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Pros and Cons of Eating Right for Your Blood Type

by
author image Michele Turcotte, MS, RD
Michele Turcotte is a registered, licensed dietitian, and a certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She has more than 12 years of experience in clinical and corporate settings, and has extensive experience in one-on-one diet counseling and meal planning. She has written freelance food and nutrition articles for Trouve Publishing Inc. since 2004.
Pros and Cons of Eating Right for Your Blood Type
A man and woman are cooking and looking up things on their phone. Photo Credit gpointstudio/iStock/Getty Images

The "Eat Right for Your Type" plan, developed by Dr. Peter D'Adamo, helps individuals eat properly according to their blood type. According to D'Adamo, when you eat according to your blood type, you're able to build a defense to many chronic diseases as well as lose weight. Like most popular diets, there are pros and cons to this plan. Most medical, health and nutrition experts agree that there is no scientific evidence linking blood type and the foods you eat to optimal health.

The Basics

D’Adamo believes that each blood type's unique antigen marker reacts to certain foods. If the wrong foods are consumed, it can lead to a host of health problems. D'Adamo also believes that stomach acid levels and digestive enzymes are associated with blood type. By eating foods compatible to your blood type, you may digest and absorb nutrients more efficiently. This results in optimal health and weight loss. Each blood type has its own unique diet and exercise prescription, including recommended foods, and foods/food groups to avoid.

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Con: Too Much or Too Little of Various Nutrients

Because food choices are so limited, weight loss may occur, but cutting out main food groups can lead to serious nutrient deficiencies. A wide variety of foods and nutrients is necessary for optimal health. Major food groups are excluded for blood types A and O. For type O, a meat-based diet is recommended. Eating no meat may cause mineral and protein deficiencies, but eating too much meat (in place of healthy fruits, vegetables and whole grains) can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer and heart disease, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the American Heart Association (AHA). For blood type A, dairy products are restricted, putting you at risk for developing a calcium deficiency, which contributes to brittle bone disease (osteoporosis).

Con: It's Complicated and Time-Consuming

If you do not already know your blood type, you will need to find out what it is, and that means having a blood test. Also, because each blood type calls for very different meal plans, shopping, preparing for and cooking family meals may be difficult and time-consuming if each, or even half, of family members have different blood types. For example, blood type O is meat-based, and blood type A is a vegetarian diet. The other blood types are derived from these plans or a combination of two different plans (as with AB). With such restrictions, you must become creative and find ways to fill the gaps left by those foods or food groups not allowed.

Pro: Pushes Healthy, Unprocessed Foods

For blood type B (a more rare blood type), a healthy, well-balanced diet is encouraged, and the only foods that need to be restricted are processed foods. However, even for the "B" type food group, nuts and seeds are not recommended, and only small amounts of carbohydrate-rich foods are allowed. A "pro" for this and all other blood types is that they encourage you to eat real, whole, natural foods in place of processed, sugary and fatty snack foods such as cookies, crackers, chips and desserts. Most nutrition experts agree that limiting processed foods is a wise choice.

Pro: All Blood Types Should Exercise

Although all blood types are encouraged to exercise, specific exercise recommendations are, again, based on blood type. Those with blood type O should participate in vigorous aerobic exercise, while type A's should stick to more calming activities such as yoga and golf. Those with blood type B should enjoy activities that have mental components, such as hiking, tennis and swimming, and group AB should alternate the above. However, according to both the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the AHA, adults should strive to engage in moderately intense cardio exercise for 30 minutes, five days per week or vigorously intense cardio exercise for 20 minutes, three days per week AND do 8 to 10 strength-training exercises, 8-12 repetitions per exercise, twice weekly to maintain health.

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