Blood type eating – briefly
This idea goes beyond eating more “fruits and vegetables”. It is not a fad diet. This article refers to three books:
- “Eat Right 4 Your Type“, by Dr. Peter D’Adamo ND, published in 1996 and updated in 2016,
- “Dr. Mozzi’s diet. Blood types and food combinations“, by Dr. Pietro Mozzi, translated from Italian in 2017, and
- “One man’s food–is someone else’s poison“, by Dr. James D’Adamo ND (Peter’s father), published in 1980.
Briefly, your blood type is genetic, but your genes are not your fate. You are not a victim of your genes.
Blood type eating only looks at the ABO blood type (O, A, B, or AB). It does not look at the Rhesus factor (positive or negative). If you do not know your blood type, you can ask your doctor or donate blood. They will tell you your blood type. In some countries, such as Spain, pharmacies can test you and tell you your blood type immediately. In other countries, you require a written order from a doctor to find out your blood type. Test kits are available in some countries, so you can do the blood type test yourself at home. The most common blood types are A, more or less forty percent in many places, and O, more or less forty-five percent in many places. More precise blood typing systems are known (for organ transplantations), but ABO blood typing is the most widely known.
Public health authorities have been collecting blood type statistics for more than a hundred years. It is your private data, but the public health authorities have kept the totals for a long time.
If you have little time for or interest in the details, if you know your blood type, if you would like to try this method for one to four weeks, then Dr. D’Adamo’s Getting Started Guide can be a useful guide. He describes blood type eating briefly in his two-minute video and in more detail in his forty-two minute podcast interview with Dr. Erin Kinney ND. Some naturopathic physicians secretly promote blood type eating to their patients.
Who you are
Your blood type is part of who you are, your biological identity. It comes from your parents and their parents and so on. Blood types matter not only for blood transfusions but also for your metabolism and digestion. The ideas and methods are summarized here:
- There is no one set of eating habits that is healthy for everyone. Veganism can be healthy, even therapeutic, for some people, but not for everybody. The Eskimos thrived on meat, fish, and both saturated and unsaturated fats. The Masai in Kenya thrived on raw milk, blood, and meat. Some people thrive on a balance of foods, both vegetables and animal protein. What is healthy for you may not be healthy for me and vice versa.
This can be difficult for many people to accept. Many people, including experts on health and nutrition, assume that what is healthy for them is healthy for everybody, since we are all human. Yes, we are all human, but we are not the same. We are each biochemically individual. Only the individual can observe and measure their own digestion. The body is a garden, not a machine, but your garden is not my garden.
- Your blood type affects your digestion (your metabolism), such as the natural acidity of your stomach at rest, the secretion of your digestive enzymes, lipid metabolism (digestion of nuts, seeds and oils), and possibly iron balance.
- Depending on your blood type, certain foods are either healthy, neutral, or unhealthy for you. Healthy foods keep your blood thin, while unhealthy foods make your blood coagulate very slightly. The details have to do with a selective reaction between the blood and the lectins in the food, depending on your specific blood type and on the specific food. Some foods thin the blood for some people more than for others.
The conventional definition of metabolic health (digestion) depends on tests and measures of fasting blood glucose, triglycerides (fat in the blood), HDL (high-density lipoproteins, commonly known as “good cholesterol”), blood pressure, waist circumference, and HbA1c (a measurement of blood glucose over three months). There is another, simpler way to observe your digestion.
Are you free of constipation, diarrhea, bloating, excess gas, and stomach pains? If so, your digestion is healthy. Healthy digestion is the root of all good health.
Soul food for you
Everybody wants to be healthy. Your spirit has a life force, a vital energy, that wants your body to be healthy. Most of all, this primal urge depends on being free of what makes you unhealthy, including foods that inflame your digestion and do not nourish you. The main idea is to improve digestion, which results in healthy weight and longevity. Good health depends on optimal digestion. What is optimal digestion? It begins with an absence of constipation, bloating, diarrhea, stomach pains, and excess gas. It continues with absorption and assimilation of the nutrients from your food into your blood, tissues, organs, and bones. Good digestion ends with the regular, healthy excretion of waste and toxins. One to three bowel movements a day are typical of a healthy digestion. Good digestion leads to a healthy weight and healthy aging. What matters more to you – your health or your habits?
