Lately I have been hearing a lot about blood type diet and if it really works, so I decided to take the matters into my own hand and get to the bottom of this diet. Does the blood type diet really work?
What is The blood type diet?
According to Dr. Peter DÁdamo, author of Eat Right For Your Type, a chemical reaction occurs between your blood and the foods you eat. This reaction is part of your genetic inheritance. This reaction is caused by a factor called Lectins. Lectins, abundant and diverse proteins found in foods, have agglutinating, clumping, properties that affect your blood. So when you eat a food containing protein lectins that are incompatible with your blood type antigen, the lectins target an organ or bodily system and begin to agglutinate blood cells in that area.
According to “eat right for your type” theory, your blood type determines what foods you have allergic to and what foods you can tolerate. Here’s what D’Adamo recommends for each type:
Type O blood (hunter): A high-protein diet heavy on lean meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables, and light on grains, beans, and dairy. This diet is very similar to the Paleo diet.
Type A blood (agrarian, or cultivator): A meat-free diet based on fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, and whole grains — ideally, organic and fresh, because D’Adamo says people with type A blood have a sensitive immune system. This is very similar to a vegetarian diet.
Type B blood (nomad): Avoid corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Chicken is also problematic, D’Adamo says. He encourages eating green vegetables, eggs, certain meats, and low-fat dairy.
Type AB blood (enigma): A mix between type A and B. Foods to focus on include tofu, seafood, dairy, and green vegetables. He says people with type AB blood tend to have low stomach acid. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoked or cured meats.
Does this diet really work?
Looking at the dietary recommendations, you are encouraged to eat real, healthy foods, so if nothing this diet is a huge improvement over our typical western diet, which is full of junk food. Most people, who start following this diet and were consuming lots of processed foods, will see an improvement in their health and weight. But is there any scientific evidence that this diet works?
Scientists have been researching different blood types and how they can predict once likelihood of a certain disease for years.
There is now strong evidence that people with certain blood types can have a higher or lower risk of some diseases (1). For example, type Os have a lower risk of heart disease, but a higher risk of stomach ulcers (2, 3).
However, there are no studies showing this to have anything to do with diet.
In a major 2013 review study where researchers examined the data from over a thousand studies, they did not find a single well-designed study looking at the health effects of the blood type diet (4).
They concluded: “No evidence currently exists to validate the purported health benefits of blood type diets.”
Dr El-Sohemy says that a previous lack of scientific evidence doesn’t mean the diets didn’t work. Therefore, In the year 2014, this hypothesis was put to test in a large observational study of 1,455 young adults. The result, Adherence to the Type-A diet was associated with lower BMI waist circumference and overall health. Adherence to the Type-AB diet was also associated with better health, with no change in BMI and waist circumference. Adherence to the Type-O diet was associated with lower triglycerides. However, matching the ‘Blood-Type’ diets with the corresponding blood group did not change the effect size of any of these associations (5).
Dr El-Sohemy said: ‘There was just no evidence, one way or the other. It was an intriguing hypothesis so we felt we should put it to the test. We can now be confident in saying that the Blood Type Diet hypothesis is false.’
There is no doubt that some individuals will see improvements to their overall health, when following the blood type diet. However, this can mainly be due to eliminating processed and junk foods and replacing them with whole, healthy foods and has nothing to do with individuals blood type.
The fact that we can divide people into 4 different diet types, sounds good and simple enough, but in reality our bodies are a lot more complex.
When it comes to right diet, each individual has to set their own diet based on many different factors such as food allergies, metabolism, level of activity, sex, hormonal level, sleep, and health history to just name a few.
Let me know your thoughts and experiences regarding this diet.
Stay happy and healthy