Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling
Have you heard of the blood type diet? I thought it had been debunked long ago but patients keep asking about it, so I figured I should learn more.
- What’s the Blood Type Diet?
- But does eating for your blood type work?
- Does it make any sense?
- So, what’s the downside?
- Now what?
- Theory behind popular blood-type diet debunked
- Going On a Blood Type O Diet
- Blood Type O Diet Basics
- Blood Type O Diet FAQs
- Food List For Blood Type O
- The Blood Type Diet; Does Your Food Match Your Blood Type?
- The Blood Type Diet Chart
- O Blood Type Diet and Lifestyle
- A Blood Type Diet and Lifestyle
- B Blood Type Diet and Lifestyle
- AB Blood Type Diet and Lifestyle
- Blood Type Eating, Lifestyle, and History
- The D’Adamo Blood Type Diet
- Scientific review of blood type diets
- The end of blood type and diet?
- Diets for each blood type
- Blood type, stomach acid and ulcers
- How to lower ulcer risk
- Take-home message
- What Dr. Melinda Ratini Says:
- 11 Foods To Avoid If You’re Eating For Your Blood Type
- The A positive (and A negative) blood type diet
- What Is The Blood Type Diet and Should I Try It?
- Eating for Blood Type A
- Eating for Blood Type O
- Eating for Blood Type B
- Eating for Blood Type AB
- Does the Blood Type Diet really work?
- The Blood Type Diet: Fact or Fiction?
- The Blood Type Diet: Fact or Fiction?
- Eat according to your blood type
What’s the Blood Type Diet?
In 1996 Peter D’Adamo, a naturopathic physician, published a book in which he described how people could be healthier, live longer, and achieve their ideal weight by eating according to their blood type. One’s choice of condiments, spices, and even exercise should depend on one’s blood type. Soon, the book was a best seller and people everywhere were finding out their blood type, revising their grocery lists, and changing how they ate, exercised, and thought about their health.
Here are some of the recommendations according to the “Eat Right for Your Type” diet:
- Those with type O blood should choose high-protein foods and eat lots of meat, vegetables, fish, and fruit but limit grains, beans, and legumes. To lose weight, seafood, kelp, red meat, broccoli, spinach, and olive oil are best; wheat, corn, and dairy are to be avoided.
- Those with type A blood should choose fruit, vegetables, tofu, seafood, turkey, and whole grains but avoid meat. For weight loss, seafood, vegetables, pineapple, olive oil, and soy are best; dairy, wheat, corn, and kidney beans should be avoided.
- Those with type B blood should pick a diverse diet including meat, fruit, dairy, seafood, and grains. To lose weight, type B individuals should choose green vegetables, eggs, liver, and licorice tea but avoid chicken, corn, peanuts, and wheat.
- Those with type AB blood should eat dairy, tofu, lamb, fish, grains, fruit, and vegetables. For weight loss, tofu, seafood, green vegetables, and kelp are best but chicken, corn, buckwheat, and kidney beans should be avoided.
As mentioned, the recommendations for the blood type diets extend well beyond food choices. For example, people with type O blood are advised to choose high-intensity aerobic exercise and take supplements for their sensitive stomachs, while those with type A blood should choose low-intensity activities and include meditation as part of their routine.
But does eating for your blood type work?
High-quality studies about the blood type diet had not been published in peer-reviewed medical literature. Even now, a search in the medical literature for the author’s name reveals no research pertaining to this diet. Studies published in 2013 and 2014 about the blood type diets are worth noting. The 2013 study analyzed the world’s medical literature and found no studies demonstrating benefit from a blood type diet. The 2014 study found that while people following any of the blood type diets had some improvement in certain cardiometabolic risk factors (such as cholesterol or blood pressure), those improvements were unrelated to blood type.
Does it make any sense?
The theory behind this diet is that blood type is closely tied to our ability to digest certain types of foods, so that the proper diet will improve digestion, help maintain ideal body weight, increase energy levels, and prevent disease, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Type O was said to be the original “ancestral” blood type of the earliest humans who were hunter-gatherers, with diets that were high in animal protein. Group A was said to evolve when humans began to farm and had more vegetarian diets. Group B blood types were said to arise among nomadic tribes who consumed a lot of dairy products. And since Group AB blood was supposed to have evolved from the intermingling of people with types A and B blood, type AB recommendations were intermediate between those for people with types A and B blood.
Each of these theories has been challenged. For example, there is evidence that type A was actually the first blood group to evolve in humans, not type O. In addition, there is no proven connection between blood type and digestion. So, in addition to a lack of evidence that the diet works, serious questions remain about why it should work in the first place.
So, what’s the downside?
It’s a fair question, especially since some improvements were seen in people who adopted certain blood type diets (see link above). Eating based on your blood type requires you to know your blood type and then follow a restrictive diet. Personal preferences might be a problem: a vegetarian with type O blood may struggle to stay on the assigned diet, and people who love red meat may be disappointed to learn they have type A blood. Recommended supplements are not cheap; neither are the recommended organic foods. And if you have certain health conditions, such as high cholesterol or diabetes, a nutritionist can make better evidence-based recommendations for you than those determined by your blood type.
Advocates of blood type diets may say that while the ideal study has not yet been performed, the absence of evidence doesn’t prove they’re ineffective. And there’s also no proof that these diets are harmful. So, my guess is that interest in the blood type diets will not disappear any time soon. But there’s a reason that bookstores have rows and rows of books on diet, each claiming to be highly effective if not the best. We simply don’t know which diet is best for each individual person. And even if we did, sticking to any single diet is often challenging.
Stand by — it’s likely you’ll soon be hearing about yet another best diet. And my guess is that it won’t have anything to do with your blood type.
Theory behind popular blood-type diet debunked
“Based on the data of 1,455 study participants, we found no evidence to support the ‘blood-type’ diet theory,” said the senior author of the study, Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Nutrigenomics at the U of T.
“The way an individual responds to any one of these diets has absolutely nothing to do with their blood type and has everything to do with their ability to stick to a sensible vegetarian or low-carbohydrate diet,” said El-Sohemy.
Researchers found that the associations they observed between each of the four blood-type (A, B, AB, O) diets and the markers of health are independent of the person’s blood type. The ‘blood-type’ diet was popularized in the book Eat Right for Your Type, written by naturopath Peter D’Adamo. The theory behind the diet is that the ABO blood type should match the dietary habits of our ancestors and people with different blood types process food differently. According to the theory, individuals adhering to a diet specific to one’s blood type can improve health and decrease risk of chronic illness such as cardiovascular disease. The book was a New York Times best-seller that has been translated into 52 languages and sold over 7 million copies.