Try it and see.
Why not try blood type eating for one to three weeks, and then see how you feel? It means eating only beneficial and neutral foods for your blood type. It also means completely avoiding all foods to be avoided for your blood type. In a couple or a family, it is much easier to apply, if you have the same blood type. It is also possible to prepare meals for different blood types by separating the dish with protein, such as meat for one and lentils or tofu for the other. You have nothing to lose.
Note that there is no restriction on portion size. It is not necessary to count calories. Of course, it is better not to overdo it and to eat in moderation, but eat as much as you want. Simply keep in mind that, even in moderation, foods to be avoided are to be excluded completely. In other words, according to this method and for optimal results, there is no moderate quantity of foods to be avoided.
Can be cheap and tasty
By the way, it may cost you more than donuts, corn flakes, frozen pizza, packaged food for the microwave, and soda, but it will probably not cost you much more. It may even cost you less than what you are paying for your current eating habits, including the price of ill health. If you use herbs and spices, you can make your meals taste delicious. It simply takes some time in the kitchen, for example to make smoothies, to steam vegetables, to sauté beef, turkey, or fish, to boil eggs, to cook omelets, or to prepare vegan meals of grains, beans, or legumes.
Recipes are included on this site, according to blood type eating and noting the specific blood type. Some foods are even beneficial or neutral for all blood types, such as lemon, apples, pears, dates, plums, grapes, spinach, broccoli, carrots, cod, sardines, salmon, almonds, walnuts, and ginger. The book “Eat Right 4 Your Type” has the complete details by blood type of foods that are beneficial, neutral, and to be avoided (potentially inflammatory). It includes recipes for each blood type. A multi-lingual reference (also for translation) of foods by blood type is bloodtypefood.com.
Blood type eating – in detail
Dr. Peter D’Adamo ND continued the research of his father, Dr. James D’Adamo ND. The father had worked in mountain health spas in Germany and Switzerland in the 1960s. People went to these spas to recover from surgery and for their health. They enjoyed clean mountain air and were served fresh vegetarian food. The father clearly observed that some people recovered their health, while others did not. When he went to his files, he found that most of those who did not recover their health had blood type O. He later observed that the people with blood type O tended to recover their health after starting to eat eggs or meat again.
The son describes the significance of the blood type, beyond killing people with botched blood transfusions.
How to try this
You may already avoid certain foods. If so, you could still possibly use this method to avoid or substitute other foods for one to three weeks, and then see how you feel. On the other hand, you may have eaten the same food since your childhood. It may remind you of happy childhood moments. It may remind you of your sense of national or other identity. If blood type eating excludes these foods for your blood type, you might try cutting these foods, such as wheat or dairy, one-by-one, for a week, and then see how you feel. What matters more to you – your health or your habits?
You might also consider cutting one food at a time, for one to three weeks, and then eating it again. If it makes you sick (your digestion), then you know that this food is not healthy for you, even if it reminds you of a happy childhood or your origin. You can do your own experiments on yourself and your digestion. You have nothing to lose, and you are the only one who can evaluate and improve the health of your digestion. Health begins in the gut. Good digestion is the root of good health.
Blood type eating table
According to blood type eating and the latest edition of “Eat Right 4 Your Type“, the following table lists the:
- four blood types – O, A, B, AB – and their typical proportions of the population in most places on earth,
- most common foods that are beneficial, and
- most common foods that are to be avoided.
