Have you heard about the new nutrition trend, the Blood Type Diet?
This diet that specifies nutritional guidelines and parameters based on blood type is actually not new per se. In fact, the idea of eating for one’s blood type was introduced by Dr. Peter D’Adamo, a naturopathic physician, in his book published in 1996 entitled, The GenoType Diet: Change Your Genetic Destiny to live the longest, fullest and healthiest life possible. The book not only makes dietary recommendations, but even offers lifestyle and exercise tips. The book’s inevitable success in a weight-conscious world spawned several additional publications to follow including Dr. D’Adamo’s Eat Right for Your Type which specifically recommends*:
- Those with type O blood should choose high-protein foods and eat lots of meat, vegetables, fish and fruit, but limit grains, beans, and legumes. To lose weight, seafood, kelp, red meat, broccoli, spinach, and olive oil are best; wheat, corn, and dairy are to be avoided.
- Those with type A blood should choose fruits, vegetables, tofu, seafood, turkey and whole grains but avoid meat. For weight loss, seafood, vegetables, pineapple, olive oil and soy are best; dairy, wheat, corn and kidney beans should be avoided.
- Those with type B blood should pick a diverse diet including meat, fruit, dairy, seafood and grains. To lose weight, type B individuals should choose green vegetables, eggs, liver and licorice tea, but avoid chicken, corn, peanuts and wheat.
- Those with type AB blood should eat dairy, tofu, lamb, fish, grains, fruit and vegetables. For weight loss, tofu, seafood, green vegetables and kelp are best, but chicken, corn, buckwheat and kidney beans should be avoided.
*These points were adopted from a Harvard Health study
So does it actually work?
A 2013 article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states, “No evidence currently exists to validate the purported health benefits of blood type diets. To validate these claims, studies are required that compare the health outcomes between participants adhering to a particular blood type diet (experimental group) and participants continuing a standard diet (control group) within a particular blood type population.”
Researchers from another study share that though “common diet-related diseases are influenced by genetic factors,” there is little evidence to support a nutrition plan specific to genetics or blood type. The research is essentially conclusive that more research should be conducted to prove or disprove such a finite plan.
Advice from the expert.
Registered Dietician, Keeley Mezzancello shares, “With the lack of credible research, I personally do not recommend this diet to my clients. However, if someone followed this, they may see improvements because of its focus on mostly whole, nutrient-dense foods.”
In conclusion, there is a lack of substantial evidence supporting the practical application of the Blood Type Diet. The best strategy is to follow a whole food nutrition plan with appropriate portion sizes and color.
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– CASEY EDMONDS, CHWC, CPT, CMS
Health Advisor | Email Casey