The U of T researchers took an existing population of mostly young and healthy adults who provided detailed information about their usual diets and provided fasting blood that was used to isolate DNA to determine their ABO blood type and the level of cardiometabolic risk factors, such as insulin, cholesterol and triglycerides. Diet scores were calculated based on the food items listed in Eat Right for Your Type to determine relative adherence to each of the four ‘blood-type’ diets.
El-Sohemy says that a previous lack of scientific evidence doesn’t mean the diets didn’t work. “There was just no evidence, one way or the other. It was an intriguing hypothesis so we felt we should put it to the test. We can now be confident in saying that the blood type diet hypothesis is false.” Last year, a comprehensive review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no evidence to support the ‘blood-type’ diet and called for properly designed scientific studies to address it.
When it comes to diets, the first thing many people think of is to avoid high-fat food, among other “bad calories”, to lose weight. However, there are some diets that use your blood type to determine what you should eat to lose weight, and this surprisingly includes some food you wouldn’t associate with diets, like red meat. There is a blood type diet for every blood type, each specifically tailored to it. If you are someone with blood type O, then here’s a blood type O diet food list to help you shed those pounds.
Top Rated Shopping List App
Share And Synchronize An Unlimited Number
Of Lists With Others Instantly and Easy
Going On a Blood Type O Diet
The main point of such a diet is to help you lose weight. However, this is not the only benefit it has. According to its founder Dr. Peter D’Adamo, the extra health benefits include things such as improved digestion, increased energy levels, as well as helping to fight some diseases and health issues such as cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Dr. D’Adamo’s basis for the diet is that each of our blood types is related to our genetic ancestral heritage. Therefore, in order for us to be healthy and lose weight effectively, he claims that we should eat food similar to what the ancestors associated with our blood type did.
This makes it very important to stick to Dr. D’Adamo’s specific diet for your specific blood type. If you’re not blood type O, then you might find this diet isn’t as effective as it can be compared to the diet designed for your blood type. For instance, any person with blood type O should eat a lot of high-protein food, while another person with different blood type may have to add low-protein food into their diet.
Stick to the diet. Try Listonic.
The blood type O diet contains a plethora of food which is designed to stimulate high levels of stomach acid in the human body. Stomach acid, in turn, activates enzymes and plays a vital role in the digestion of protein. There is a close link between this diet and better digestive health.
Because of its restrictive nature, if you are planning to undertake the diet, then you need to know which food to avoid and what to eat. Therefore, you should use a pre-defined grocery list to get you started on the diet. This article will also go over some basics, and answer some frequently asked questions. However, you may skip straight to your free blood type O diet food list template if you wish.
Blood Type O Diet Basics
Which Foods Should O-Blood Type People Avoid?
You’ll need to deny yourself an extensive list of food when on the diet. Most beans and grains, for instance, should absolutely be avoided. Grain contain lectins that interfere with insulin metabolism, while beans make muscle tissue less acidic and may even block the metabolism of other nutrients. Having said that, you are allowed some exceptions such as azuki and pinto beans, as well as barley, rice, and buckwheat.
Although vegetables and fruit make up an essential part of most diets, some of them are not suitable for people with blood type O. Those to avoid include eggplant, potatoes, corn, avocado, strawberries, and blackberries.
Eggplants and potatoes are not allowed, as they adversely contribute to arthritis due to the chemical solanine found in them. You should also avoid corn because it affects insulin regulation.
Do not eat oranges, strawberries or blackberries as these might cause inflammation of the stomach lining because of the fact that they are highly acidic.
Furthermore, avocado is high in fat. People with blood type O are recommended to keep it away from their diet.
People going on the blood type O diet should also keep away from certain types of meat and seafood, and most dairy products. This is because they include hard to digest animal protein. Such meat includes pork, ham, bacon, goose, octopus, caviar, smoked salmon, milk, and milk-based goods such as yogurt and ice-cream.
Many diet followers may wonder why pork should be kept away while on this diet. The simple answer is that pork contains high amounts of antibodies and carbohydrates which might drive you to overeat, promoting weight gain.
You should also avoid margarine while on the blood type O diet. The main reason is it is a source of trans-fatty acids that inhibit the body’s ability to use fat for health.
Don’t gulp down beer, spirits, tea, and coffee either. Tea, for instance, contains theine that, like caffeine, raises adrenaline level in the body which is already high for type O’s.
Stick to Your Blood Type O Diet With Listonic
- Stay away from forbidden food and temptations by sticking to your shopping list
- Create different lists for different reasons, such as list specifically for your diet
- Add details to items such as quantity, descriptions, and even photos, so you buy exactly what you need and how much
- Add prices to items and see a running total of your shopping list to help your diet stay within your grocery budget
Which Foods Should Blood Type O People Eat to Lose Weight?
Some meat that is allowed on the diet is, for example, lean meat, beef, veal, and lamb. Consuming them increases the amount of stomach acid in the body, which makes it easier to digest them. This results in a healthy digestive system that promotes weight loss.
Additionally, there are some recommended fruit and vegetables that you should put into your diet food list for blood type O. Such vegetables include spinach, lettuce, and broccoli as they are effective for weight loss as they are high in Vitamin K.
When it comes to the recommended fruit, try to eat prunes, figs, and plums as much as possible. The reason is that all of this fruit contains components that might prevent your body from producing polyamines which can lead to increased digestive problems. As well as eating them fresh, you can also have juice made from these kinds of fruit.
If you are a tea lover, try to have green tea or herbal tea as an alternative to drinks high in caffeine, like coffee, black tea.
Seafood is an essential part of this diet. This is because of high levels of iodized salt contained in them which helps to regulate thyroid function. This also means that you should definitely have iodized salt on your seasoning list, too.
People with blood type O also should also consider using monounsaturated oil which helps to lower cholesterol. Examples of this type of oil are olive, sesame, peanut, and canola.
Blood Type O Diet FAQs
What can blood type O people eat for breakfast?
O-types are advised to have stewed prunes, or fresh or dried figs. Oats with soya milk and green tea are also recommended as alternatives to wheat, dairy milk, and black tea: all of which you should be avoiding.
Muffins made with rye flour with stewed apples, accompanied by a glass of juice or soy milk, is also a great option for a quick breakfast for type-O individuals.
For breakfast toast, avoid peanut butter and swap it for almond or sunflower butter.
Can blood type O people eat potatoes?
