Is the Blood-Type Diet for You?

The basis of the blood-type diet, developed by the naturopathic physician Dr. Peter D'Adamo, is that blood delivers nutrients to every cell in the body. Because chemical reactions occur naturally between blood and food, blood types respond differently to certain types of diets. In other words, different blood types break down foods differently.

According to this theory, if you eat the wrong type of foods for your blood type, you suffer the equivalent of an allergic reaction. Your body essentially rejects the food and this process may cause any number of health problems, slow down your metabolic rate, and potentially cause weight gain.

The Diet Plan

The solution, according to Dr. D'Adamo, is to eat a specific diet according to your blood type to help restore and maintain the natural metabolic processes that keep you healthy. He recommends four different diets according to blood type.

The blood-type diet also includes exercise plans suitable for different blood types, with the goal of improving health and fitness levels and maintaining your best weight.

Although the blood-type diet advocates eating fresh, natural foods and eliminating processed foods for people with all blood types, it is a controversial plan because, for some blood types, it also recommends eliminating entire food groups.

For example, if you have blood type A or O, you are supposed to avoid dairy products, eliminating the best food sources of calcium and vitamin D. If you have blood type O, you are supposed to eliminate grains and beans, which are some of the best sources of B vitamin, iron, and plant protein.

In order to get the recommended daily amounts of these nutrients, you may have to take dietary supplements. Which is why, when Dr. D'Adamo first published his blood-type diet back in 1996, he also began promoting his own line of supplements to go with it.

What Health Experts Say

Dietitians and other nutrition experts believe that nutrients should come from food first and that vitamin and mineral supplements can provide a form of dietary insurance and fill in any nutritional gaps that result when you cannot eat a balanced diet.

Although elimination diets are often necessary for people with specific health problems, there is no scientific evidence available to prove the theory that diets should be prescribed by blood type. That doesn't mean it's not a valid theory, but it means there is no basis for recommending the diet.

When a diet plan recommends that whole populations of healthy people eliminate entire food groups, it raises a red flag for most health professionals because it creates a situation where supplements are not being used as extra insurance but, rather, as an essential component of the plan.

One question you can ask yourself if you are thinking about following the blood-type diet, or any restrictive diet, is this: Which seems the more natural, most effective way for you to get and stay healthy—eating a variety of whole foods or taking supplements to get the nutrients you need?




Eat Right for Your Type

New York University Langone Medical Center: The Blood type Diet. Web. 11 Nov 2011

University of Bridgeport: The Dr. Peter D'Adamo NaturopathicScholarship. Web 11 Nov 2011