|Blood type||Healthy (beneficial)||To be avoided|
|carbonated water, green tea, stinging nettle, horsetail, sarsaparilla, rhodiola, rose hips, rooibos, chicory, banana, plums, fig, mango, blueberries, cherries, pineapple, broccoli, spinach, onion, parsley, garlic, parsnips, pumpkin, turnips, artichoke, kale, horseradish, fennel, sweet potato, adzuki beans, beef, lamb, veal, sardine, herring, mackerel, cod, salmon, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, olive oil, flaxseed, seaweed, bladderwrack, ginger, cayenne (chili pepper), dandelion, peppermint, carob, fenugreek, brewer’s yeast, …||coffee, decaffeinated coffee, black tea, chamomile, distilled liquor, avocado, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, tangerine, kiwi, orange, plantain, blackberries, coconut, aloe vera, cauliflower, cucumber, leek, mushrooms (white and shiitake), potato, corn, alfalfa sprouts, eggplant, rhubarb, black olives, pickles, lentils, wheat, most beans except adzuki, cow’s dairy, ham, bacon, pork, smoked salmon, peanuts, cashews, pistachio, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, corn oil, ketchup, mustard, black (and white) pepper, pickles, echinacea, St. John’s wort, …|
coffee, red wine, green tea, licorice, burdock, gentian, horsetail, chicory, soy milk, lemon, lime, grapefruit, plums, apricot, figs, pineapple, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, blackberries, carrot, broccoli, celery, spinach, parsley, horseradish, kale, squash (courgette), fennel, artichoke, parsnips, turnips, alfalfa, aloe, leek, buckwheat, oats, amaranth, adzuki beans, tofu (fermented soybean), lentils, black beans, green beans, peanuts, natto, tempeh, miso, cod, salmon, sardine, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, garlic, ginger, fennel, fenugreek, coriander, cinnamon, curcuma, blackstrap molasses, St. John’s wort, echinacea, hawthorn, valerian, …
|black tea, orange juice, coco milk, beer, carbonated water, distilled alcohol, orange, banana, plantain, mango, tangerine, papaya, coconut, potato, sweet potato, cabbage, tomato, eggplant, olives, chili (cayenne), lima beans, wheat, ketchup, mayonnaise, pickles, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), red beans, white beans, Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, cashews, corn oil, coconut oil, margarine, palm oil, cow’s dairy, oysters, caviar, beef, lamb, veal, liver, pork, bacon, ham, rabbit, duck, chili, pepper (black, white, and chili), gelatin, aspartame, vinegar (all), …|
|water, green tea, peppermint, eleuthero, sage tea, licorice tea, aloe vera, banana, cranberry, watermelon, grape, plum, papaya, pineapple, broccoli, carrot, beet, cabbage, kale, sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, cauliflower, parsley, eggplant, oats, spelt, millet, brown rice, puffed rice, barley, red beans, lima beans, cottage cheese, feta cheese, goat cheese, mozzarella, natural whole yogurt, kefir, turkey, lamb, rabbit, cod, sardine, mackerel, salmon, walnuts, olive oil, ginger, cayenne, horseradish, blackstrap molasses, ginseng, licorice, …||carbonated water, distilled liquor, coco milk, soy milk, avocado, blueberry, pomegranate, coconut, aloe vera, artichoke, corn, pumpkin, green and black olives, radish, rhubarb, tomato, amaranth, wheat, couscous, kamut, buckwheat, chickpeas, rye, rice, soy, miso, natto, lentils, adzuki beans, chicken, duck, ham, pork, bacon, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, sesame seeds, tahini, pistachio nuts, sunflower seeds, pistachio, ketchup, green and black olives, blue cheese, ice cream, mussels, eel, crab, trout, smoked salmon, frog, escargot, lobster, white pepper, stevia, cinnamon, …|
|green tea, chamomile, hawthorn, ginseng tea, lemons, grapefruit, watermelon, pineapples, grapes, figs, cranberry, alfalfa, kiwi, beets, broccoli, kale, parsnips, turnips, sweet potato, parsley, celery, cucumber, cauliflower, cucumber, oats, millet, brown rice, rye, spelt, tofu (fermented soy), soy flour, tofu, miso, natto, tempeh, eggs, cottage cheese, feta cheese, goat cheese, mozzarella, ricotta, yogurt, cod, sardines, mackerel, salmon, turkey, olive oil, peanuts, walnuts, garlic, ginger, oregano, parsley, horseradish, miso, dandelion, milk thistle, licorice, echinacea, blackstrap molasses, …||coffee, black tea, orange juice, distilled alcohol, banana, orange, mango, avocado, blueberry, pomegranate, coconut, aloe vera, artichoke, corn, shiitake, radish, rhubarb, black olives, (chili pepper), buckwheat, chickpeas, kamut, red beans, black beans, lima beans, adzuki beans, brie cheese, camembert, parmesan, provolone, cow’s milk, ice cream, smoked salmon, trout, crab, frog, lobster, oyster, chicken, beef, pork, bacon, veal, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, tahini, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, ketchup, pickles, gelatin, mustard (with wheat and vinegar), soy sauce, carob, vinegar (all), butter, black pepper, cayenne/red pepper, …|