It is not recommended to eat potatoes because they contain lectin which prevents the gut from absorbing nutrients properly. Eating potatoes also slows down the metabolism process, as they are hard to digest.
Can blood type O people eat eggs?
Yes, but in small amounts.
In general, blood type O is sensitive to gluten which can be found in dairy products. However, eggs have a very low level of gluten in them. So, you’re allowed these but only in as small an amount as possible.
Food List For Blood Type O
If you are ready to undertake the diet, then use our free printable blood type O diet food list below.
Blood Type O Food List 📃🛒👍
Copy to clipboard
Meat and seafood
- Red bell peppers
- Sweet potatoes
- Iodized salt
- Canola oil
- Olive oil
- Peanut oil
- Sesame oil
- Green tea
- Herbal tea
- Mineral water
- Prune juice
- Soy milk
Do you think the blood type O diet might be good for you? Which products do you prefer eating the most on the diet? Which recipes do you have for a quick blood type O breakfast? Let us know in the comments!
The Blood Type Diet; Does Your Food Match Your Blood Type?
People with specific blood types have certain stomach enzymes that cause them to process food differently than other blood types. Intestinal alkaline phosphatase, or IAP, is one of those enzymes found in people with blood groups O and B, soliciting a diet that includes healthy fats and lean animal protein.
The Blood Type Diet Chart
One can find some very comprehensive charts and guides detailing the ideal food by blood type, but here is a basic layout of the main blood types and their corresponding dietary basics:
O Blood Type Diet and Lifestyle
- Flourish on intense physical exercise and animal protein
- Fare less well on dairy products and grains
- Leading reason for weight gain comes from gluten found in wheat products and to a lesser extent lentils, corn, kidney beans, and cabbage
- Ideal exercises:
- Martial arts
- Contact sports
A Blood Type Diet and Lifestyle
- Flourish from a vegetarian diet and foods that are fresh, pure, and organic
- Predisposed to heart disease, cancer and diabetes
- Can derive significant benefit from calming, centering exercises like:
- Tai Chi
- Qi Gong
B Blood Type Diet and Lifestyle
- Ideal diet should include a balance between specific proteins and green vegetables, including:
- Lamb, Rabbit, Venison, and Goat
- Eggs, Legumes, Fruit
- Typically have a robust immune system and tolerant digestive system
- Tends to resist many severe chronic degenerative illnesses
- Type B does best with moderate physical exercise requiring mental balance including:
AB Blood Type Diet and Lifestyle
- Diet should be a combination of types A and B including:
- Green vegetables
- Dairy products
- Seafood as main protein source
- Mixture of exercises for type A’s and B’s
Blood Type Eating, Lifestyle, and History
Blood Type A
The Type A blood group evolved during a shortage of hunted game in Africa, which lead to a diaspora throughout Europe and Asia. From there, people started cultivating grains and other carbohydrates, allowing for the abandonment of hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Consuming carbohydrates became more of a necessity for these communities and so blood Type A evolved to be an efficient processor of carbohydrates.
For Blood Type A’s who are used to eating meat, that switch to becoming an herbivore might be difficult, but it should quickly show results in energy levels and weight loss.
Type A’s also have naturally higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in their system, which can lead to OCD, brain fog, disrupted sleep patterns, and fat gain. Cortisol is what the body releases to wake you up in the morning, playing a key role in regulating energy levels; therefore it is important for Type A’s to maintain a regular eating schedule and not skip meals. D’adamo recommends eating many light meals throughout the day to maintain blood sugar stability.
Blood Type O
The universal donor, or the only blood type that contains two opposing antibodies, thought to have been a survival tactic used to fight diseases that dogged our ancestors. Unfortunately, it has a converse effect sometimes, making Type O’s susceptible to certain diseases and maladies, including thyroid issues and stomach ulcers; the ulcers come from a higher than average level of stomach acids.
The good news is that Type O’s have the ability to efficiently process both protein and fat due to higher levels of the enzyme IAP. This leads to better absorption of calcium, ease in processing simple carbohydrates, and an ability to quickly heal the lining of the GI tract.
According to D’adamo, Type O’s ancestry is linked to the “fight or flight” response, which can be causative of tantrums, hyperactivity and bouts of anger. Type O’s are also more susceptible to risk taking activity like gambling, substance abuse and sensation seeking.
He recommends limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, while participating in exercise that is taxing on the cardiovascular and muscular systems. Basically, the idea is to tire yourself out from exercise to curb your hyperactivity.
Blood Type B
D’adamo says that blood Type B can be traced back to the Himalayan highlands, after our primordial ancestors were pushed from the hot climate of eastern Africa into the cold, snowy mountains and north into the Eurasian plains. This temperature and lifestyle shock resulted in a forced adaptability from some of our ancestors having to hunt in areas not conducive to farming, while others had access to a variety of vast agricultural resources seen from Eastern Europe down to India.
With Type A and O being at two opposite ends of the spectrum, Type B falls in the middle, soliciting a balance between meat and vegetarian foods, but also allowing for flexibility. D’adamo says that healthy Type B’s who adhere to their blood type diet are more physically fit and mentally balanced than any other blood type. This blood type tends to adapt to altitude better than others and are typically taller.
Type B’s however, can be susceptible to auto-immune disorders, and produce higher levels of cortisol in stressful situations. D’adamo says that inflammation can also result in Type B’s sensitivity to lectins in specific foods.
He says to avoid weight gain, foods like corn, wheat, lentils peanuts and tomatoes should be limited. These foods can result in fatigue and low blood sugar. D’adamo also recommends staying away from chicken due to a lectin it contains that can result in immune disorders and even strokes.
Instead, Type B’s should consume meats like lamb, goat, rabbit and venison. Green vegetables, eggs, and low fat dairy products are also recommended.
Blood Type AB
The most recent major blood type to be discovered and also the rarest, Type AB is essentially an amalgam of Type A and B. This means that it draws both pros and cons of each type.
D’adamo says this blood type has the low-stomach acid levels seen in Type A, but has also adapted to meats like Type B, meaning meat is often not broken down properly and instead stored as fat.
Alcohol and caffeine should be avoided by this blood type, as well as smoked and cured meats. D’adamo recommends seafood for protein in the diet of Type AB’s, including mahi, red snapper, salmon and tuna. And like Type A’s he recommends eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day.
In addition to seafood, green vegetables, dairy and tofu are recommended, and he warns against eating proteins and starches in the same meal. Certain food combinations can aid or harm the digestive process for stomachs with lower acid and fewer peptic enzymes.
