Does eating for your blood type improve your health? Learn the benefits and risks of this popular diet plan. Learn more here!
This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD
Blood Type Diet: Is It Right For You?
Are you familiar with the blood type diet? The blood type diet has been around since the 1990s, with many touting its health benefits. But, can the blood type diet help an individuals' health and weight loss? This article will explain the blood type diet, the various blood types, the potential benefits of the blood type diet, and the risks associated with this diet.
What is the Blood Type Diet?
The Blood Type Diet came about in 1996 by Peter J. D'Adamo, a naturopathic physician. The diet’s premise is that a person’s ABO genotype (blood type) will determine the best foods to consume for optimal health. By eating these specific foods, health outcomes can improve. He also believed increased energy, weight loss, and disease prevention were benefits one could expect from the Blood Type Diet.
The Blood Type Diet comes from Dr. D’Adamo’s book Eat Right 4 Your Type. In the book, he claims the various blood types represent the genetic traits of our ancestors and the specific diets that helped them survive.
Foods For Each Blood Type
Dr. D’Adamo believed a chemical reaction would occur when red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells came into contact with specific food components (including lectins). These reactions would cause hormonal disruptions and ultimately health issues. However, you can prevent these issues by eating (and avoiding) certain foods.
Here are the top recommended foods for each blood type:
- Type O – Individuals with Type O blood should include animal proteins (meat) and moderate amounts of eggs, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Dr. D’Adamo calls these individuals “hunters” who should avoid grains and dairy products.
- Type A – A vegetarian diet is believed to have the most benefit for Type A blood. This would include fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Dr. D’Adamo calls these individuals “cultivators” who should avoid meat and dairy products.
- Type B – Dr. D’Adamo calls those with type B blood “nomads” with a robust immune system. These individuals can eat a wide variety of foods including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, grains, beans, and legumes. He believed type B is the most adaptable blood type but those on the Blood Type Diet should avoid consuming nuts and seeds.
- Type AB – Individuals who are type AB are primarily vegan. Dr. D’Adamo calls them “enigmas,” and believes they don’t have any specific foods to avoid. Instead, they can consume any of the foods suggested for both A and B blood types.
Potential Benefits of Blood Type Diet
The Blood Type Diet is believed by many to have several health benefits including the following:
- Weight loss
- Improved mental health and well-being
- Manage chronic diseases (high blood pressure, arthritis, cholesterol, asthma, diabetes, migraines, heartburn, etc.)
- Increased immunity from diseases
The Blood Type Diet focuses on eating whole foods that are healthy and nutrient-dense while simultaneously reducing the consumption of processed and junk foods. The Blood Type Diet does not restrict calories, which can help a person meet their daily caloric needs. In addition to healthy eating, the diet encourages daily exercise, which also helps to improve overall health.
Risks of Eating By Blood Type
While there are many benefits to eating by blood type, there are a few risks as well. One concern is some diet plans may lack key vitamins and minerals needed for good health. For example, food that is permissible for blood types A and O can be too limiting. They do not allow for adequate intake of calcium and other nutrients. In addition, the diet recommended for Type O blood could potentially increase the risk of lower levels of triglycerides, which has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Another potential problem is eating habits that aren’t compatible with the diet plans. For example, Type O vegetarians will struggle because this diet plan is meat-based. Conversely, meat lovers who are blood type A will face challenges because this diet is vegetarian based. Instead of eating meat, most calories will come from fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
In addition, those with pre-existing conditions may find the diet plan requires them to eat foods they should avoid or omits foods they should be eating. For these individuals, consulting with a doctor or nutritionist is advised.
Should You Try the Blood Type Diet?
Currently, there is no scientific evidence to support the Blood Type Diet. However, many still embrace the diet because it recommends eating natural foods instead of processed foods, sugary snacks and foods high in artificial colors and ingredients. It is also considered by some to be a healthier choice than many other diet plans on the market.
It should be noted that while the blood type diet focuses on healthy eating, some foods may be omitted from the diet based on blood type. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend the American diet, but some blood type diet plans will not meet these recommendations. Using your best judgment and talking to your physician is key.
Created in the 1990’s, The Blood Type Diet focuses on diet plans based on a person’s blood type. It is believed to have many health benefits including weight loss, managing chronic diseases and improving mental health. Care should be taken with the Blood Type Diet because some diet plans may omit foods that are needed for good health. In addition, individuals on medication or with preexisting conditions should consult with their physician before trying the Blood Type Diet. For more information on the Blood Type Diet, see the following links: Link 1 Link 2
Medical Disclaimer: This article is based upon the opinions of Revelation Health. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Revelation Health and associates. This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD for accuracy of the information provided, but Revelation Health encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.