Nota bene. Some foods are beneficial for all blood types, such as broccoli. The above table is not complete. Some less common foods are not included. Many foods are neutral by blood type and not listed here. Some neutral foods may also be very healthy for you because of their mineral or vitamin content. If beneficial foods, even organic, are contaminated with heavy metals, then they are not healthy for you. You are biochemically individual, so you may find that your digestion can tolerate small quantities of a food to be avoided or cannot tolerate a food thought to be beneficial. It is for each person to listen to and to observe their own digestion themselves.
If you have accumulated environmental toxins or inflammation in your whole body over your lifetime, then you may find that you have reactions to certain foods independently of your blood type. For a complete list of foods by blood type, you can read the book. Else you can read the website for an introduction. To get started with blood type eating quickly and easily, click on the Getting Started Guide.
Try it and see.
Many people report that this method works for them, but it does not work for everybody. The only way to know whether it works for you is to try it and see. To test this for yourself thoroughly, you could try it for at least a week, possibly for three weeks. Eat only healthy (beneficial) or neutral foods. Exclude completely foods to be avoided for your blood type. Then see how you feel. Listen to your body. Your body and your digestive system will send you messages. Again, what matters more to you – your health or your habits?
To look for a specific food and whether it is healthy (beneficial or neutral) for your blood type or not, first know or find out your own blood type and then:
- Use the free online TypeBase V program by Peter D’Adamo,
- Enter part of the name of the specific food, where you see “Search“, and then select from the list,
- Notice the row of boxes with blood types – A B AB O – and the possible colors. Green means beneficial. Light yellow is neutral. Light orange is avoid. Light grey is unknown.
Louisa Wah has an excellent website oriented towards blood type eating, EatRightwithLouisa.com. She is open to say that she has blood type O, so her site is oriented mostly toward blood type O. She describes starting the blood type diet in her twelve-minute video, Surprises When I Started the Blood Type Diet.
What do you value more – your health or your habits?
If any of your favorite foods are on the list of foods to be avoided by your blood type, you might still try cutting them one-by-one for at least a week, and then see how you feel. What do you value more – your health or your habits? To try blood type eating, you simply do not eat what is to be avoided. You eat only what is beneficial or neutral. This does restrict choices, but the list includes many foods for each blood type. Again, the above table is incomplete. Complete details are in the book and on the website. If you know your own blood type, you could start with Peter D’Adamo’s Getting Started Guide.
Why does this work?
It works, because it keeps your blood thin, naturally, gently, without aspirin. Specifically, there is a selective reaction between the lectins in your food and the antigens in your blood, depending on the specific food and on your specific blood type. This reaction either slightly thins the blood, slightly coagulates the blood, or has no effect on blood viscosity. For a list of approximate blood type distribution in Europe, click on European blood type distribution by country.
What are blood types?
How do we know about blood types? In hospitals at the end of 19th century, they were killing people with botched blood transfusions. In 1901, Dr. Karl Landsteiner, a physician in Vienna, Austria, took blood samples from the staff in his lab. He mixed them and observed that some combinations coagulated slightly (agglutinated or formed clumps) and some did not. Dr. Landsteiner’s discovery led to the ABO blood type system – and the possibility to transfuse blood without killing people. Other more precise blood typing systems are known, for example to predict compatibility of transplanted organs.