There are a number of suggestions D’adamo provides on his page that can help the conscious blood type dieter to maintain their health. Being a naturopath, he says that a holistic approach is often the best path, especially when it comes to the health of the gut microbiome. You could be eating seemingly healthy things, but unless it’s done with the proper compatibility for your body and lifestyle, it may not be effective.
This post contains sponsored links. When you buy through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Hope the headline didn’t get you too excited. Yes, the blood type diet is largely thin on evidence. Although, as I will discuss in this post, there are a few narrow redeeming qualities to this much maligned fad diet.
The main science backed diet issue for people to consider based on their blood type is the level of hydrochloric acid produced in the stomach. Hydrochloric acid is essential for properly digesting food, especially animal protein, and there is good evidence demonstrating differences in hydrochloric acid levels based on people’s blood type, with O blood type having the highest levels. There is also a link between risk for certain types of ulcers and blood type.
The D’Adamo Blood Type Diet
In the early 2000’s, diets based on your ABO blood type were all the rage, with the D’Adamo diet being one of the most popular versions.
Whilst a lot of claims were made about the diet, clinical studies were lacking. Issues like this frequently occur in medical research when the underlying effect is multifactorial; i.e. when all sorts of other factors such as individuals genetics or their environment influence outcome.
Studies of 10 people might show an effect, but another study on a different 10 people might not. In instances like this we typically say the study is under-powered – don’t worry I won’t go into statistical analysis here, it makes my blood run cold as well…
To investigate definitively, researchers need to make sure their study is sufficiently powered, which means they need lots of people to perform their comparison. While it’s relatively straightforward to perform a study with 10 or 100 people, it becomes a completely different ball game when you reach 1,000 people or more. Studies of this size are expensive and very time consuming and so are unlikely to be performed unless they are covering a major health risk. Which means a study with “sufficient power” is unlikely to be performed for a dietary intervention.
Luckily there is a way around this. Scientists can perform a type of study known as a systematic review, where they pool the data from all relevant studies (not just those looking at the specific effect, but also other studies where appropriate data is recorded) and then analyse the effect.
Scientific review of blood type diets
In 2013, a group of researchers undertook just such a study into blood type diets.1 After screening 1,415 studies they identified 16 possible targets, which the further refined down to a single study of interest.2 The paper itself is quite difficult to follow so I’ll just take this quote from the authors:
None of the studies showed an association between ABO blood type diets and health-related outcomes.
Pretty conclusive stuff.
This systematic review was followed up by a direct study investigating blood type diet and its impact on cardiometabolic risk factors in 1,455 individuals.3 Again the paper has a lot of detail and is perhaps again summed up best by the authors:
Our findings show that adherence to certain ‘Blood-Type’ diets is associated with a favorable profile for certain cardiometabolic risk factors in young adults, but these associations were not related to an individual’s ABO blood group.
My emphasis in bold.
So, while a positive effect from following the low meat high fruit and vegetable diet was observed, this was not associated with any particular blood group. Rather, it is just an effect of following a traditional “healthy” diet. This study was considered the nail in the coffin of the blood type diet. Dr D’Adamo refutes this study on but once again, in a non peer review format.
The end of blood type and diet?
So is that the end? Are blood type and diet definitively not linked? Well in the sense that you should follow a particular diet based on your blood type, yes. In that respect, the blood type diet has been debunked.
However, there are some dietary risk factors which do seem to be associated with blood type, which can be influenced by certain dietary choices.
ABO Blood Classification
But before we look at that it’s worthwhile to go over the ABO blood classification as this can give us some idea where the initial blood type diet hypothesis came from, and how it might be relevant for other studies.
The ABO blood system was first described at the start of the 20th century by the Austrian physician Karl Landsteiner who demonstrated that our red blood cells could carry one of two antigens (a protein which can cause immune cells to generate antibodies) on their surface; A or B or none at all. We now know that this expression is determined by our genetics, meaning each individual will have two types of antigen present, which are summarized in the table below.
Three outcomes per gene means a possible 9 combinations. However, AA is the same as AO meaning that we actually end up with four groups. A, B, AB and O. People with O blood should only receive donations from other O individuals, but can donate to anyone. Whereas AB can receive blood from anyone but only donate amongst themselves. There are many other factors such as the Rhesus (Rh) system which tags a + or – to the blood type (+ can receive – but not vice-a-versa) which further complicate matters but ABO is the main typing group.
Diets for each blood type
O is Ancestral
The blood type diet was based around the idea that O is the ancestral blood group and so their optimal diet should match that of our early ancestors, being high in animal protein and low in grains, a version of the paleo diet.
A evolved next and so these individuals should benefit from a vegetarian diet as this was when we first settled into villages and began cultivating our food.
B can handle dairy
Finally, B was thought to be the last evolving group and so individuals are thought to deal well with dairy products.
AB Can handle variety
AB individuals are able to enjoy a wider diet type.
Lectins, a type of small molecule in different foods said to the defense mechanism of plants to deter predators, were hypothesized to promote red blood cells to clump in a process called agglutination resulting in poor health outcomes. As discussed above, the science backing this is rather poor, however there is some emerging evidence about other dietary impacts.
Blood type, stomach acid and ulcers
As far back as the 1960s, researchers were describing an association between blood group, the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the gut and the associated development of ulcers.4 Proper levels of hydrochloric acid are vital as it promotes the digestion of food, maintains correct gut flora and optimizes the environment for digestive enzymes.
O blood type individuals were both more likely to secrete increased levels of hydrochloric acid and with increased risk of developing gastric ulcers. An interesting finding showed that A blood type individuals secreted less hydrochloric acid and that this resulted in an increase in a different type of ulcer.
Bringing this research up to date, a huge study including over 1,000,000 patients from Sweden and Denmark confirmed the increased risk of developing ulcers for O blood type individuals. They didn’t replicate the same findings for A type individuals but did show that these patients were of increased gastric cancer risk.5
In this table taken from (R) the adjusted rate ratio shows the relative risk of developing gastric or duodenal ulcers, a higher number means a higher risk. As you can see O type individuals are at the highest risk.
Conversely, when looking at cancer risk a different effect was observed. With the A antigen (A alone or AB) being associated with an increased cancer risk.
How to lower ulcer risk
As we’ve discussed previously, H. pylori infection is commonly associated with the development of gastric ulcers, and several groups have demonstrated an association based on blood type; with A and O types thought to be at more risk although the exact mechanism linking the two remains unknown, and some studies are in disagreement.678
So if your blood type can predict gastric ulcer and cancer risk, and this seems to be driven by changes in susceptibility to H. pylori infection what can you do about it?
