Does blood type affect health?
Eating certain foods based on an individual’s blood type – O, A, B or AB – is the basis behind the Blood Type Diet (BTD), created by naturopathic physician Peter J. D’Adamo. Since blood carries nutrients through the body, the claim is that people with different blood types have different nutritional needs. In addition to food preferences, D’Adamo proposes blood type influences the immune system, metabolism and digestive processes.
Type O blood appeared in our survivalist ancestors as hunter-gatherers and is the predominant blood type today. According to the BTD, people with blood type O should eat a high-protein diet that includes meat, fish and vegetables. Exercise for type O is intense and competitive. Some of the foods type O should avoid are wheat, corn, dairy, potatoes and peanuts.
Type A blood evolved with agrarian society, and therefore they thrive on a mainly vegetarian diet. Seafood, tofu, grains, legumes and fruit are also recommended for type As. Exercise is best when it is calm and centering like yoga, tai chi, breathing exercises and singing. Some of the foods type A should avoid include red meat, pork, dairy, wheat, tomatoes and bananas.
Type B developed in nomadic populations that focused on herding animals. People with type B blood are omnivores, eating meat (but no chicken), dairy, grains, legume, vegetables and fruit. Moderate exercise with mental balance is best for type Bs like hiking, cycling, tennis and swimming. People with type B blood should avoid corn, wheat, tomatoes, peanuts, shellfish, sesame seeds and lentils.
Type AB was a modern adaptation resulting from the intermingling of disparate groups. This blood type is rare (only 2-5% of the population) and complex, borrowing characteristics from both type A and type B. Type AB enjoy a mixed diet including meat (but avoiding chicken and pork) and seafood, dairy, tofu, legumes, grains, vegetables and fruit. Yoga or tai chi combined with moderate activities like hiking, cycling and tennis are said to be best for type AB.
The BTD claims to increase overall health and decrease the risk of chronic diseases, but there is a lack of scientific evidence to support its claims. Still, all four diets are healthy in their own right and plenty of success stories exist. Check with a health professional before making major dietary changes. Testing kits are available online to know one’s blood type. Visit 4yourtype.com for more information.
By Lisa Nicklanovich; courtesy photo