The blood type diet has been popular for a decade with many people claiming to thrive on its principles. According to Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo, (author of Eat Right for Your Type), your blood type can influence many areas of your health: how you react to food, stress and your susceptibility to certain diseases. Dr. D'Adamo outlines the following characteristics of each blood type:
Thrive on intense physical activity, animal proteins and don't do well with dairy and grains.
Are suited to a fresh, organic vegetarian diet. Type As are predisposed to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Calming exercise such as yoga and tai chi will have the most benefit.
Have a tolerant digestive system and thanks to robust immunity, resist many chronic degenerative diseases. Type Bs do best with moderate exercise that requires mental balance such as hiking, cycling, tennis and swimming.
Best suited to a combination of A and B
While there may be some physiological similarities between people who share a blood type, nobody is a cookie-cutter version of anyone else. Aside from all the differences we can see - such as ethnicity and lifestyle factors - there is even more diversity we're not aware of, like chromosomal differences and the health of our individual microbiome.
To strictly define what a person should be eating based on their blood type alone, takes too simplistic a view of human nutrition. Even following the same diet for an entire lifetime is too simplistic for most people. Throughout life we experience different stages of growth and repair and fluctuation in stress and activity - all of which will change our nutritional requirements. While our approach to our health should be long-term, our diet may evolve as we do, adapting to support our life through its various stages.
As with any diet that excludes entire food groups, there is a risk of developing nutritional deficiencies on the blood type diet. These can take a while to develop; you might start out feeling great, but start to notice dwindling energy, or changes in skin, nails or mood over time. Variety is key in preventing deficiencies.
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At present, there is inadequate clinical research to validate the purported health benefits of the blood type diet. While there is evidence that blood type is associated with increased vulnerability to certain diseases, the benefits of adhering to a blood type diet remain theoretical.
That said, many people have success on the blood type diet so, if it is something that really resonates with you, then by all means give it a try. Just remember this; your body is truly one-of-a-kind. Figure out what works for your constitution, what you can sustain and enjoy long-term, and you've already got the golden ticket. If you nourish your body with fresh, seasonal wholefoods then you can find your way to optimal health, without a dogmatic diet in sight.