From a dietary perspective, high levels of fibre have been shown to be protective, other factors such as smoking, high alcohol intake and excessive red meat intake have also been associated with increased risk, although the relative effect is unclear. Therefore, the sort of mixed vegetable rich diet which is widely accepted as healthy should prove most beneficial to those with type O blood (but this type of diet is also beneficial in general).910
Those with blood type A secrete less hydrochloric acid into the gut and therefore may suffer from impaired digestion, particularly of protein rich and difficult to digest foods such as many red meats.11 This lack of digestion can limit the movement of food through the gut and promote bacterial colonization, especially from H. pylori.7However, no studies directly investigating type A associated lack of digestion with H. pylori overgrowth have been performed.
See also: Probiotics aren’t the only way to restore gut health
The major nutrient or supplement to recommend is Saccharomyces boulardii which John has written an excellent post on. The section dealing with H. pylori is of obvious interest, with S. boulardii exerting a protective effect in association with antibiotics.12 Use of S. boulardii will likely be beneficial for those with both type A or type O blood who are at greater risk of H. pylori colonization.
Vitamin A intake has also been associated with a reduction in ulcer risk overall,9 vitamin C and E were also linked but the results were less clear. However, no studies investigating these nutrients in relation to blood type and ulcer risk have been performed. From a practical standpoint, those with an impaired ability to digest proteins due to a lack of stomach acid may benefit from experimenting with betaine HCL and digestive enzymes.
Aside from blood group, which can be determined genetically but is more accurately determined using simple lab assays, the SNP rs4073 in the IL8 gene might also be of interest. Carriers of the risk allele ‘A’ are of significantly elevated risk of developing H. pylori infections,13 and so this SNP might be of particular interest for those with A or O blood type. However no direct studies have been performed linking the two.
To summarize, the blood type diet has been largely discredited, although the healthy vegetable rich diet it proposes would likely be beneficial for most individuals.
However, blood type can impact on the risk of developing gastric ulcers, with type O being the highest risk group.
There are several general and specific dietary changes that can be made to reduce the risk of developing ulcers, but as of yet no studies linking everything together have been performed.
What Dr. Melinda Ratini Says:
Does It Work?
One study found that adults eating the type A diet showed improved health markers, but this occurred in everyone, not just those with type A blood type. In 2013, a major review concluded that no evidence exists to support benefits of blood type diets.
It’s likely that you would lose weight, though, because the diet can be very restrictive.
Is It Good for Certain Conditions?
The Blood Type Diet makes recommendations based solely on your blood type. So, if you have a chronic condition (say, diabetes), you may be told to eat high protein, while another person with diabetes may have to avoid dairy or chicken. This may conflict with your diabetes treatment plan.
The American Diabetes Association recommends a more practical approach to your day-to-day eating. It also cautions against focusing on specific foods. In most cases it doesn’t recommend cutting out any major food groups.
The Blood Type Diet also fails to address other conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or cholesterol. Any needed weight loss is sure to have a positive impact on these conditions. But no matter your blood type, you should follow the same guidelines issued by The American Heart Association (AHA) for a low-fat and low-salt diet.
Also, everyone should aim for 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week and at least 2 days of strength training per week.
The Final Word
On The Blood Type Diet, you’ll avoid processed food and simple carbs. That may be enough to help you lose some weight. But any weight loss on this diet has not been linked to your blood type.
There’s also no research proving that this diet can aid in digestion or give you more energy.
Although you’ll buy and prepare your own foods on this plan, your choices are limited depending on your blood type. So be prepared to spend some time in the kitchen.
The diet may quickly become expensive, too, since the author recommends you buy organics as well as his own line of supplements.
If the Blood Type Diet intrigues you, consider this: The science is stacked behind traditional recommendations for healthy eating for weight loss — not restrictions based on the type of your blood.
11 Foods To Avoid If You’re Eating For Your Blood Type
As far as health advice goes, one of the more interesting diet plans is the blood type diet. It claims that there are certain foods you might want to avoid based on your blood type, and certain foods you can seek out, in order to improve your health. The idea was coined by the naturopathic doctor Peter D’Adamo, in his book Eat Right for Your Type, which was first published way back in 1996.
In it, D’Adamo breaks down the four blood types — A, B, AB, and O — and explains why certain foods might be either healthy, or detrimental, for each. The thing is, while it’s definitely something interesting to consider, there isn’t much scientific data to back it up.
“According to recent systematic reviews looking at the scientific literature on the blood type diet, there isn’t much evidence to support the effectiveness of blood type diets,” Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of Ancient Nutrition and DrAxe.com, tells Bustle. Basically, what the blood type diet does have going for it, is it recommends eating healthy foods and getting some exercise.
And that’s advice anyone can agree with. “Eating a varied, nutrient-dense diet is more important than basing your diet on your blood type,” Dr. Axe says. “One thing I do think the blood type diet does right is this: it encourages you to limit or avoid foods that are highly-processed, sources of empty calories, and those that are generally not well-tolerated and lead to poor digestion and other symptoms.”
While it’s fine to eat processed foods occasionally, there’s no denying your diet should include colorful, fresh foods. Here are a few healthy takeaways from the blood type diet that you can apply to your life — regardless of your blood type. Just be sure to check with your doctor first.
1. Blood Type A
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
As Dr. Axe says, “Some refer to blood type A people as ‘agrarians’ or ‘cultivators’ because connections have been made between this blood type and ancestral farming or horticultural practices. According to D’Adamo, type As are better at digesting carbohydrates than other blood types, but they struggle to digest and metabolize animal protein and fat.”
So, for Type A folks who are eating for their blood type, they may want to stay away from eating a ton of meat. They might do best with a mostly vegetarian diet that’s full of veggies, fruits, legumes, and gluten-free grains, Axe says. Great choices are apples, avocados, berries, peaches, pears, plums, broccoli, and leafy greens.
They may also want to avoid drinking too much alcohol and caffeine, due to how it interacts with their blood. Dr. Axe recommends sipping on herbal teas and water instead.
And finally, Type A people might want to cut back on grains. Dr. Axe says it’s best them to stick to a gluten-free diet by minimizing all wheat and all foods containing wheat flour, barley or rye.
Does this sound like it would suit you? If so, then you’re likely already eating close to the recommendations for the blood type diet. Of course, you don’t have to eat this way — especially if you enjoy grains and meat. But if you and your doctor agree it’s a good fit, why not give it a try?
