Blood Type Diet: What’s the Story?

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What if a blood type diet held the blueprint for all of your body’s needs – dietary, exercise, disease prevention, emotional health, etc.  If you are thinking, Puh-lease, not another theory on diets! I wouldn’t fault you. And just like every other theory regarding how we are designed to eat, the blood type diet has a boatload of supporters and naysayers with reviews ranging from “life changing” to “junk science.”  But Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo presents a pretty incredible and compelling theory supported by science and research in his book, Eat Right For Your Type. And perhaps even more persuasive are the tens of thousands of people who thrive following the blood type diet. This theory has been around for 20 years and been read by millions of people. Forget dubbing this a “fad” diet – the blood type diet has legit staying power.key-genetic-factor_bloodtype-BannerI’ll spare you a blah, blah book report (if you heard me trying to regurgitate it to my husband, you’d have thought I was given 10 word restriction to describe a 390 page book #scienceproblems), and instead tell you why I think this book is important. Dr. D’Adamo explains how your blood type is a key genetic factor that influences a multitude of aspects that effect your health. Your blood type will indicate: your levels of stomach acid, your micro biome ( blood type antigens are prominent in your digestive tract with over 50% of bacteria showing blood type specificity – whoa!), your immune system (not all that surprising given the last fact), what type of physical movement will best support stress reduction and well being, and more.

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What I found most fascinating – given what we do here at PN – is the surprising list of “healthy” foods that just don’t work for each blood type. Take beef for example (high quality, of course): type O – yay, type A – nay, type B – neutral, type AB – nay. I am just scratching the surface here with beef. Each blood type has an extensive list of yays and nays, and a list of foods that can be properly absorbed and utilized. Why is the case?, you might ask. Well, let’s take type O, for instance. Type O is referred to as the “oldest” blood type, not the oldest from a molecular standpoint, but rather population movement, dating back when life was hunting and gathering. Meat was a staple, and our ancestors had the stomach acid and microbiome needed to digest it properly. Whereas blood type A “surged in response to the dietary changes stemming from the conversion of the Paleolithic hunter-gatherer way of life into the Neolithic urban-agriculture revolution…” So the diet recommended for type A, who have far less stomach acid, is dramatically different than that of type O.

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 9.26.33 AMIn addition to a comprehensive list of foods that are good, neutral or bad, each blood type also has a list of beneficial supplements, herbs/phytochemical/probiotics and exercise. And the lists are relatively short and will fill in nutritional gaps based on what your body doesn’t absorb well or can’t get from the dietary guidelines. You will not be advised to break the bank on crazy supplements you’ve never heard of, hallelujah. Furthermore, the recommended exercise will probably excite you, because the physical movement that he suggests will resonate best with your body’s needs:

  • Type O needs intense physical exertion to increase dopamine and decrease norepinephrine
  • Type A needs to manage cortisol levels with calming and moderate isotonic exercises
  • Type B thrives with a mix of high intensity workouts and calming exercise
  • Type AB, a marriage of type A and B requires some higher intensity work outs but also needs to manage cortisol though stillness and stretching

As I mentioned, no matter what your blood type, you will find an abundance of foods that will help you thrive, reduce inflammation and lose unwanted pounds in the process. What’s not so awesome? You’ll probably find that avocados are on your nay list – sorry ’bout it type O, B and AB. Don’t get jealous, type A can’t have beer and is recommended to eliminate all animal meet. Yikes. And to be wholly up front, I wonder if its possible to feed a family with varying blood types. Three different dinners? Not happening. One dinner with a bunch of different options to serve everyones needs? Yup, still probably not happening.bodythrive_bloodtype-BannerHere’s the deal, do you need to pull the rug out from under yourself and drastically change your diet overnight? Nope. Do you have to avoid all “nay” foods from your diet? Nope. BUT, if you’re looking for optimal digestion, wondering why you suffer from weightloss resistance despite your “healthy” diet, struggle with autoimmune disorders or find yourself feeling increasingly anxious or blue, it just might be that the foods your choosing don’t actually fuel your body, but rather increase inflammation.

I found this book fascinating and I am definitely going to give the guidelines a shot. For years I’ve wondered if I would benefit from removing animal meat entirely and feel more compelled than ever to commit to it for a bit. Many other recommendations for my blood type resonated – either I was already practicing OR I could feel the repercussions of eating food on my nay list.  Lastly, knowledge is power, and I feel more knowledgeable and connected to my body after reading. If you are wanting to dig deeper and have a greater understanding of what makes your body tick, I highly recommend checking out Eat Right for Your Type.

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