You’ve probably heard the saying, “different strokes for different folks.” It’s true for most things in life, even your diet. Hop on social media, and you’ll find varying advice on what you should eat from all sorts of different types of people and for all sorts of reasons. Some people champion a vegan diet; others keto. What if everyone is wrong, and your blood type should determine your diet? Enter – the blood type diet.
Should Your Blood Type Impact Your Diet?
Could following a diet tailored to your blood type improve your health and promote weight loss? According to naturopathic physician Peter J. D’Adamo, it’s an overwhelming yes! Blood type is determined by the absence or presence of antigens A and B in the red blood cell. These antigens play an integral role in the immune system and theoretically affect how certain foods react chemically based on blood type.
According to Eat Right 4 Your Type, the blood type diet book, some foods are beneficial for certain people and harmful for others. Eating for your blood type means following a diet tailored to the needs of your blood type. D’Adamo believes that by adding or eliminating certain foods from your diet – based on blood type – you can improve your health and lose weight. Common concerns include the safety of the diet and its efficacy. Together, we will examine the pros and cons, the recommended diets of each, and their effectiveness. As always, consult your doctor before starting a new diet or exercise plan.
Pros and Cons of the Blood Type Diet
The blood type diet is rising in popularity and taking social media by storm. Dieters tout improved mood, sustainable weight loss, and increased energy as some of the benefits. Though considered a fad diet by some, the blood type diet continues to grow its loyal following. Its major draw? The personalized biologic approach. D’Adamo is confident that each blood type reacts to food differently; and that each blood type has different needs and shares common issues. Is this response the right approach? Like every diet, the blood type diet has its pros and cons.
Emphasizes whole foods: The blood type diet emphasizes whole foods. Whole foods are natural and minimally processed. They include food such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and nuts. These foods are inherently healthier than processed foods, and consumers reap their natural health benefits. A whole foods diet may decrease sugar and fat intake, helping you feel better inside and out.
Promotes fitness: Exercise is a significant part of the blood type diet and is highly encouraged. Regardless of blood type, anyone can reap the benefits of regular exercise. Just 20 minutes of activity a day can boost your overall health and increase your cardiovascular capacity. Exercise also helps with losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.
Promotes weight loss: The blood type diet can help you knock your weight loss goals out the park. Its emphasis on whole foods and exercise aid in its weight-loss capabilities. Fresh fruits and vegetables can lower your caloric intake and help you shed a few pounds.
No scientific evidence: The blood type diet is not backed by scientific research. While anecdotal evidence exists, there isn’t any research that supports D’Adamo’s claims. There is no evidence that the nutrients food deliver reacts differently to each blood type inside your body.
Nutrient deficiencies: Depending on your blood type, you may be required to remove an entire food group from your diet. This removal can lead to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies. D’Adamo realized this and encourages dieters to supplement their diets with vitamin supplements from his line. These supplements were formulated for this diet and are available from his store. The blood type diet is restrictive and does not provide all the body needs. The blood type diet should not be followed for an extended period.
Restrictive: Depending on your blood type – the diet may be very restrictive. Some diets, like the type A diet, require the removal of an entire food group and are limiting in terms of what you can eat. Decreased choices can make the diet hard to stick with and even harder to receive the nutrients needed.
Type O Blood Type Diet
Most of the population falls into the O blood group, with the majority being O positive, but D’Adamo doesn’t specify between positive and negative. So, the O positive blood type diet and the O negative blood type diet are the same.
For the blood type O shopping list, stock up on lean meats, fish, vegetables, and fruit. The type O diet is a high-protein diet. Vigorous exercise is encouraged for improved weight loss. D’Adamo recommends avoiding wheat, corn, and dairy. This group should take vitamin supplements for ailments common to their blood type.
Will the type O diet help you melt fat and feel like a new person? According to dieters, yes! Type O dieters report losing weight and feeling better while on the type O diet. The type O diet recommends vigorous exercise, lean meat, fruit, and vegetables. This is a healthy diet. Weight loss can be attributed to increased activity and an overall healthy diet because the it eliminates processed food. Though it promotes weight loss, there is no research that suggests that other blood types would not benefit from this diet.
Blood Type O Foods List:
Beef, lamb, veal, liver, chicken, turkey, salmon, red snapper, snapper, sole, herring, cod, olive oil, walnuts, Ezekiel bread, broccoli, collard greens, garlic, kale, red onions, sweet potatoes, spinach, artichoke, figs, plums, pineapple.*
Type A Blood Type Diet
The A positive blood type diet and the A negative blood type diet are mostly plant-based. According to D’Adamo, this group is at risk for heart disease and should avoid meat and dairy, which can increase those risks.
The type A blood type diet includes vegetables, fruit, fish, beans, grains, and nuts. This diet is vegetable-heavy and discourages meat consumption. Fish is allowed in place of red meat since red meat is associated with heart disease. Though it permits fish, vegetarian options are encouraged. For this group, light and calming daily exercise is deemed best.
For many people, this diet is the most restrictive. But, does it work? The type A diet will likely promote weight loss and can improve your overall health. The type A diet is vegetable centered and inherently healthy. This diet is the opposite of what most people eat. Processed foods are
removed and meat is discouraged. Type A dieters aren’t alone in their successful results. Research shows that most people do well on a plant-based (or mostly plant-based) diet, regardless of blood type. While its users experience higher energy and increased weight loss, there isn’t any research supporting that the type A diet is only suited for type As.
