The Blood Type Diet is a diet that is based on your blood type. The idea is that your blood type determines what foods your body can digest and absorb properly and that eating certain foods based on your blood type can help you stay healthy and avoid disease. There are four different blood types (A, B, AB, and O), and each blood type has a different recommended diet.
There is some scientific evidence to support the idea that the blood type diet can be beneficial, but more research is needed to confirm these results. Some people may find that they do feel better and have more energy when they eat according to their blood type, while others may not notice any difference.
How the Blood Type Diet Works
The blood type diet is based on the work of Peter J. D’Adamo, a naturopathic physician who claims that understanding blood type and the foods that suit each blood type is key to unlocking weight loss benefits.
The idea is that different blood types emerged over time with changes in agriculture and this altered what people ate throughout history and has inspired the modern blood type diet.
Each blood type has an assigned list of dietary recommendations, including what kind of exercise routines people should follow.
While few studies back up the claims made by D’Adamo, broad studies indicate that the suggestions for diet and exercise tend to have weight loss and other health benefits for people who try them.
This is not specific to their blood type but suggests that the dietary advice is sound.
What is clear, however, is that following a healthier diet and regular exercise are key to losing weight and improving overall health.
- People first need to learn their blood type.
- Then find the corresponding diet and exercise regime.
- The diet is quite restrictive, so it is essential to understand what foods are recommended and which ones are restricted for each diet before starting.
Exercise makes up a large part of the blood-type diet plan. For the most effective results, D’Adamo claims that the right exercise should be part of people’s daily routine. Vigorous aerobic exercise is recommended for up to an hour per day for people with O blood type.
In contrast, those with type A blood type are advised to opt for low-intensity workouts like yoga and consider relaxation and mindfulness practices like meditation.
The Diet Plan
Type O Blood:
Focus on protein. This diet should mainly consist of lean meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables. Eating fewer grains, beans, and dairy is also recommended, as D’Adamo claims they do not suit the O-type digestive system.
Incorporating a range of supplements into the diet is also proposed to alleviate stomach and digestion problems. D’Adamo believes people with O blood type often experience these issues, which the type O diet is designed to combat.
Type A Blood:
This diet is primarily vegetarian. The focus is on fruits and vegetables, plenty of plant proteins like beans and legumes alongside wholegrain carbohydrates. D’Adamo also claims people with type A blood type tend to have a sensitive immune system, so he suggests consuming organic, fresh produce to help boost immunity and mitigate stomach upsets.
Type B Blood:
This diet should be exciting and diverse. Meat, fruit, dairy, seafood, and grains are all recommended for this diet. For weight loss, people with type B blood are advised to avoid corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, and sesame seeds. While some meats are acceptable, chicken is not recommended. D’Adamo suggests eating the greener vegetables and eggs alongside some meats.
Type AB Blood:
D’Adamo suggests foods like tofu, fish, seaweed, dairy, and green vegetables for those with blood type AB. This diet is a hybrid of type A and B recommendations. According to D’Adamo, people with type AB blood have low stomach acid and should avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol and smoked or cured meats. For weight loss, pay attention to foods like tofu, seafood, and green vegetables.
- Depending on each diet, the cost of general shopping may vary a little. The O-type diet is reasonably conventional; however, it does include several supplements. These can be expensive, so consider this extra cost when beginning the O blood type diet.
- Other diets like those prescribed for blood types A, B, and AB encourage plenty of fish and products like tofu and fresh vegetables. These can often prove cheaper than certain meats, so there may be room to save money.
- Unless special items like supplements are recommended, these diets have a few additional costs.
- It may be wise to purchase D’Adamo’s book on the blood-type diet as a reference.
Dos and Don’ts
- Ask a doctor for a blood test to determine blood type.
- Understand what foods are recommended and which ones are advised against.
- Find out what exercise regime is suggested for the corresponding diet.
- Closely monitor how the diet affects the body, seeing if digestion improves.
- Keep balance and health in mind. The diet should not be over-restrictive.
- Fail to research thoroughly.
- Suddenly restrict foods or food groups. Slowly phase out foods that are not recommended.
- Expect instant results. The diet is not well-researched enough to be sure of any results.
Sample Diet Plan
Below is a typical day for someone with the O blood type:
Non-acidic berries like blueberries and raspberries with probiotic soy yogurt for gut support.
Tofu and broccoli salad with an olive oil dressing.
Salmon with sauteed spinach and steamed side vegetables.
Figs and prunes are a safe snack option for people with O-type blood.
Health Benefits and Drawbacks
Many of the diets outlined are very healthy and similar to diets prescribed by medical experts.
This means they can help with weight loss, positively affect cardiovascular health, create a lower risk of type two diabetes, and potentially reduce the risk of certain cancers.
The diet lacks solid medical research and does not have the academic backing of other diets, like the plant-based or low-carb diet.
Not all people can follow their prescribed diet, or their preferences might make it difficult. For example, someone who does not like meat will struggle with the O-blood type diet.
For some, going plant-based on the type A diet may prove challenging if they have specific allergies or intolerances. For example, gluten-free people may struggle with the recommended intake of whole-grain foods like bread and pasta.
The Bottom Line: Is the Blood Type Diet a Healthy Way to Lose Weight?
The blood type diet has not been studied enough. While people who follow these diets may lose weight, there is no evidence to suggest it is because of their blood type.
D’Adamo’s dietary recommendations for each blood-type diet are similar to the dietary advice given by dietitians. For example, encouraging people to eat more fresh produce and focusing on lean meats or plant proteins.
Making dietary adjustments like cutting down on fats, increasing fruit and vegetable intake, and exercising regularly, may have positive weight loss and health benefits. It remains unknown, however, if there is a direct link between blood type and diet for weight loss.