Diet According to Blood Type - Pros and Cons
What is the diet according to blood type, and what are its pros and cons?
The lack of proper nutrition in society today has resulted in the development of a number of unique approaches to healthy eating. Amongst the sea of proposed answers to this issue, the "blood type diet" proposed in the book Eat Right 4 Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo has emerged as an interesting nutritional plan.
According to Dr. D'Adamo, the strength of this diet lies in the fact that it offers a personalized approach to eating. In an excerpt from Alternative Medicine Digest, Dr. D'Adamo explains his study of anthropology, medical history, and genetics has led him to develop his plan. He explains that blood type can be used as a "road map" for weight loss.
Diet According to Blood Type - Specific Diets for each Group
Going by the diet according to blood type, Dr. D'Adamo says that people with type O blood are suited to intense physical exercise and a diet heavy in animal proteins and light on dairy products and grains; moreover, he says that the main cause of weight gain in people with type O blood is gluten, a substance found in wheat products. Additionally, he says that consumption of lentils, corn, kidney beans, and cabbage contribute to weight gain in people with type O blood. Dr. D'Adamo recommends aerobics, martial arts, contact sports, and running for type O people.
In the diet according to blood type, for those with blood type A, Dr. D'Adamo recommends a vegetarian, organic diet. According to his plan, people with this type of blood are predisposed to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and points to their 'sensitive immune system' as a reason for the necessity of a fresh, pure diet. Yoga, tai chi, and other calming exercises are most appropriate for people with type A blood, according to Dr. D'Adamo.
People with Type B blood have above-average immune systems and digestive systems, therefore, following the diet according to blood type, they require fewer dietary restrictions and are less susceptible to severe chronic illnesses and survive them better if they do happen to acquire one, says Dr. D'Adamo. In terms of exercise, Dr. D'Adamo suggests Type B's engage in moderate exercises that have a mental component, giving the examples of cycling, tennis, and swimming.
Lastly, for those with blood type AB, Dr. D'Adamo extols the benefits of a diet that combines elements of the plans for people with blood types A and B, and exercises from the plans of both groups as well.
According to Dr. D'Adamo, the 'digestive and immune specificity' of blood types is what provides information about a person's susceptibility to certain diseases, and accordingly, the specific nutritional requirements that are most appropriate for a given individual. This lays the theory behind the diet according to blood type.
Pros and Cons of the Diet According to Blood Type
A lot of people have actually reported good results with the blood type diet, also called Eat Right for Your Type (ER4YT). However, as with many popular eating plans, there are people who question the nutritional merit of the diet according to blood type and the lack of evidence to support Dr. D'Adamo's claims. Katherine Zeratsky, RD LD, of the Mayo Clinic, warns that blood type diets may not meet the nutritional needs of an individual and may not improve one's weight or health due to the lack of scientific evidence supporting this claim.
From a logical standpoint, it stands to reason that the lack of science behind Dr. D'Adamo's plan makes it questionable. Aside from this, the notion that blood type affects nearly every aspect of a person's health is somewhat counterintuitive, simply because the genes for blood type are not particularly 'large', so to speak.
Furthermore, any healthy changes in eating or increases in exercise are going to benefit one's health, and the changes that Dr. D'Adamo recommends in each plan are all likely to result in weight loss. Therefore, it is unlikely that individual success with this plan would be the result of the blood type connection, and far more probable that the advantageous effects would be due to lifestyle changes.
The strength of the diet according to blood type is that it encourages people to find a diet that is suited to their individual digestive system and to increase their level of physical activity; however, an unfortunate aspect of this is that Dr. Adamo's recommendations are not nutritionally sound as they do not always include foods from all food groups.
The reasoning behind the formation of the food groups is that our bodies require nutrients that are only provided through certain types of food, and therefore cutting out any food group can be quite dangerous and is generally looked down upon by nutritionists. It seems that in many ways, Dr. Adamo's plan is questionable, but as with most health choices, the choice of which nutritional path to follow must be an individual decision, but one that should include a health expert who can enlighten on the merits of possible options for changing one's eating patterns.
This article presents a particular perspective of the pros and cons of the blood type diet. We neither encourage nor discourage this diet, but simply present certain points of view. Ultimately, as mentioned above, one's choice of diet should be a personal decision.
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