by Belinda Mann
There are a lot of ‘diet plans’ out there, some better than others. The Blood Type Diet by Dr. Peter D’Adamo has been around for some time and actually has some interesting science to back it up. It’s not a diet per se, but a system to guide you on the foods to eat that suit you best. Like most eating plans this system won’t suit everyone all of the time, but 3/4 people who followed the diet reported a significant improvement in their overall health (the main effect for most people being weight loss).
How it works?
The blood type diet works on our individual biochemistry. This system believes that our blood types make us susceptible to different diseases and provides a plan for each group on how to best eat and exercise. Some people even believe that our personality is influenced by our blood type!
As humans evolved so did blood types. When we moved from a hunter gather society to a more settled agricultural lifestyle dietary changes were occurring and blood types evolved to handle this. As well as dietary changes the blood type diet offers different techniques for stress relief according to the predominant lifestyle when each blood type evolved.
Our blood type is also a part of our immune system so the plan looks at foods and food groups for each type that are less likely to elicit an immune response. Immune responses such as inflammation can actually be the root cause of many health conditions from acne to cardiovascular disease.
Which type are you?
Diet: This is the oldest blood type and suited the hunter gather lifestyle. Type O people thrive on animal protein (40% of their calorie intake) as they typically have the enzymes and acids to break it down. They also do well of an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables and a moderate amount of healthy fats. This blood type usually doesn’t tolerate dairy and wheat as these are more modern foods. It’s thought gluten grains are the leading cause of weight gain for this blood type.
Stress management: High energy workouts such as resistance training and cardiovascular training.
Diet: This type is almost the opposite of Group O as they typically lack many of the enzymes to break down animal protein. They are more naturally suited to a vegetarian diet of grains and fruit and vegetables. Their diet should be made of up 20% protein which should come from nuts seeds and legumes.
Stress management: Exercises that modulate the stress hormone cortisol are best such as yoga and tai chi.
Type AB (the newest blood type <5% population)
Diet: As this type is a combination of two blood types it is more difficult to classify and explain succinctly as there may be many individual variations on what is tolerated. Type AB can do well with plant and animal protein generally, but they may have idiosyncratic reactions to individual items. Seafood, cultured dairy (yogurt & kefir), and green vegetables are thought to suit this group well, especially if wanting to loose weight. This group should avoid caffeine and alcohol, especially when in stressful situations!
Stress management: Sunshine, fresh air and relaxation important to support immune system
Diet: This is an uncommon blood group – a representative of a true omnivore.
Stress management: In this blood type the immune system supported by mind body connection, so deep breathing, meditation and visualisation are all helpful.
Some people I see fit their blood type perfectly, while others don’t. But still it can be an interesting guide in working out what foods suit you. To find out more you can contact me through my site belindamann-nutrition.com Or you can go direct to Dr D’Adamo’s book – Eat Right for Your Type.
Fans of the blood type diet: Miranda Kerr and Lily Aldridge: