Should I Eat For My Blood Type? Here's What You Really Need To Know About These Diets
Do you know what your blood type is? It's a random question, I know, but I’m willing to bet you know some of these little details about yourself, like what time of day you were born, and how much you weighed, so what about your blood type? Even though every body is unique, there are only so many blood types you can have, and what’s interesting about ABOs (the name for the blood type system) is not only can they tell you so much about your health, they can also play a role in how your body reacts to certain foods. Eating for your blood type is definitely a strange concept, but some people do it, and as far as I’m concerned, diet doesn’t get more body-specific than that.
I know myself, and I rarely think about the blood running through my veins, unless it randomly comes up in conversation, or I clumsily slice my finger chopping veggies or dicing avocado (this happens more often than I’d like to admit). And even when the red stuff is right in front of my face, I look at it more as an inconvenience or a symbol of pain than I do as a vital part of my body. However, in 1996, Dr. Peter D’Adamo, a naturopathic physician recognized as an expert in blood groups, made blood a buzzword in the health and wellness realm when his book, Eat Right for Your Type, became a New York Times bestseller, showcasing ABOs as the unique "biochemical makeup" that can determine everything from what diseases you might be susceptible to, to how your body reacts to certain foods.
As popular as the blood type diet has become over the years (according to Medical Daily, D'Adamo's book has sold more than 7 million copies since its publication), there's not a whole lot of evidence to support the claim that you should eat based on your blood type. In an exclusive interview with Elite Daily, Grace Derocha, a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and certified health coach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, tells me this is because each regimen inherently eliminates certain key food groups. Plus, as far as long-term results of these diets go, she tells Elite Daily, "results are unavailable."
"Though some of the general practices of this diet involve reduced intake of calories, simple carbs, and sugars," Derocha explains, "a more realistic way to improve your overall health is to consume a diverse diet, including lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables, fruits and heart-healthy fats, and reduced amounts of refined carbs, added sugars, and excess sodium."
Though potential benefits of eating for your blood type have been discussed, such as increased energy levels, reduced risk for disease, and keeping your gut bacteria happy and healthy, there's just not enough concrete proof to determine whether or not this way of dieting is really worth the effort. Still, some people are adamant about eating for their blood type, and if you're curious, here's what you should know.
Type A Is Said To Benefit Most From A Plant-Based Diet
Breaking down the different blood type diets in an interview with Elite Daily, Derocha points out that the masterminds behind this way of eating typically believe "people with blood type A have sensitive immune systems." Because of this, Derocha says, type-A eaters should stick to a predominantly, if not completely, plant-based diet, including beans and legumes for protein, and earthy goods like fresh produce and whole grains.
As for what's not on the menu for A blood types, Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of DrAxe.com, best-selling author of Eat Dirt, and co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, recommends avoiding most or all dairy when possible. Gluten is another iffy food group, he explained on his website, and you probably don't want to indulge in too much caffeine. Type A blood can, supposedly, break down carbs better than other blood types can, and thus, will struggle to digest a lot of animal protein and fats.
Type B Could Use A Wide Variety Of Foods In Their Diet
A person with type B blood has the most wiggle room when it comes to meals because they can basically eat whatever their body's craving. Following an omnivorous way of eating that includes the whole nine, type B can choose from the fanciest of animal delicacies like goat and lamb, indulge in leafy greens, eggs, and all the low-fat dairy they like.
The only significant guideline here, Derocha tells Elite Daily, is that certain, very specific food items like "corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, sesame seeds, and chicken" should be avoided. Other than that, she says, B types won't have too much of a problem picking from a buffet.
Type AB May Do Best With A Pescatarian Diet
If I were following the blood type diet, I'd be mighty jealous of my type AB friends, because this is one way of eating I can definitely get behind. Even though D'Adamo has said he considers AB to be the "most biologically complex" of all of the ABOs (often referred to as "the enigma" blood type), this type is most intriguing to me because it's literally and figuratively a combination of blood types A and B.
In that case, you might be wondering if AB blood types can eat a combination of the A and B diets. Well, they sort of can. Generally speaking, according to Healthline, AB types should probably steer clear of animal proteins, but seafood is still OK. Tofu's a solid way of sneaking in some wholesome protein, as well as beans, but according to the health outlet, kidney beans, corn, beef, and chicken are all on the "to avoid" list.
Type O Could Benefit From A High-Protein Diet
In his research on the subject, Dr. D'Adamo has referred to my fellow type O peeps as "the hunters." According to his findings, if you're type O, like me, then you may "fare best on ... animal proteins and less well on dairy products and grains." Notice my use of the word "may" there.
What's interesting here is my blood type is O positive, and as someone who lives with irritable bowel syndrome, and has eliminated and experimented with so many different types of food over the years, I've actually come to find that a diet rich in animal-based protein doesn't agree with my digestive system at all.
So, if nothing else, let me be the perfect example that there's a lot more that goes into what you should and shouldn't eat aside from your blood type. Take all of this information with a ginormous grain of salt, and be sure to talk to your doctor first if you're considering experimenting with one of these diets.