Blood Type A Foods List:
Salmon, cod, mackerel, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, soy milk, soy cheese, peanuts, broccoli, carrots, collard greens, garlic, yellow onion, spinach, tofu, okra, kale, artichokes, tempeh, blueberries, blackberries, apples, kiwi, guava, watermelon, peaches, pears, limes.*
Type B Blood Type Diet
The B positive blood type diet and the B negative blood type diet are the same for the type B blood group. According to D’Adamo, this group is more adaptable with a highly responsive immune system. Their advanced immune system allows them to consume a diverse variety of food.
The type B blood type diet advises an omnivorous mix of meat and plants. The type B diet includes meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit, grains, and dairy. According to D’Adamo, “B is for Balance.” While meat is considered ok, this group should avoid chicken. Chicken is thought to increase this group’s risk of stroke. Corn, wheat, tomatoes, and most nuts are also unsuitable for type Bs. For optimal weight loss and improved health, moderate exercise is recommended for this group.
The balanced B diet allows for a variety of foods, but, how does it affect weight loss and health? According to dieters, following the type B diet has helped them lose weight and keep it off. While weight loss is likely, like the prior blood types, there is no evidence that other blood types would not benefit from this diet as well. The type B diet includes moderate exercise and a well-rounded diet. So, weight loss can be attributed to several factors, not just blood type.
Blood Type B Foods List:
Lamb, mutton, venison, turkey, veal, flounder, cod, halibut, mackerel, salmon, sole, catfish, scallops, cottage cheese, mozzarella, ricotta, yogurt, kefir, Gruyere, olive oil, walnuts, pecans, kidney beans, lima beans, navy beans, granola, oatmeal, Ezekiel bread, high protein bread, gluten-free bread, quinoa, brown rice, white rice, beets, broccoli, eggplant, cauliflower, kale, banana, cranberries pineapple, kiwi, and papaya.*
Type AB Blood Type Diet
The AB positive blood type diet and the AB negative blood type diet are a mix of the A and B diets. This rare group can eat the diet of both A and B types, but a mostly plant-based diet is recommended when possible. Based on D’Adamo’s research – this group has lower stomach acid volumes and cannot effectively break down meat.
The AB blood type group should focus on eating smaller meals of vegetables and seafood. They should avoid alcohol, caffeine, and smoked meats. ABs benefit from a mix of both calm and moderate exercises. Like type Bs, they should avoid chicken and corn consumption. ABs wanting to lose weight should focus on green vegetables, tofu, and seafood.
The AB blood type diet touts similar results as the other blood groups. AB dieters report successful weight loss and feelings of improved health. The AB diet is a mix of both type A and B diets. The biggest difference from the type B diet is the recommendation of pulling meat from their diet. The AB diet encourages smaller and more frequent meals. This, combined with the emphasis on whole foods, is enough to promote weight loss – add calming and moderate exercise, and it’s no wonder users report weight loss. While it’s good for shedding a few pounds, there is no scientific evidence that suggests that this diet is best suited for ABs or that other blood types would not benefit from the same diet.
Blood Type AB Foods List:
Mahi-mahi, cod, tuna, trout, grouper, lamb, mutton, black beans, lentils, olive oil, cottage cheese, ricotta, yogurt, eggs, mozzarella, peanuts, basmati rice, brown rice, white rice, Ezekiel bread, sprouted wheat bread, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, kale, garlic, tempeh, tofu, yams, pineapple, lemon, kiwi, grapefruit, green and red grapes.*
Do Blood Type Diets Actually Work?
From a scientific standpoint, no. D’Adamo asserts that the blood type diet is best for its respective group and that food reacts differently based on blood type. He also believes a tailored diet can help alleviate common issues each blood group faces. There is no evidence that the blood type diet is best for your health. Researchers have not found cause to believe that food reacts differently to people with different blood types. Instead, the A and O blood type diets are very restrictive, which may lead to weight loss, but will eventually lead to vitamin and nutrient deficiency. The blood type diet promotes weight loss but should not be used long-term.
Although users report losing weight while on the blood type diet, there isn’t any scientific evidence that proves that each diet is best suited for its respective blood type. Although weight loss can be achieved, it’s possible to try any of the blood type diets and still lose weight – regardless of your specific blood type. The various blood type diets have two things in common – emphasis on an unprocessed whole foods diet and exercise. These two things combined are enough for most people to lose weight.
D‘Adamo believes food has a chemical reaction with our blood. Therefore, food should be chosen to suit our specific blood type. He purports that the blood type diet is the key to achieving optimal health and weight loss, but research proves different.
In a study published in JAMA Network, 244 participants were placed on a plant-based diet. They found that, despite their blood type, every participant placed on a plant-based diet lost weight and saw improvements in their health. An integral part of the blood type O food list is meat. According to D’Adamo, Type O fares better with a diet high in lean meat, but research shows that even Type O fares well on a plant-based diet without meat. Researchers found that people of all blood types lost weight and their cholesterol levels decreased. Participants burned fat, increased mitochondrial function, and saw faster metabolisms. Despite D’Adamo’s diet recommendations, all blood types improved their overall health on a plant-based diet. While blood type does influence certain things, such as the likelihood of heart disease, when it comes to food choices – it seems irrelevant.
The blood type diet can help you lose weight, but it shouldn’t be followed long-term. Depending on your specific blood type – you may need multiple supplements to get the nutrients your body needs. There isn’t any research to back up the need to eat for your blood type, because there isn’t any research that suggests that foods react differently based on blood type. Overall, a whole foods diet and exercise are the stars of the blood type diet and make weight loss achievable.
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