When it comes to diets, there are some that are so outlandish-sounding that we can’t even begin to buy into their hype, and then there are the diets that seem reasonable and can definitely be taken at face value as long as you’re not someone who looks into things. The blood type diet falls into the latter category – If you don’t pay much attention to the pseudoscience, everything kind of makes sense!
Blood Type Diet Rules
The blood type diet was first made popular by Dr. Peter D’Adamo – A naturopathic doctor – when he published the book Eat Right For Your Type in 1996. The idea is that there are four different blood types—O, A, B, and AB—and that if you eat and exercise according to your blood type, you’ll function better and reduce your risk of developing acute and chronic diseases and conditions. Here’s a breakdown of what the book suggests:
In the book, Dr. D’Adamo suggests that the O in Type O stands for old and that initially, this was the only blood type around and that the others eventually evolved as time passed. According to D’Adamo, people who have type O blood coursing through their veins had ancestors who were skilled hunters who ate diets mainly consisting of animal proteins and therefore, people with O type blood should eat a “hunter” type diet that’s high in meats and low in carbs with virtually no wheat, very few grains and legumes, and almost no dairy products.
These people should exert their bodies with lots of high energy cardio exercises such as aerobics and cardio.
Dr. D’Adamo goes on in the book to explain that the second blood type to develop over time was type A and that people with this type of blood should stick to a mainly vegetarian diet (except the occasional meal with seafood) and that they avoid wheat and dairy products.
According to the naturopath, if you have type A blood you should complement your mainly vegetarian diet with light type exercises like yoga and golf.
The next blood type to develop was type B, and according to Dr. D’Adamo, if you have this type of blood, you’ll be able to eat the most varied diet on the plan allowing you to eat meats and dairy products freely, but still limiting your intake of all wheat products.
People with Type B blood running through them should apparently choose activities that stimulate their mind just as much as their body such as hiking, swimming, or tennis.
Having type AB blood is incredibly rare (only about 6% of the people on the planet have it), and if you’re one of the few people to be carrying this blood, D’Adamo says that you have the freedom to eat from both the “Type A” and “Type B” diets. Seems a little confusing, doesn’t it? I mean, Type A’s should be vegetarians, while Type B’s can eat meat and dairy freely. Dr. D’Adamo’s response to this is that Type ABs should follow a diet that’s vegetarian-based for the most part, but that they can get away with eating the odd piece of meat and/or the occasional dairy product.
And the same goes for exercise. A mixture of calming and stimulating exercises are the perfect combination for people with this type of blood.
Does It Work?
While it’s absolutely true that following any one of these eating plans could result in you losing weight, the results, unfortunately have little to nothing to do with your blood type. See, here’s the thing – Every “blood type diet” tells you to cut out any processed foods and wheat products and to up your activity level (regardless of the method) – Those things alone are going to make you lose weight.
Not to mention that there isn’t one scientific study that positively links DNA and diet (at least I couldn’t find one.
Is It Safe?
Short term, any one of these diets would probably be completely safe for the average person. Still, suppose you were going to choose one of them to adhere to long term. In that case, you’d be best to go with either the B or AB versions (which is scary when you think about the more than 7 million people – that’s how many copies his book has sold – that took this diet to heart because the two most common blood types are O and A) because they’re the most well rounded.
Ultimately what it comes down to is that there are more than a billion people in the world – Having only one diet that will work for each individual person really is as ridiculous as it sounds.
Any eating plan that cuts out processed foods and ups your activity level is a great place to start, but playing around with other types of diets and fitness plans until you find the one that works best for you is never a bad idea – Just make sure that you fuel your system with whole, nutrient-rich foods, make sure that you stay hydrated, and get in as much activity as you can. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s worth it in the end. So what if your blood type doesn’t determine what you should be eating? Uniqueness is an important quality, anyway.
Have you ever heard or read about a diet that you’d like to know more about?