2. Blood Type B
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
If you have Type B blood, there are a few foods you might want to stay away from if you’re looking to eat for your blood type. “Type Bs are sometimes referred to as ‘nomads’ because they are believed to have ancestral ties to nomadic people who moved around a lot and covered large areas of land,” Dr. Axe says. “This is said to have helped type Bs develop a high tolerance to a variety of different foods, which means they do best with a balanced diet that includes moderate amounts of all macronutrients.”
That said, Type Bs may want to minimize their intake of peanuts, corn, lentils, and chicken, Dr. Axe says. These foods are best avoided by people with Type B blood due to how the affect the metabolic process, according to D’Adamo’s theory. But again, since it hasn’t been supported by research, it’s absolutely fine to eat these foods, if you like them and they make you feel well.
3. Blood Type AB
If you have Type AB blood, and want to eat for your blood type, you’re lucky. “Type ABs are said to have an advantage over other blood types in that they can digest many different foods and even meals that contain both protein and fat,” Dr. Axe says. “According to D’Adamo, ‘Type AB is the only blood type whose existence is the result of intermingling rather than evolution and environment. Thus, they share both the benefits and the challenges of both Type A and Type B blood types.'”
That said, Type ABs should refrain from eating too much red meat. They may also want to eat less grains and seeds, especially if they cause indigestion, Dr. Axe says. Other foods to avoid: beans, corn, and too much alcohol.
4. Blood Type O
If you have Type O blood, it’s said that you have “ancestral ties to hunters who consumed a lot of meat, fish and animal foods,” Dr. Axe says. “Type Os are said to have certain digestive advantages because they can metabolize cholesterol found in animal products more efficiently than other blood types and also better assimilate calcium from dairy products.”
As far as the worst foods to eat? Folks with type O blood that are looking to eat for their blood type might want to eat less carbs, and instead stick to a low-carb diet, while going for foods “high in protein, such as … fish, meats like lamb, veal, mutton, eggs, and other animal sources,” Dr. Axe says.
They also might want to eat less sugar, “such as from fruit and grains,” he says, as well a peanuts, corn, legumes, and grains most of the time. “You can think of blood type plans as ‘suggestions,'” Dr. Axe says. “But also include some foods that are limited according to your blood type in moderate or small amounts.”
Of course, before changing your diet for any reason, it’s always a good idea to ask your doctor first. When it comes to the blood type diet, it’s most about eating healthy foods, avoiding certain ones that might disrupt your body, and getting exercise. Anyone who does this — regardless of their blood type — will be sticking to typical, recommended health advice from doctor’s the world over.
The A positive (and A negative) blood type diet
Certain foods are recommended for people with type A blood to eat, as well as avoid, in order to maintain optimal health. According to the diet, these are the foods that those with blood type A may benefit from:
Although people with type A blood may be best suited to a vegetarian diet, some animal products are allowed, including:
According to the diet, people with type A blood may consume most kinds of seafood with the most beneficial being:
- red snapper
- rainbow trout
- sea trout
- silver or yellow perch
Exceptions are on the “avoid list” of animal proteins further down this article.
Digesting dairy is allegedly difficult for people with type A blood, but certain types of dairy may be acceptable, including:
- cheeses, including mozzarella, feta, goat cheese, ricotta, and string
- goat milk
Nuts and fats
Nuts are a great source of protein and healthful fats. People following the type A blood diet can typically have most nuts, except for the ones listed in the “avoid” list. The most beneficial nuts for people following the diet include:
- pumpkin seeds
The most beneficial fats for people following the diet to eat include flaxseed oil and olive oil. Other allowable fats include canola and cod liver oil.
There is a selection of peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts available for purchase online.
Share on PinterestBeans are an excellent source of protein, iron, and fiber, and most types are acceptable in a blood type A diet.
According to the diet, beans are well-tolerated by people with type A blood, and those considered to be most beneficial include:
- adzuki beans
- back and green beans
- pinto beans
- red soy
- black-eyed peas
While most grains are well-tolerated by people with type A blood according to the diet, the most beneficial may include:
There is a selection of amaranth and buckwheat available for purchase online.
Allowable breads and grains include:
- essene, Ezekiel, soya flour, and sprouted wheat
- rice cakes
- oat, rice, and rye flour
- soba noodles
- artichoke pasta
Many vegetables may be well-suited to people following the diet. Some of the recommended ones include:
- collard greens
- greens, such as dandelion and Swiss chard
- alfalfa sprouts
The exceptions to the vegetable rule are listed below.
Similarly to vegetables, type A blood group individuals may be well-suited to fruits. Some of the recommended fruits for people following the diet include more alkaline fruits, such as:
- most berries, including blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, and cranberries
Exceptions to the fruit rule are listed further down this article.
Spices and condiments
Spices and condiments that people following the diet are alleged to benefit from include:
- soy sauce
- blackstrap molasses
There is a selection of tamari, miso, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and blackstrap molasses available for purchase online.
Beverages that the diet allows include:
- green tea
- red wine
- slippery elm
What Is The Blood Type Diet and Should I Try It?
You may have heard about the Blood Type Diet. It calls for eating certain foods and avoiding others based on your blood type of A, B, AB, or O. It was originally created by naturopath Peter D’Adamo, who believes that the foods you eat react chemically with your blood type. This can affect how efficiently you digest food.
“If you follow a diet tailored to your individual blood type, according to D’Adamo, you can essentially biohack your genetics, lose weight, have more energy, and help prevent disease,” explains Eliza Whetzel, registered dietitian at Middleberg Nutrition specializing in weight management, sports nutrition, food allergies/intolerances and GI disorders. “Your blood type is a key genetic factor that can influence your risk factors for disease, the way you respond to stress, and, according to Dr. D’Adamo, how to optimize your nutrition.”
What does it really mean to eat for your blood type, and how does it all work? We talked to nutrition experts to better understand this diet and how the eating behaviors of each blood type break down.
Eating for Blood Type A
According to Lisa Samuels, R.D., hatha yoga teacher and founder of Happie House Yoga in Queens, New York, blood type A adapted based on the evolutionary need to begin farming and harvesting grains for survival instead of hunting game. “Those with type A blood have a lower level of acid in the stomach. makes it more difficult to break down substantial proteins,” she explains. “They also have a high level of a digestive enzyme that’s responsible for breaking down sugars and carbohydrates.”
