Your Blood Type Hype
What do model Miranda Kerr and actresses Demi Moore and Liz Hurley have in common? Allegedly they all follow the blood type diet. The Blood Type Diet is a fad diet created by naturopath Peter D’Adamo. The diet has been around for a couple of decades now but in recent years the hype has picked back up again, in part due to celebrity advocates. There is very little proof to confirm that blood type diets work which is why the diet is considered a fad diet by most experts and health professionals.
What is the Blood Type Diet?
There are actually four blood type diets, each one tailored for specific blood groups and the specific dietary problems D’Adamo believes these groups suffer from. D’Adamo claims that his diets will help people lose weight, gain energy and prevent disease. Blood type diets are considered to be high effort diets. Following one of the diets may involve drastically cutting back on the foods you can eat leaving you with a very limited selection of foods to choose from.
- Type O Blood: This blood type diet is said to be inspired by our ancient ancestors who were hunter gatherers. D’Adamo believes that people with type o blood have higher predisposition for developing thyroid issues as well as ulcers and other stomach complaints due to a higher than normal level of stomach acids. This is a high-protein diet with room for lots of poultry, fish and lean meat plus vegetable. There is no room for legumes, grains or dairy on this diet. D’Adamo claims that type O people are not able to easily adapt to dietary or environmental changes.
- Type A Blood: The type A diet is essentially a vegetarian diet. As D’Adamo believes people with type A blood have sensitive immune systems and digestive tracts, he advises them to eat only organic and fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans and grains. There is no room for red meat on the Type A diet as red meat is considered to be “toxic”.
- Type B Blood: This group is said to be the most tolerant towards dietary choices. People with this blood type can eat most plants and meat – except pork and chicken plus wheat, corn, peanuts, sesame seeds, lentils and tomatoes must be avoided. Eggs and low-fat dairy products are also allowed on this diet plan which takes its inspiration from our nomadic ancestors.
- Type AB Blood: This diet is kind of a mash up of the type A and type B diets, possibly because D’Adamo considers this blood type to be an evolutionary enigma. Chicken, beef and pork are to be avoided but tofu, seaweed, dairy produce and all fruits and vegetables can be eaten. As D’Adamo says people with type AB blood have low levels of stomach acid, they should also steer clear of alcohol and caffeine.
Why is it a Fad?
The blood type diets are not necessarily damaging to a person’s health but they are based upon pseudo-science and very little of that. If a person opts to follow one of these diets, there success rate will have nothing to do with their blood type but rather their ability to follow a specific type of diet e.g. vegetarian, low carb, no red meat etc. In controlled laboratory tests, subjects had their blood tested before and after trying a blood type diet. The results did not back up D’Adamo’s theory. There are other criticisms of the blood type diets too. The diets do not take in to account an individual’s medical history, allergies, medications or target weight goals. The diets also call for portion sizes to be based upon a person’s ethnicity which has no scientific basis.
For all the hype, it seems that the blood type diet requires more effort than the payoff is worth. As with most fad diets, if you want to lose weight or trim down, you may want to avoid the blood type diet. Stick with a balanced and healthy diet and regular exercise and you should be ok. Don’t force yourself to eat foods you don’t like and don’t feel pressured to dump the foods you actually like!
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