Perhaps you have heard of the popular Dr. D’Adamo’s Eat Right For Your Type book? The diet plan is based on one of four blood types O, A, B, or AB, differentiating how particular foods will either act as medicine, nourishment, or poison. It details how different blood types benefit from a variety of exercises. The author explains that blood type determines personality traits, a largely followed belief in Japan. Additionally, the book lays out which diseases each blood type is more predisposed to.
The book details how humans have unique chemical markers called antigens that can identify foreign substances that enter the body. One of the most powerful antigens in the body is the one that determines blood type O, A, B, AB. The different blood type antigens are so sensitive, that they are the immune systems’ best defense. Because the blood types are made up specific sugars, they have antibodies to foreign sugars. This is where diet comes into play. A chemical reaction occurs between the blood and the foods consumed. This is due to a factor called lectins. Lectins are abundant and diverse proteins found in the foods we eat. These lectins have agglutinative properties that affect the blood. The basis of the blood type diet is that when you eat foods containing protein lectins that are incompatible with your blood type antigen, the lectins will target an organ or bodily system and begin to agglutinate cells in that area. For example, milk has B-like qualities. So, if a person with Type A blood drinks milk, his/her system will immediately begin the agglutination process in order to reject it. Lectins that are incompatible with the person’s blood type act as a glue, drawing in all cells in the region. These cells work actively to destroy the protein, but the results of this agglutination can include irritable bowel syndrome, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney problems, digestive problems, a slowing of the rate of food metabolism, allergies, depression, fatigue, and along with several other etc.
In modern society, most “foods” are processed and lumped together into a convenient, age-proof package. One packaged item might contain 30 or more ingredients. Rarely do we take the time to smell, taste, and decide if a food is safe or healthy to eat. And, it is difficult to do so unless foods are in their basic, simple form. So, this program works best with raw or lightly prepared whole foods. When following the dietary guidelines in the program, it is important to really listen to your body, paying particular attention to the beneficial and avoid foods. Allergic symptoms such as itching, tiredness, bloating, and bowel dysfunction should be documented when eating foods you should avoid. Feelings of energy, improved mood, skin quality, and overall health should also be recorded when eating beneficial foods.
Here’s my personal perspective on D’Adamo’s Blood Type Diet:
As a former vegetarian, I realized that my mental clarity was suffering quite a bit. My skin was inflamed, and my energy was low. After reading this book, I found that as a blood type O, I was made to eat meat. The heavy influence of wheat, soy, corn, and dairy in my meatless diet had been causing inflammation, slowly draining my vitality. I also realized why I was am so unhappy sitting at work. The constant need for movement and exertion makes sense for my active type. While I truly love the meditative qualities of yoga, I gravitate more towards intense Hot Bikram style. And while I enjoy a brisk walk through the woods, I now understand why I often have the urge to take off and run. My tendencies to lead, rather than follow, and to do things on my own rather than a community aligns with the nature of my blood type. I accept and am proud to be an O type.
I always wondered why my children gravitated towards cheese over meat. Why couldn’t I get them to eat baked chicken? They are AB types, and while dairy products are very beneficial to them, chicken is toxic. It was a struggle to make meals in a diverse blood household at first, but I have found we can all eat Mozzarella, turkey, kale, apples, lemons, Ezekiel bread, pineapples, almond butter, quinoa, and much more. I realize now that we should not force our children to eat foods they do not like. They may actually still be in tune with their bodies!
On the other hand, one of my siblings is also an O type, and suffers allergic reactions to oranges and guacamole. I don’t have the same reaction. After reading Dr. D’Adamo’s other books, it is possible these “O avoid” foods are acceptable for me. Not all O’s are the same. Dr. D’Adamo’s additional books like “Live Right For Your Type”, broadens the diet based on secretor status, and “Change Your Genetic Destiny” which further broadens the diet based on GenoTypes (genetic survival strategies that predate ethnicity and race and correspond to such external traits as body type, jaw shape and teeth patterns). The first book “Eat Right For Your Type” errs on the side of caution by limiting any foods that could be negative for any particular blood type, but still provides a plethora of dietary choices. Both of the supplemental readings require a nominal cost for testing supplies, but can be considered money well spent as preventative health. They also provide greater flexibility in the diet. The local library or Amazon.com should have this literature available for little or no cost.
There may be disaster/survival situations or times one might find themselves at a family dinner or a restaurant where only processed avoid foods are available. The fact is, if you eat the right foods 99% of the time, your body should have the ability to cope with these rare occasions. When I eat wheat, I am very aware of psoriasis itching on the nape of my neck. When I consume condensed milk, I feel the tingling on my tongue. When I eat corn, I feels the over-acidity in my stomach. When I consume sugar, I feel lethargic. However; after 20 years of barring red meat from my diet, I am now enjoying the organic grass-fed beef that fuels my body with energy. The leafy greens fill me with vigor. My body is strong, my hair is long, and my skin is clean. I personally have found this diet to be very informing, helping me to be more mindful and aware of what I am putting in my body. And for that, I am thankful.
This blood type diet should really be a guideline, not a bible. It does not suggest that there are 4 types of people. We are all bio-individuals. Every individual should be very cognitive of the beneficial and avoid foods, and see how their body reacts. Mindfulness is the key!