Independently, in the 1940s, Dr. William C. Boyd at Boston University and Dr. Karl O. Renkonen at the University of Helsinki, Finland, discovered the human blood type specificity of lectins (hemagglutinins). They found that crude extracts of the lima bean (Phaseolus limensis) agglutinated blood type A red blood cells but not blood type B or O cells, while extracts of the asparagus pea (Lotus tetragonolobus) agglutinated blood type O red blood cells specifically.
Blood type antigens
Technically, the molecule which determines your blood type is an antigen. If provoked, an antigen can stimulate the production of an antibody (an immune response). Antigens are also found in bacteria, fungi, and the cells of transplanted organs. Your blood type antigen is a sugar molecule found on the surface of your red blood cells. Outside of you, if someone receives your donated blood, it is treated as ‘other’ by a person of another blood type, who may carry an antibody against it. The particular antigens that identify blood type A, B, AB or O are not limited to humans nor limited to blood. These antigens are also found on the tongue, lungs, stomach lining, intestines, pancreas, liver, ovary, prostate, in secretions, and in other animals.
What are lectins?
Lectins are proteins found in many foods. During and after digestion and absorption, specific lectins react with the blood and with the digestive system. This reaction causes the blood to agglutinate (thicken) slightly, to become slightly thinner, or to stay constant in viscosity, depending on the specific food and the specific blood type. A slight thickening can inflame the digestive system. So certain foods for certain blood types are beneficial, to be avoided, or neutral, based on many observations of this reaction, according to doctors who have studied this. Individual results may vary slightly. This four-minute video describes lectins briefly.
Explaining why this idea works, D’Adamo also refers to the “secretor” status of a person. This has to do with whether the specific blood type proteins are found only in the blood or also in secretions of the body, such as saliva, tears, urine, semen, and breast milk. Blood type eating is possible without the detail of the secretor status. He says that eighty percent or more of people are secretors. Specifically, they have the FUT2 gene.
D’Adamo also sells supplements, but you are not obliged to buy his food supplements to try out this idea. His blood type O supplement has kelp, l-tyrosine, and carnitine. His blood type A supplement has vitamin A, cherry powder, and flaxseed. His blood type B supplement has eleutherococcus (Siberian ginseng), nutritional yeast, and carob. His blood type AB supplement has rhodiola, green tea, and ashwagandha. I do not promote supplements before healthy eating habits.
ABO to go
The medical authorities have kept statistical totals of blood types for a hundred years, since Dr. Landsteiner found the blood types. The statistical distribution of blood types varies slightly from one country or region to another. In total, in most countries and regions on earth, blood type O is thirty-five to fifty percent of the population. Blood type A is thirty-five to fifty percent of the population. Blood type B is ten to twenty percent of the population. Blood type AB is three to eight percent of the population. Blood type B recipes tend to be similar to blood type O recipes, with some exceptions, while AB recipes tend to be similar to A recipes, also with some exceptions.
Even Dr. D’Adamo himself acknowledges that this method does not work for everybody. He reports that of the people who have read his book and written to him, eighty percent are either satisfied or very satisfied, as if to say that twenty percent were not satisfied. Of course, this is merely an anecdote, but two or three anecdotes make data.
I do not follow this method blindly. For example, D’Adamo says that for my blood type (O), Brazil nuts, apple cider vinegar, and coconut oil are neutral or to be avoided, but they do not seem to me to undermine my digestion. They have other nourishing properties. Brazil nuts have selenium. Apple cider vinegar is a fermented food, which can feed healthy bacteria in the digestive system (“gut flora”). It also has potassium. Coconut oil can withstand enough high heat to sauté omelettes, turkey, or beef with onions, mushrooms, and spices. Dr. Mary Newport MD describes her experience using coconut oil to prompt her husband to heal himself of dementia in this thirty-minute podcast.
The idea of blood type eating is food for thought, and many people report that it works for them. It has also been independently confirmed by Dr. Pierro Mozzi, an Italian medical doctor. You can personalize it.
You have nothing to lose by trying it.
