The Blood Type Diet Explained!
Created by Naturopath, Peter D Adamo the Blood Type Diet is based on the premise that our blood type holds the key to our evolutionary heritage and consuming a diet that is compatible to one’s blood type (type A, B, AB or O) will help one, to not only lead a healthier life, but also to keep extra pounds away, reduce the risk of heart diseases and manage stress well. However, the medical and nutrition fraternity, shuns the theory and the health claims as complete nonsense.
Nevertheless, the Blood Type Diet is among the very few fad’ diets that seem to have stood its ground for decades and though the notion that the type of blood that flows through your body, dictates the type of foods that you must consume may sound a bit wacky – its zealous followers vouch for this diet’s exceptional health benefits.
The Science Behind The
Theory Our body produces antibodies in response to a particular antigen (or foreign particle) and these specific antibodies then bind to the antigens and inactivate them. This is the way our immune system works and helps us to fight allergens and infections. Now, each blood group possesses a unique antigen marker that triggers the production of specific antibodies. For example, blood group type A would recognize type B antigen to be a foreign substance and this would result in a series of complex chemical reactions so that the antigen is thrown out of the system.
A protein found in many foods, known as lectin Is considered to be structurally similar to certain antibodies and can stimulate an unfavorable immune response, depending on the blood type. So, if we eat lectin-containing foods (grains, pulses, dairy) that are not compatible with our blood type, it may cause negative reactions and over the years, may increase the risk to a host of disorders. This is the key idea behind the Blood Type Diet.
The Evolution Angle
The proponents consider group O to be the ancestral blood type, belonging to the hunter gatherer era and thus, people with O type are advised a high protein, meat-based diet. In the evolution cycle, the next blood group Identified was A by which time, humans had become agrarians – so type A blood group individuals should consume more of grains, beans, and vegetables. Group B belongs to the nomadic era and would benefit the most with dairy products. Finally, those with blood type AB can consume a diet closer to our modern diets which is a mix of both type A and type B diets.
What Do You Eat?
1. Blood Group O
The diet should be protein-rich and low in carbohydrates. Foods that can be generously included are meats, fish and eggs with moderate intake of nuts, vegetables, and fruits.
Foods to be avoided are grains, beans, potatoes, sweet fruits, and dairy products. According to the blood type diet theory, the type O individuals are more prone to metabolic and digestive disorders, so cutting carbs from the diet will aid in weight loss and manage blood glucose levels.
2. Blood Group A
This is a meat and dairy-free vegetarian group, so the allowed food list includes rice, wheat, breads, pasta, pulses, fruits, and vegetables. Herbal supplements and exercises are also suggested.
3. Blood Group B
These individuals enjoy the least restrictive regime as the diet Is closest to a healthy balanced diet comprising of rice, beans, vegetables, low-fat dairy and meats. The foods that are restricted include lentils, poultry, peanuts, corn, and wheat.
4. Blood Group AB
It is suggested that these individuals stay on a vegetarian diet most of the time, but may occasionally indude meats and dairy in their diet. Staying strictly away from processed foods, caffeine and alcohol Is recommended.
Each blood group possesses a unique antigen marker that triggers the production of specific antibodies
Does The Diet Work?
The concept itself sounds farfetched. Choosing a diet regime based on our blood type (and a guess about what our ancestors’ blood type and food choices were centuries ago) and not our lifestyle and medical conditions, is sure to impact our health adversely. The diet may work briefly to shed pounds due to its restrictive nature and recommendation of increased intake of fresh and natural foods and less of processed foods and stimulants.
However, altering the diet based merely on the blood type will get difficult and frustrating in the long run (asking a non-vegetarian to turn vegetarian, just because he has blood type A or a blood type O individual to give up rice and breads is impractical) and will also predispose one to nutritional deficiencies (avoiding major food groups completely from the diet deprives the body of essential nutrients). Thus, it is recommended to choose a diet that is varied, balanced and which promotes healthy eating habits.