquer in the realm of health and fitness. You might have figured out your metabolism and caloric intake but do you understand yourself as a biochemical individual? Renowned naturopathic physician Peter D’Adamo’s concept of the blood type diet puts a new spin on the way we approach a healthy lifestyle.
Don’t let fancy words like biochemical and naturopathic convince you this diet is science fiction nonsense. D’Adamo, a former physician of the year and accomplished professor, uses research from glycobiology, biochemistry, and several other physicians in his diet book Eat Right 4 Your Type to support the theory.
Due to the blood type diet’s recency there hasn’t been many studies conducted to support D’Adamo’s theory. But for every skeptic there is an enthusiastic fan impressed by D’Adamo’s enthusiasm and more than ten years of work put into the book. It also is a New York Times best seller with more than 7 million copies in print, so he must be doing something right.The Premise
So what exactly does this new diet entail? And what sets it apart from other “fad” diets?
D’Adamo’s theory is that each person responds differently to certain types of food according to their blood type. He asserts that Lectins, a carbohydrate-binding protein found in foods, cause different interactions in each blood type. If particular lectins interact with blood type related antigens it could have unfavorable effects on your health.
The diet divides the food you should focus on and avoid into 16 groups. The groups are essential foods for a healthy diet – milk, lean meat, beans, vegetables, etc… – but the recommended amounts of each group differs greatly in each blood type.The Four Groups
You may already know your blood type. If not, you can ask your physician who may already have it on file, purchase a test kit, or donate blood at the nearest clinic. Here is D’Adamo’s broad classification for each type:Type O
“The Hunter” – This is the oldest form of blood type according to D’Adamo. It can be traced back more than 30,000 years and requires more protein than other types.Type A
“The Agrarian” – D’Adamo believes this type began with the development of agriculture around 20,000 years ago. Because of this the diet focuses mostly on vegetation.Type B
“The Nomad” - Estimates put the dawn of this type at around 10,000 years ago. They have a versatile digestive system and handle dairy products considerably well compared to other types.Type AB
“The Enigma” – This is by far the most recent type at about 1000 years old. As the letters suggest the diet requirements for this type lie between those of types A and B.Foods for Each TypeType O
Safe to Eat: If you’re a meat lover and type O, then you’re pretty much set for life. This diet focuses on protein sources like red meat, seafood, and poultry like chicken and turkey. Some vegetables that are acceptable for this type are kelp, spinach, kale and broccoli.
Stay Away From: Type Os should gravitate away from wheat and grains in their diet. Legumes like peas, beans, peanuts, and lentils should be avoided. They also might have digestive issues with dairy and egg products.Type A
Safe to Eat: The type A’s effective digestive enzymes make it the ideal choice type for vegetables and grains. Focus on healthy whole grain sources of bread and pasta and avoid simple grains. Fruits like apples, nectarines, berries, avocados, and figs are good choices. For vegetables your spectrum is hardly limited but you should look for plant protein from sources like soy and nuts.
Stay Away From: A lot of A types don’t like to hear that their meat protein consumption needs to be strictly limited. Most types of bird, fish, beef, and pork don’t sit well with the limited meat digesting enzymes. Dairy products and kidney beans should also be avoided.Type B
Safe to Eat: The B type is considered a balanced omnivore with the easiest dietary maintenance. For meats you should focus on red meat, turkey, and fish. Grains, green vegetables, and fruits are friendly additions with a few exceptions listed below.
Stay Away From: Corn, lentils, and seeds of any sort should be avoided. For meat you should avoid chicken. It’s also advised that you steer clear of buckwheat and peanuts if you fall under this type.Type AB
Safe to Eat: Borrowing from two other types, an AB type should focus primarily on vegetables, fish, and turkey. Seafood, tofu, beans, and legumes are great protein sources. Fruits like watermelon, figs, apples, and bananas are acceptable.
Stay Away From: Red meat should be avoided when possible because ABs borrow type A’s level of stomach acid. Like type Bs you should steer clear of buckwheat and corn. ABs are also vulnerable to excessive levels of alcohol and caffeine.Benefits of the Blood Type Diet
As mentioned earlier, the effects of this developing diet are still under rigorous study for definite results. One study did prove that the people on the diet did experience significantly healthy levels of cholesterol. Millions of others that have tried the diet claim it is one of the most effective weight loss techniques they’ve tried.
What most people need when it comes to dietary changes for weight loss is discipline. They need concrete details on food intake and exercise guidelines. The cookbooks and guides written by D’Adamo for each type are comprehensive guides that leave little room for you to cheat yourself from success.
The foods in the diet are all healthy when consumed in proper amounts. Any food with little to no nutritional benefit is omitted from the guidelines. Because of this you are bound to experience health benefits if you can commit to the dietary change. You’ll feel more energetic, build a healthier future, and improve your physique and well-being.Potential Problems
The biggest problem people have run into while trying the blood type diet was the restrictive guidelines for each blood type. Someone that is used to eating steak everyday generally doesn’t want to turn into an herbivore because they’re a type A. If you’re personal tastes coincide with the restricted foods, you might have trouble adjusting to the diet.
The strict guidelines also may deprive you of essential nutrition. A person that has to cut back on dairy might have to search for a way to get sufficient calcium. People that have to cut meat consumption might lack the proper amount of protein to maintain muscle.
Before deciding to try this diet consider whether or not you’re ready to commit. It will take hard work, patience, persistence, and make your grocery list a bit more specific and expensive. That being said it is also a huge trend that shows exciting promise when it comes to naturally enhancing your health.
If you have tried this diet, share your experience with the readers. How did it affect you? Have you noticed any changes? We would love to hear your story.