In 1996, Peter J. D’Adamo published Eat Right 4 Your Type, a diet based on the belief that chemical reactions occur in the foods you eat and your blood type. This reaction is caused by Lectin, which is proteins that are found in food and have glue like (agglutinate) properties that affect your blood.
The Blood Type Diet claims that when you eat foods containing lectins not compatible with your blood type, the lectins attack organs or systems within your body and begin to stick to those blood cells contained in that area. The theory behind this diet is that your specific blood type determines what foods you need to consume to best optimize your health. What does this diet involve? Is it truly the miracle diet that many swear by?
What Is the Blood Type Diet?
D’Adamo claims that each ABO blood type represents our ancestor’s genetic traits and which specific foods they thrived on in order to evolve and survive. D’Adamo’s theory is that each blood type needs the following foods for optimal health:
Type O is referred to as the hunter, The theory is based on the fact that hunters thrive on high-protein diets comprised of meat, poultry, fish, certain vegetables and fruits, but limits grains, dairy, and legumes. The Paleo diet resembles this type of eating.
Type A, called the cultivator, is based on eating a diet rich in plants and completely free of red meat, which is considered toxic. The vegetarian diet resembles this type of eating.
Type B is often referred to as the nomad. Nomads eat plants and meats, with the exception of pork and chicken. This blood type should avoid corn, wheat, tomatoes, and lentils.
Type AB is called the enigma. Because this is often described as a mix between types A and B, it is recommended to consume tofu, seafood, beans, grains, and dairy, avoiding beef, chicken, corn, and kidney beans.
Is It Scientifically Based?
Strong evidence does suggest that people with certain blood types have a higher or lower risk of certain diseases. People who have Type O blood seem to have a lower risk for heart disease, but have a higher risk of developing stomach ulcers.
A study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked for studies grouping people according to individual blood type, and whether following the diet specific to their blood type made any difference in their overall health. After reviewing the entire biomedical and life science databases, the researchers could not find one single study showing that following the Blood Type Diet actually led to better health-related outcomes.
What’s the Bottom Line?
The Blood Type Diet doesn’t take into account individual medical history, current body type or age, the medications you are on, food allergies, or diet history. Choosing the ideal diet should account for all these factors.
This diet isn’t particularly harmful, is just isn’t based on scientific fact. On this diet, you will avoid processed foods, which we all know isn’t good for the body anyway. The diet can quickly become expensive because it relies on organic foods as well as D’Adamo’s specific line of supplements.
There is no research that suggests it aids in digestion or improves energy. Eating the way this diet suggest won’t necessarily hurt you, but it won’t necessarily help you to achieve health, well-being, and losing weight any more than other diets that target making wise food choices when it comes to your health.
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