Blood Type Diet: Is it Good (or Bad) for You?

There are pros and cons to the blood type diet

There are pros and cons to the blood type diet | Source: iStock

There are many things you should memorize in life: your emergency contact, social security number, address, passwords, the list goes on. Blood type typically isn’t one of those things that we remember, in fact, many don’t even know what their blood type is. (We even have a type of blood?) But knowing your blood type may be good for a number of reasons.

Humans have four blood types: A, B, AB, and O. Blood type is passed on by each parent. Each blood type is grouped by a Rhesus factor, so blood can either be positive or negative. But why would you want to know your blood type? Well, blood type is required when you give blood or receive a blood transfusion. In addition, there are certain diseases associated with blood type that you should be aware of. But many studies have come out speculating that eating based on your blood type could actually make you healthier and shed unwanted pounds.

Eating foods based on your blood type encourages people to eat or avoid foods depending on which type you have. The blood type diet is nothing new, in fact it was made popular in 2013 by naturopathic physician Peter D’Adamo and still continues to make headlines. Although there isn’t extensive scientific evidence, we don’t need to ignore this notion altogether.

The science behind eating for your blood type, according to WebMD, is that “the foods you eat react chemically with your blood type. If you follow a diet designed for your blood type, your body will digest food more efficiently. You’ll lose weight, have more energy and help prevent disease.”



Legumes | Source: iStock

D’Adamo says that, through his research, blood type may predict susceptibility for certain diseases. He also says that people of different blood types react differently to stress. For example, Type A people have naturally higher levels of cortisol in their bodies and produce more of this hormone in stressful events. Type Os on the other hand take longer to recover from stress because adrenaline doesn’t clear as easily from their bodies after stressful situations. D’Adamo also believes that blood type antigens aren’t just in blood, they are everywhere. He encourages the consumption of specific foods because antigens are found in your digestive tract, as well as nasal passages and lungs. Going off of this, he says that gut bacteria is also related to blood type, and finally, a one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition isn’t effective.

Here are some examples of what each blood type should consume/restrict.

Type A Diet: This diet is primarily based on pure, fresh, and organic fruits and vegetables. It is a meat-free diet and instead consists of beans, legumes, and whole grains. D’Adamo says that those with type A blood have sensitive immune systems.

Type B Diet: Those with type B are encourages to avoid corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Chicken also raises problems for those with type B blood type. Eat green vegetables, eggs, meats, and low-fat dairy.

Type AB Diet: AB is the rarest of all the blood types. About 5% of the population has AB, and it is the “newest” blood type. Those with this blood type should eat tofu, seafood, dairy, and green vegetables. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoked meats because those with this blood type have low stomach acid.

Type O Diet: Focus on a high-protein diet that relies on lean meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables. Don’t eat too much grains, beans, or dairy. People with type O tend to have stomach issues.

man standing on a bathroom scale

Man weighing himself on a bathroom scale | Source: iStock

So, is it worth it? There’s no doubt that restricting certain foods, regardless of your blood type, may cause you to lose weight. If you are strategically acknowledging what you are putting into your body, and trying your best to follow that diet, you may shed a few unwanted pounds. But don’t praise this diet as the answer to your diet woes. The best answer is: Every single person has different needs they must acknowledge, and following four diets for the entire planet is a bit unrealistic. The blood type diet works for many, but others find it bogus.

Talk with your doctor to see if they recommend a blood type diet. Many with certain medical conditions may require some foods that are otherwise forbidden for a specific blood type. There is little scientific evidence that proves whether or not this diet works, but it is no doubt an interesting perspective to investigate further.

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