Again, a true test of blood type eating would exclude all foods to be avoided and include only beneficial or neutral foods. It works for me, and I only follow it ninety percent. The book “Eat Right 4 Your Type” sold more than seven million copies, and it has received more than seven thousand online reviews. More than eighty-five percent of these reviews are four- or five-star. This proves nothing, of course, but this is a lot of online book reviews. Many naturopathic physicians recommend this method and report that it works for their patients.
Other patterns by blood type
There are other patterns of anatomical and physiological differences by blood type. For example, certain types of exercise and certain nutrients tend to be more desirable for certain blood types than for others. The following table lists the blood types, anatomical and physiological patterns, desirable exercise, and desirable nutrients and what foods contain them. If you have a medical condition, see a doctor.
Nota bene. These are merely suggestions and observations of patterns by the Drs. D’Adamo. You may be an exception. You may not be an exception. There is also some research about the statistical susceptibility of one or another blood type to certain diseases. Blood type has a metabolic significance.
|Blood type||Patterns of anatomy and physiology||Recommended exercise||Desirable nutrients|
|higher stomach acid (very low pH),
stronger immune system,
susceptibilty to arthritis and ulcers,
thinner blood that clots more slowly
|strenuous, aerobic exercise, such as running, bicycling, swimming, or weight lifting, early in the day||vitamin B complex (dark greens, nuts, fruits, meat, liver, fish, eggs, brewer’s yeast), vitamin K (kale, spinach, liver, egg yolks), calcium (sardines with bones, salmon, broccoli, parsley, sesame seeds, fenugreek, almonds, carob, millet), iodine (seafood, saltwater fish, seaweed, kelp, bladderwrack, fucus), manganese (clove), licorice (possibly de-glycyrrhizinated licorice), rhodiola, tyrosine (beef, fish, pumpkin seeds, oats), arginine (turkey, pumpkin seeds)|
|low stomach acid,
slower more adaptable digestion, weaker immune system, susceptibility to heart disease and diabetes,
thicker blood that clots more quickly
|calming, anaerobic exercise, such as yoga, stretching, brisk walking, golf, dance||vitamin B12 (miso, tempeh, natto, fish, eggs), vitamin C (citrus, pineapple, broccoli, berries, cherries), vitamin E (walnuts, peanuts, leafy greens), calcium (tofu, almonds, spinach, broccoli, goat or sheep cheese, eggs, sardines), iron (beets, figs, molasses, lentils, beans), zinc (pumpkin seeds), selenium (garlic), chromium, hawthorn, echinacea, chamomille, valerian, milk thistle, sage, maitake|
|tends towards O characteristics||balance of aerobic and anaerobic exercise||magnesium (dark green vegetables, chlorophyll), licorice (with caution), bromelain (pineapple), adaptogens (ginkgo biloba, ginseng), lecithin (fermented soy), elderberry, nitric oxide (beets, garlic, …)|
|tends towards A characteristics||calming, anaerobic exercise||vitamin C (lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, broccoli, berries, cherries), zinc (pumpkin seeds), hawthorn, echinacea, chamomille, valerian, milk thistle|
Statistically, blood type Os live longer than blood type As, but beware of statistics. You are not a statistic. You are an individual. While you are alive, you do not want to become a statistic. Unrelated to food, but related to blood types is the possiblity that strenuous, aerobic exercise, such as running, bicycling, or swimming may be healthier for blood types O and B, while less stenuous exercise or movements, such as walking, yoga, or the movements of energy medicine may be healthier for blood types A and AB.
Blood type eating has many skeptics and critics. From what I have observed, the critics have neither read the book nor tried the method for themselves. For example, Dr. Neal Barnard MD questions the idea and the utility of blood type eating for health, instead promoting veganism for everybody. Has he ever read the book or tried this method for himself? This is not clear.
Some critics claim that the blood type eating idea has been “debunked“. An honest test would exclude completely what is to be avoided and include only what is beneficial or neutral – by blood type of the individual for a set of individuals. This has not been done.
