The idea that you should choose your foods based on your blood type is controversial. The Blood Type Diet theory was popularized by naturopathic physician Peter D'Adamo after his study of genetics, medical history and anthropology. However, others in the medical community cite a lack of independent research to back his claims about a link between health and the compatibility of foods with each of the four major blood types.
Blood Type Theory
D'Adamo argues that the antigens that determine which blood type we have also affect how our bodies digest food proteins called lectins. He says eating the right foods can make you feel better, while eating the wrong foods can contribute to weight gain and a host of health problems. The foods that he says are best for each blood type are based on when that blood type evolved in human history and the types of foods being eaten by early man at that time.
Type A Foods
If you're shopping for Type A meals, head to a farmer's market or the produce section of your local grocery store. D'Adamo recommends a vegetarian-style diet for Type A's because he says this blood type evolved during more settled, agrarian times in human history. A type-A grocery list would include plenty of fruits and vegetables that are "fresh, pure and organic" to suit a Type A's more sensitive immune system. Grains, nuts and seeds are good, too. In addition, D'Adamo says Type A's thrive on calming exercises, such as yoga and tai chi.
When it comes to vegetables, garlic, onions, broccoli, carrots, collard greens, kale, pumpkin, spinach, artichokes, chicory, greens, okra, parsley, alfalfa sprouts, tempeh, tofu and turnips should be on the shopping list. Berries, plums, prunes, figs, pineapples, cherries, apricots, grapefruit and lemons are among the best fruits for Type A's. The most beneficial grains are listed as amaranth and buckwheat. Peanuts and pumpkin seeds are on the most beneficial list, along with flaxseed and olive oils. The most beneficial seafood include carp, cod, grouper, red snapper, rainbow trout, salmon, sardines and whitefish.
Foods to Avoid
If you're trying to follow the Blood Type Diet, D'Adamo also lists foods that are not beneficial for each of the blood types. If you have type-A blood, stay out of the meat and dairy sections of the store. These protein-rich foods are on the "avoid" list for Type A's. Poultry and eggs should be avoided, too. Animal foods are said to slow the metabolism of people with type A blood. D'Adamo recommends that everyone avoid processed foods, regardless of blood type.
- Dadamo: Eat Right For Your Type
- Every Diet: Blood Type Diet
- Doctors of USC: The Blood Type Diet; Maria Adams; December 2009
- MayoClinic.com: What is the Blood Type Diet?; Katherine Zeratsky; August 2010
- DrLam.com: Characteristics of Type A - Best on Vegetarian Diet
- USDA: ChooseMyPlate.gov
- Santa Clara University: Wellness Center: Fad Diets
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy Weight—It’s Not a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle!