What is the Blood Type Diet and Does It Work?
The South Beach Diet, the Atkins Diet, and other popular diet programs promise to help you drop those stubborn pounds, ease aching joints and feel great again.
But there’s a reason that 80% of the people who lose this weight aren’t able to keep it off (11).
Something is wrong with the diet culture --- but what?
Perhaps we need to take a deeper look into how foods influence how your metabolism works, which is why the Blood Type Diet is particularly interesting.
In this article, we’re covering what this diet is, when it came onto the scene, how it works, and if there’s any truth to it.
Let’s dig in.
When Was the Blood Type Diet Created?
The world of medicine changes as new discoveries are being made. In 1996, naturopathic doctor Peter J. D’Adamo suggested the idea that our bodies react differently to the foods we eat, depending on what your specific blood type was (1).
This idea sparked the creation of his book, Eat Right 4 Your Type, with the goal of providing diet and exercise solutions for those struggling to reach ideal health.
Foods to Eat
According to the book, not only can eating according to your blood type help with weight loss, but it could also lower chronically high blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, and decrease your risk for developing cancers (2).
Ideally, you would make a meal plan based on your personal blood type. So what foods are recommended, based on your blood type?
Type A Blood
It’s estimated between 30-40% of the US population have blood type A (5). For increased vitality, these blood types are encouraged to eat lots of fruit, vegetables, turkey, seafood, and tofu. Whole grains are also beneficial but stay away from red meat. If the goal is more weight loss oriented, prioritize vegetables, pineapple, olive oil, and seafood. Soy is also ok, but eliminate all dairy, corn, wheat, and kidney beans.
Exercise recommendations for this blood type include centering ones such as tai chi.
Type B Blood
Making up roughly 11% of the population (3), people with this blood type should choose a diverse diet of meat, fruit, dairy, seafood, and grains. For weight loss, eating more green vegetables, eggs, liver, and licorice tea can help. Try to avoid corn, peanuts, chicken, and wheat products.
Because type B people are thought to be more robust, moderate physical exercise is recommended.
Type AB Blood
Coming in as the rarest blood type, only about 3% of the US population are AB (4). If you have type AB, you’re believed to be an “enigma”. This means you have complex makeup – but that can be a good thing! Diet recommendations include a wide variety of dairy, fish, lamb, grains, fruit, vegetables, and tofu. Want to lose weight? Aim for more green vegetables, tofu, seafood and kelp. Avoid foods like red meats, chicken, corn, kidney beans and buckwheat.
Any exercise that fits type A and type B blood will also work well for type AB.
Type O Blood
If you have this blood type, you’re among the most common blood type group out there. Around 43% of people have blood type O (6).
If you choose to try this diet, you should eat more high-protein foods, such as meat and fish. Fruits and vegetables are also encouraged, but try to limit beans, legumes, and grains. For weight loss, eating more seafood, kelp, broccoli, and spinach can help. Olive oil is ok. Stay away from wheat, corn, and dairy.
Does the Blood Type Diet Really Work?
The whole point of changing your eating habits and lifestyle is because you have a goal you’d like to reach.
If you’re trying to slim down, you might be wondering if the blood type diet can help you lose weight. If you’re trying to clear up problematic skin or conceive your first child, you might wonder if eating for your blood type can help.
Dr. D’Adamo published his idea of achieving weight loss and enhanced health through a blood type diet in 1996. Since then, more research has been done to see whether the blood type diet really works or not.
A systematic review in 2013 suggests there isn’t enough evidence to support that idea that different blood types have an effect on how efficiently you digest and utilize the nutrients in your food (7).
Things to Consider
The blood type diet is tied to the notion that eating for your specific blood type could help you lose weight, increase energy levels, and prevent certain diseases.
This concept has since been debunked on a number of levels. For one, type O blood was thought to be the original blood type. Now, it’s type A blood (8).
The positive aspect of this diet is that it encourages you to exercise regularly, which has been shown to help reduce your disease risk, as well as lose weight (10).
But it’s just as important to consider the downsides to this diet. If you’ve eaten a certain way for so long, it can be disappointing to learn that those foods are no longer the best for you. Vegetarians may not be able to maintain certain aspects of the blood type diet.
Recommended foods and supplements may not be affordable or available in your area, and some of the recommended exercises for your blood type may not be achievable.
Also, if you’re currently battling high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease, it may be wise to consult a certified nutritionist in order to make a more gradual shift.
The blood type diet sounds good at first glance, but it lacks consistent evidence that supports its claims. Even so, it’s hard to argue with those who have seen improvements
When looking for the best approach to weight loss, increased energy, and better overall health, it’s important to consider all your options.
It is also best to consult your medical professional before starting any new diet regimen to ensure that it is right for you and your specific health goals or needs.
Check out Dr. Kara’s Metabolic Makeover Program (9) to see how this in-depth, science-backed program could make a difference in your life.
References & Disclaimers
✝✝This noted statement is based on independent research and is not necessarily the opinion of the author