Therefore, type A blood thrives on a meat-free, all-natural, vegetarian diet. According to Samuels, type A’s should consume more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
Along with optimizing nutrition, you want to make sure you’re also following an exercise routine with consistency. That’s where Aaptiv comes in.
Eating for Blood Type O
According to D’Adamo, people with blood type O have a tendency to be more acidic. This means they can better digest foods that contain protein and fat. “Simple carbohydrates, such as foods made with white flour, are easily converted to fat in the body. can cause inflammation and other autoimmune conditions,” Samuels explains. “This is because people with type O blood contain higher amounts of the enzymes used to digest these two nutrients.”
Therefore, she says it’s best for individuals with type O blood to stay away from simple carbs, especially grains and lectins. They should stick with a diet high in lean protein, such as fish, chicken, pork, and lean cuts of steak. Additionally, they should consume vegetables and whole grains (such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, barley, etc.).
Eating for Blood Type B
History shows that blood type B developed mostly in parts of Asia such as Pakistan and India. According to Samuels, those with type B blood exist “in the middle” of those with type A and type O. “They strive when they’ve found a sense of balance. do not do well with extremes because they produce higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol,” she explains. “Therefore, it is best for those with type B blood to adapt an omnivorous diet, eating equal amounts from both the plant and animal realms.”
The best foods for this blood type are green vegetables, eggs, meat, and dairy. Chicken, corn, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, and sesame seeds should be avoided.
Eating for Blood Type AB
Blood type AB is rare, claiming less than 5 percent of the population, according to D’Adamo. “This blood type is unusual in that it can sometimes act more like type A and sometimes more like type B,” Samuels says. “They have the low stomach acid of blood type A combined with blood type B’s affinity for meat. However, the meat gets stored as fat because there isn’t enough acid to digest it.”
For these reasons, seafood tends to be the best protein option for folks with this blood type. Samuels recommends mahi-mahi, tuna, and red snapper. “A small amount of dairy is beneficial, as well,” she adds. “AB’s should also avoid caffeine, alcohol, and cured and smoked meats such as salami or bacon.”
Does the Blood Type Diet really work?
It’s important to note that anecdotal evidence may support the benefits of the Blood Type Diet. However, scientific evidence is scarce. In fact, one 2014 study published in PLOS One, which examined more than 1,450 healthy adults who followed the Blood Type Diet, came up short. “Although some of the diets had a positive effect on factors such as body mass index (BMI) and triglyceride (blood fat) levels, it was independent of the participant’s blood type,” explains Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the upcoming Smart Meal Prep for Beginners. “These results show that the foods recommended for a particular blood type aren’t necessarily the best way for you to eat in order to achieve long-term health.”
Bottom line: You can still improve your health by following a nutritious eating plan that isn’t specific to your blood type.
Of course, exercise is a must when it comes to improving your health. Whether you choose to walk, run, lift, cycle, or climb, Aaptiv has it all.
The Blood Type Diet: Fact or Fiction?
- By Julie Stefanski
- In 2018
- June 6, 2018
The Blood Type Diet: Fact or Fiction?
By Zachari Breeding, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND
The Diet based on the ABO blood group system has been around for over 20 years, and popularity has not decreased. This diet advises people to eat according to their ABO blood type, claiming to improve health and decrease risk of chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease and hypertension, among others.
A naturopathic physician, Dr. Peter D’Adamo, developed the Blood Type Diet in 1996. His book on the subject was widely popular, but lacks significant evidence to support its claims of effectiveness. Furthermore, there are very few studies that even research the association between the diet and chronic disease risk. According to D’Adamo, those with the following blood types should follow these dietary recommendations:
Type O: The hunter – has better overall health when eating a lean protein diet (meat, fish, poultry, certain fruits and vegetables) with less dairy, legumes, and grains; D’Adamo believes gluten is a leading cause for weight gain in this blood type.
Type A: The cultivator – has a more sensitive immune system and has an increased risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. These people should consume a fresh and organic vegetarian diet.
Type B: The nomad – has a strong immune system as well as a tolerant digestive system and survives chronic diseases better than other blood types. These people should consume both plants and meats (except chicken and pork), and can also have some dairy. However, they should avoid wheat, corn, lentils, tomatoes, and a few other foods.
Type AB: The enigma- the newest blood type in terms of evolution and the most complex. Seafood, tofu, dairy, beans, and grains are a large part of the recommended diet for this group. They should avoid corn, beef, chicken, and kidney beans.
This sounds like healthy eating, right? True. There are many aspects of these ways of eating that have significant nutrition improvements compared to the average Western Diet high in processed foods, added sugars, and unhealthy fats. But that doesn’t mean that there is any truth behind the idea that your blood type affects your body’s interactions with foods.
What about lectins?
The idea behind the Blood Type Diet is to limit lectins, proteins that bind to sugar molecules, based on your blood type. This is derived from the idea that lectins can negatively impact some blood types more than others. However, research indicates that lectins have similar interactions with all blood types—both negative interactions and positive—and do not impact one blood type over another.
The American Society of Clinical Nutrition performed a review of all the available literature on the Blood Type Diet in 2013. In this review, references were found and vetted using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Over 1400 references were found with only 1 reference being vetted that studied the relationship between the MNS antigen types and low-fat diets. However, this study did not effectively conclude any association. There was no evidence found to suggest any benefit or claim associated with the Blood Type Diet.
In 2014, another study looked into the association between the Blood Type Diet and cardiometabolic risk factors such as weight, blood pressure, blood cholesterol levels, and insulin levels. The study found that any favorable effects on these risk factors were associated with changes in dietary habits, not with the participant’s corresponding blood type. That is, when participants consumed more whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, these risk factors declined compared to their normal dietary patterns.
Going on a diet associated with your blood type will likely not benefit you in any specific way. However, one clear take away from this diet plan is that consuming more lean protein (such as tofu, fish, lentils, poultry, etc.), fruits, and vegetables has benefits. Different diets work for different people, and individual results vary.
It is likely people have tried the Blood Type Diet and achieved their desired results. Whether this was because of their specific blood type or just a positive change in dietary habits is another story. Like any diet fad, there is good and bad to eating according to blood type. If it changes the way you eat for the better – perfect. If you have achieved desired results – carry on and enjoy the more nutritious lifestyle you are embarking on. If you just want to know how to eat nutritiously – consider speaking with a dietitian, eating more fruits and vegetables, and adopting a physical activity regimen. There is a plethora of science to support that.
