How blood type affects your diet

Does knowing what foods compliment your blood type help you lose weight?

For years now, a popular dieting book titled, "Eat Right For Your Type," has continued to be a dominant trend for those curious to try a new method of losing weight that focuses on consuming foods that accommodate your blood type. The official book outlining the effective methods of the diet was written by Dr. Peter D'Adamo, and has continued to be a bestseller for years. While many attest to the method as an effective means of dieting, new research has indicated that the theory behind the eating plan is not as successful as it claims to be. Here is a general overview regarding the blood type diet, what it entails and what experts are saying about it.  

How it works
Dr. D'Adamo persists that the secret to healthy eating and losing weight is through knowing what type of foods cater to your specific blood type. The four major blood groups of A, B, O and AB each have their own distinctive nutritional plan that will work with lectins, or carbohydrate-binding proteins, in the body to maintain not only a healthy nourishment balance, but also prevent various diseases and ailments from affecting ourselves as well. D'Adamo breaks each blood type down into these categories:

  • Type A is "the agrarian or cultivator" group, where an emphasis on vegetables and avoiding red meat are encouraged.
  • Type B is "the nomad" group, where dairy products are the main source of nutrition to help boost your immune system.
  • Type AB is "the enigma" group, and should be focused on an even balance between both the Type A and B diets.
  • Type O is "the hunter" group, and consists of a predominantly high protein meal style of diet.  

Things to know
The overall theory behind the blood type diet is that you are imitating the type of foods your ancestors ate thousands of years ago. After reviewing various anthropology research studies to determine the types of agriculture prehistoric humans with their respected blood types would have consumed, D'Adamo developed his dietary outline according to his conclusions. The doctor also encourages continuous physical activity along with the eating plan to see any major results, and the specific exercises also pertain to your specific blood type. Some examples include that Type A's should stick to more meditation and stretching activities such as yoga and Tai Chi, while Type O's need to focus on more aerobic based exercises, such as jogging and cycling.

Other key attributes outlined in the diet according to D'Adamo's book include:

  • Knowing which spices and condiments on top of foods will help someone of a specific blood type achieve ideal health and weight.
  • Which antioxidants, vitamins and minerals should be emphasized as well as avoided.
  • The proper medications that function cohesively in your system.
  • What types of physical exercise can be alleviate your symptoms of stress, fatigue and soreness.
  • Understanding the characteristics of your blood type to avoid experiencing common illnesses and infections.
  • Slowing down the aging process by avoiding specific health factors that negatively impact your blood type and cause rapid cell deterioration.  

Does it work?
Millions of books sold and countless positive testimonies later, researchers from the University of Toronto have recently put D'Adamo's dieting theory to the test. The doctors assembled a study consisting of 1,455 study participants, equally ranging from the four main blood types and all considered to be healthy, to see how the diet impacted their health and weight. Before beginning the blood type diet, the participants supplied the researchers with detailed information regarding their own personal diets, as well as providing DNA samples that helped distinguish their levels of cardiometabolic risk factors, such as insulin, cholesterol and triglycerides.

After reviewing the results, as well as the proposed diet scores implemented from D'Adamo's book, the researchers confidently stated that no evidence supports this blood type diet theory, and that any indications of positive health attributes had nothing to do with adhering to an individual's blood type. Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, a professor from the University of Toronto and lead contributor to the study, was very stern of his team's findings.

"Based on the data of 1,455 study participants, we found no evidence to support the 'blood-type' diet theory," El-Sohemy said in a statement. "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. We can now be confident in saying that the blood type diet hypothesis is false."

Whether or not the diet is a complete farce or not, the obvious proponent to anyone trying to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle is simply through eating nutritiously and receiving significant physical activity every week. If the blood type diet is working for you, there is surely nothing wrong with sticking to it, however, in the end, nothing beats old fashioned nutrition and exercise.

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