The fact that such a test has not been done does not disprove the idea. The theory does not matter compared with the practical question, would this or could this work for you? The only way that you will know whether this works for you or not is to try it for yourself and see. Dr. D’Adamo responds to various critics.
Some critics claim that any health gain from blood type eating is merely due to eating more fruits and vegetables, in other words simply due to eating more healthy foods in general. They overlook the fact that certain vegetables and fruits are healthy for some people, but not for everybody, according to blood type eating. They also overlook ABO blood type antigens, lectins, and the selective reaction between blood type antigens and lectins, which has been known since the 1940s.
Another criticism is that blood type eating is a “fad diet”. Dr. James D’Adamo published his book on this subject in 1980. His son published his book in 1996 and then published a revised edition in 2017. If this were a “fad diet”, then how did it last forty years? Many fad diets are promoted by only one doctor or other advocate. Many are sincerely looking for the truth. They have found what works for them and for their patients, but they often overlook biochemical individuality and the fact that nothing works for everyone. Dr. Piero Mozzi, MD has independently confirmed blood type eating in his book. Is this evidence of a “fad diet”?
Sometimes the critics misrepresent the idea of blood type eating. They claim that is a “low carb, high protein” diet. These claims are nonsense. Carbohydrates include vegetables and fruits, many of which are beneficial, but depending on the blood type, lectins, and agglutination. Modest quantities of animal protein are healthy for O and B, whilevegetable proteins are healthy for type A and AB.
Academic critics of blood type eating like to point out that there are other, more detailed blood typing systems, including called HLA (human leukocyte antigen). This system is used to reduce the risk of rejections of transplanted organs and bone marrow. It is independent of ABO blood types. This does not contradict the possibility that the ABO blood type is also metabolic. They further claim that there are studies in the field of “nutrigenetics” or “nutrogenomics” that contradict the blood type eating idea. What are these specific studies? Be aware that many formal academic nutritional studies often contradict each other. They never control for the blood type. Nevertheless, some of the academic critics of blood type eating can be real windbags on the subject of HLA blood types and nutrigenetics.
On the other hand, in my opinion, one valid criticism of the book is that the origin of different blood types is not clear. The author speculates that blood type O was the original hunter-gatherer blood type. According to him, blood type A then evolved to adapt to the cultivation of wheat, corn, and rice almost ten thousand years ago. Blood type B then evolved to adapt to a nomadic life, herding animals, and eating certain dairy. What is the evidence of this evolution? What is the evidence of the theory of evolution in general? This is not clear to me. All of these ancient wanderers and settlers are dead and gone. Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, and dust to dust. Also, the antigens that define the ABO blood type are also found in other species of animals than human beings.
What is also unclear to me is what was the specific method to assign each specific food by blood type to each category – beneficial, neutral, or to be avoided. If you try to apply this method to other regions on earth other than Europe or North America, such as areas in Africa, Latin America, or Asia, where certain foods are common but not listed in his book, how would you determine the category of the food by the blood type, beneficial, neutral, or to be avoided, at least according to his method? This is not clear and not specified in the book.
Perhaps they have simply kept records for the last fifty years and noticed patterns of foods and blood types. Perhaps there is no specific methodology other than their recognition of patterns. The book omits a methodology to explain the selection of foods by blood type. The absence of a methodology, other than their observations and patterns that they noticed, does not disprove their conclusion that the blood type is a metabolic factor.
Whatever the origin of blood types and the specific methodology of the selection, in practice this method works for many, many people, though not for everybody. It is based on lectins and observations of the selective reaction between lectins and the blood. This reaction either slightly coagulates the blood, slightly thins the blood, or has no effect on blood viscosity.
If you also apply other ideas, such as food combining, the acid-alkaline balance, detox, eliminations (sugar, dairy, and wheat), and chrono-nutrition, then you greatly increase the chance that blood type eating can work for you. It can even be cheap, particularly compared with the price of ill health, including:
- fruits and vegetables,
- either eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, or beef (for types O and B) or grains, beans, and legumes (for types A and AB),
- nuts and seeds, and
- herbs and spices.
