Integrative Nutrition Blog

Is a Blood-Type Diet Right For You?

June 16, 2016

Image via Shutterstock

If you’re having trouble losing weight, avoiding sickness, or tolerating certain foods, you might be eating wrong for your genetics—at least that’s what naturopathic physician Peter J. D'Adamo believes. In 1996, D’Adamo introduced his “blood-type diet” plan in his book Eat Right 4 Your Type. The widely published New York Times bestseller gained the attention of multiple celebrities, including Demi Moore and Elizabeth Hurley. However, as with many diets on the market – the blood type diet is not without its share of controversy. That’s why, today, we’re taking a closer look so you can make an informed decision for yourself!

D’Adamo claims that by eating—and limiting—certain foods based on your blood type, you’ll harness your body’s natural ability to digest nutrients, burn fat, fight inflammation, and achieve overall health and wellness. He also believes that individuals with different blood types are prone to different diseases and levels of stress. “Research indicates that your blood type is a key genetic factor that influences many areas of health and well-being,” his website states.  

What’s the Diet For Your Type?

Type A
Individuals with Blood Type A, can be prone to heart disease, cancer, anemia, and liver and gallbladder problems. Known as the Agrarian, they benefit from eating a traditional vegan or vegetarian diet (or at least limiting meat and dairy) and reducing certain beans and wheat, while increasing their intake of soy, pineapple, and vegetables. Read more about Type A here.

Type B
Someone with Type B blood may be more likely to develop autoimmune disorders. Referred to as the “Nomad,” they may benefit from a mixed diet of meat, certain legumes, and vegetables, with an increased focus on eggs, licorice tea, and certain meats, like venison. Foods like corn, lentils, chicken and certain grains should be limited. Read more about Type B here.

Type AB
This is the most adaptable of all the blood types, with a combination of elements of both Type A and Type B. Dubbed the “Enigma,” it’s recommended that the diet of these individuals should be a mix of meat, veggies, dairy, fruit, and legumes, with a focus on moderation. Red meat, certain beans, seeds, and buckwheat are some items to be reduced. Read more about Type AB here.

Type O
Called the “Hunter,” this type is susceptible to problems such as high acidity, inflammation, and hypothyroidism. Foods like dairy, grains, caffeine, and alcohol should be avoided. However, lean high-protein foods, including seafood and grass-fed red meat, are recommended. Read more about Type O here.

The Controversy

Although D’Adamo’s website is filled with glowing success stories, certain scientists  have failed to see proof of this diet’s efficacy. A 2014 study of 1,455 individuals by researchers at The University of Toronto found no evidence to support the theory that eating for a blood type has benefits. Although some individuals showed markers of better health after following the diet during the study period, the researchers said the improvements weren’t necessarily related to the individual’s blood type. “The way an individual responds to any one of these diets has absolutely nothing to do with their blood type and has everything to do with their ability to stick to a sensible vegetarian or low-carbohydrate diet,” said researcher Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy. The results were published in Plos One.

Of course, at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, we believe in bio-individuality, which means there is no one-size-fits-all diet, and it’s important to find the right way of eating that works for you. That’s why we teach the pros and cons of more than 100 dietary theories to help you find the foods and lifestyle that make you feel your best! 

Have you tried a blood-type diet? Did you like it? Dislike it? Share in the comments below. 

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