Zach Breeding, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND, is a Philadelphia-based registered dietitian nutritionist, professional chef and clinical dietitian at The Cancer Treatment Centers of America. He is the author of The Slice Plan: An Integrative Approach to a Healthy Lifestyle and a Better You. Connect with Zach on his website, The-Sage: Nutritious Solutions, and on Facebook and Twitter.
Eat according to your blood type
The Blood Type Diet which focuses on eating right according to each individual’s blood type has been found popular for quite some time now. Upholders of this diet suggest that the blood type determines which foods are best for an individual’s health.
There are many people who swear by this diet including Dr K J Yesudas, the eminent singer par excellence, and claim that it has saved their lives. But naturally several questions are bound to rise for most people about the details of the blood type diet, and if it is based on any solid evidence. Let’s have a brief analysis here.
What is the Blood Type Diet?
The blood type diet, also known as the blood group diet, was popularized by a naturopathic physician, Dr. Peter D’Adamo in the year 1996; through his book titled ‘Eat Right For Your Blood Type’. He described in the book, how people could be healthier, live longer, and achieve their ideal weight by eating according to their blood type. One’s choice of condiments, spices, and even exercise should depend on one’s blood type according to him.
The book which went on to become a best seller claimed that the optimal diet for any individual depends on the person’s ABO blood type. It also states that each blood type represents genetic traits of our ancestors, including which diet they evolved to thrive on.
Recommended diet plans for each blood group
Type A: Called the agrarian, or cultivator. People who are type A have sensitive immune system; should eat a diet rich in plants, and completely free of red meat. This closely resembles a vegetarian diet.
Type B: Called the nomad. These people can eat plants and most meats except chicken and pork, and can also eat some dairy. However, they should avoid foods like wheat, corn, lentils, tomatoes.
Type AB: Called the enigma. Described as a mix between types A and B. Foods to eat include seafood, tofu, dairy, beans and grains. They should avoid kidney beans, corn, beef and chicken.
Type O: Called the hunter. This is a high-protein diet based largely on meat, fish, poultry, certain fruits and vegetables, but limited in grains, legumes and dairy. It closely resembles the paleo diet.
Representative image: GettyImages
Proposed Link of Lectins between diet and blood type
One of the central theories of the blood type diet involves lectins, which are a diverse family of proteins that can bind sugar molecules. These substances are considered to be antinutrients, and may have negative effects on the lining of the gut.
According to the blood type diet theory, there are many lectins in the diet that specifically target different ABO blood types. It is claimed that eating the wrong types of lectins could lead to agglutination of red blood cells.
There may be evidence that a small percentage of lectins in raw, uncooked legumes, can have agglutinating activity specific to a certain blood type, like raw lima beans may interact only with the red blood cells in people with blood type A. However, it appears that the majority of agglutinating lectins react with all ABO blood types.
In other words, according to studies, lectins in the diet are not blood-type specific, with the exception of a few varieties of raw legumes. This may not even have any real-world relevance, because most legumes are soaked and/or cooked before consumption, which eliminates the harmful effect.
Is there a scientific evidence behind the Blood Type Diet?
Research on ABO blood types has advanced rapidly in the past few years. There is now strong evidence that people with certain blood types can have a higher or lower risk of some diseases. However, there are no studies showing this to have anything to do with diet.
In a large observational study of 1,455 young adults, eating a type A diet was associated with better health markers. But this effect was seen in everyone following the type A diet, not just individuals with type A blood.
In a major 2013 review study where researchers examined the data from over a thousand studies, they did not find a single well-designed study looking at the health effects of the blood type diet. They concluded: “No evidence currently exists to validate the purported health benefits of blood type diets.”
Of the 4 studies identified as somewhat related to ABO blood type diets, they were all poorly designed. One of the studies that found a relationship between blood types and food allergies actually contradicted the blood type diet’s recommendations.
Representative image: GettyImages
Restrictions: Depending on the blood type, one might need to severely restrict the foods he eats. Since the diet dictates that you eat very specific types of food based on your blood type, it doesn’t allow much for personal tastes. Your blood type will determine your shopping list and your choices when eating out.
There are even recommendations about the types of spices and condiments you can use which might cause more inconvenience. Another interesting fact is that this diet doesn’t ban gluten.
Exercise: The Blood Type Diet recommends specific exercises based on your blood type. For instance, it suggests yoga or tai chi for type A, and vigorous aerobic exercises like jogging or biking for up to an hour a day for type O.
Cost: D’Adamo recommends a lot of speciality and organic foods, which can be pricey. Vitamin and herbal supplements are also part of the diet which may be costly and difficult to find.
Is it good for certain health conditions?
The Blood Type Diet makes recommendations based solely on the blood type. So, if you have a chronic condition say, diabetes, you may be told to eat high protein, while another person with diabetes may have to avoid dairy or chicken. This may conflict with your diabetes treatment plan.
The American Diabetes Association recommends a more practical approach to a person’s day-to-day eating. It also cautions against focusing on specific foods. In most cases it doesn’t recommend cutting out any major food groups.
The Blood Type Diet also fails to address other conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure or cholesterol. Any needed weight loss achieved by following this diet is sure to have a positive impact on these conditions though. But no matter what your blood type is, it is highly recommended to strictly adhere to medical advice before starting a new diet plan.
Representative image: GettyImages
A reasonable conclusion from these is that not a single well designed study has been conducted to either confirm or refute the benefits of the blood type diet.
Different diets work for different people. Some people do well with a lot of plants and little meat like the type A diet, while others thrive on plenty of high-protein animal foods like the type O diet.
If one could find great results from the blood type diet, then chances are that he has simply found a diet that happens to be appropriate for his metabolism. It may not have anything to do with his blood type. Also, since this diet removes the majority of unhealthy processed foods from a person’s diet, he shifts automatically to a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps that is the single biggest reason that it works, without any regard to the different blood types.
Advocates of blood type diets say that while the ideal study has not yet been performed, the absence of evidence doesn’t prove the theory is ineffective. And there’s also no proof that these diets are harmful unless there exists a medical condition.
Also, on The Blood Type Diet, when processed food and simple carbs are avoided, that may be enough to help you lose some weight. But any weight loss on this diet has not been linked to the blood type in any of the studies. There’s also no research proving that this diet can aid in digestion or provide more energy. Though welcoming the positive effects of the diet may not cause harm but actually benefit an individual, it is worth remembering that science is stacked behind traditional recommendations for healthy eating- not restrictions based on the type of blood.
(The author is the Director -TGL Foundation, Chairperson CSA, Editor- The Intl Journal, Sr Director FWO)