Even within the same blood type, we are each individual. One simple way to start is to look at the list of foods to be avoided for your blood type. If you eat any of the foods to be avoided for your blood type, you might cut them one-by-one for one to three weeks and substitute. See how you feel after a week. If you have more energy or feel better, continue.
For example, if you have blood type A, you might avoid all red meat and dairy for one to three weeks. Include good-quality eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, or vegetable protein, such as tofu, lentils, or quinoa, and then see how you feel. To complete the test, eat cooked red meat again, and see how you feel. If you feel constipated, bloated, diarrhea, stomach pains, or excess gas after eating the red meat, then you probably know that it is not healthy for you to eat red meat.
If you have blood type O, you might avoid all wheat (bread, cereal, pasta, biscuits, cakes, cookies, couscous, and beer), for one to three weeks, and then see how feel. Then eat some wheat, and see how you feel. If it interferes with your digestion, you then know in your heart that it is not healthy for you. Your soul wants you and your body to be healthy. Let it. Let go of your habits to gain your health.
Why do we have different blood types? What is the origin of each of the blood types? Nobody can answer these questions with certainty. It is a mystery. These questions are not relevant to the main questions – could this or does this work for you? This is what matters to you, not the theoretical details. You are the only one who can answer the question of whether this works for you, because you are the only one who can evaluate your digestion. If your digestion is already healthy, there is no reason to change your habits. If not, then you have nothing to lose by experimeting, changing your eating habits for one to three weeks. Then see how you feel.
Nota bene. A similar idea, metabolic typing, may be related to blood type eating. Compared with identifying your blood type, identifying your metabolic type, fast or slow oxidizer, parasympathetic- or sympathetic-dominant, is less clear to me. The late Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez MD described how he applied his version of metabolic typing in his book “Nutrition and the Autonomic Nervous System“. Even he acknowledged that he used esoteric biochemical tests to identify a metabolic type. He succinctly answered the question, “What Diet Is Best For Me?‘. His answer and his concept of metabolic typing do not contradict the concept of blood type eating. They are similar. Related to metabolic typing is your vagus nerve, the connection between your brain and your digestive system. The vagus nerve acts like a switch between fight-or-flight (sympathetic) mode or rest-and-digest (parasympathetic) mode of the central nervous system. To relax and possibly also to improve digestion, you can exercise your vagus nerve.
On the other hand, compared with their metabolic type, everybody knows or can easily find out their own ABO blood type. Eating according to the ABO blood type is easier, with individual variations, than eating according to the metabolic type. Some choices of foods are restricted, but it can be cheap. It has many choices. It works for many people, but not for everybody. Many people see results in one to three weeks. Then they continue.
Other blood typing systems are known and used to plan the transplant of organs and to avoid rejections.
Other personal typing systems for individual health are also known, such as body shapes. These were studied and reported in detail years ago by Dr. William Sheldon MD. Ectomorphs tend to be long and to have thin bones. Endomorphs tend to be rounded and to have thick bones. Mesomorphs tend to be rectaular and to be muscular. When registering new patients to emergency rooms, many hospitals note the body shape of the person. Sheldon attributed types of personalities to body shapes.
Ayurveda, the ancient Indian “science of life”, looks at “doshas“, vata, pitta, and kapha types. These types could be called thin, medium, and thick. Thin people tend to get nervous and to waste away. Thick people tend to be lethargic and prone to diabetes, heart disease, and clogged arteries. Medium types, pitta, tend to get too hot, with heat rising to the head. They are subject to strokes. Doshas in Ayurveda correspond to the body morphologies known to naturopaths. Many people have mixed shapes and types.
Ancient Chinese medicine looks at the constitution of a person to figure out their physical type (either cold or hot and either damp or dry). Perhaps these other typing systems have validity for health via food, but the ABO blood type is practical to apply. A condensed version of this article in the form of slides is available here.
Related to blood type eating, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, MD, who advocated the use of pancreatic or digestive enzymes, describes his view of how to personalize your diet.
A presentation of slides about blood type eating is here –
A two-minute video introduction to blood type eating is here –
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