The blood type diet was developed by naturopathic physician Peter J. D’Adamo in 1996 and it has been making headlines ever since. Here’s everything you need to know about this controversial eating plan.
What Is The Blood Type Diet?
Whether you’re trying to lose 20 pounds or just looking for ways to be healthier, there’s no shortage of diets to choose from. But only one looks to your blood type to determine what you should or shouldn’t eat.
The blood type diet originated from the 1996 book Eat Right for Your Type by naturopathic physician Peter J. D’Adamo. The idea behind it is that your body’s response to food is directly linked to your blood type, based on what your ancestors with the same blood type ate.
Each blood type has its own guidelines about the foods that anyone with that blood type should eat and the foods they should avoid. The diet claims to help people lose weight, improve digestive health, and boost overall well-being.
Type A Diet
The Type A diet is a predominantly vegetarian diet because D’Adamo suggests that people with this blood type have difficulty digesting animal protein and fat.
Focusing on fresh, organic foods, the Blood Type A diet advises to eliminate dairy products and wheat and to eat more salmon, vegetables, olive oil, and nuts.
The Type B Diet
The Type B diet includes a wider variety of foods, claiming ancestors with this blood type were omnivores. Its recommendations are fairly similar to the paleo diet. Notable exclusions include chicken, corn, wheat bread, and coffee.
The Type AB Diet
The Type AB diet is a well-rounded one, because people with this blood type can allegedly digest a variety of foods. While it eliminates red meat, beans, and corn, people on this diet can eat a variety of fish, turkey, oatmeal, fresh produce, and coffee.
The Type O Diet
The Type O diet advocates eating lean meats. People with this blood type are said to be descendants of hunters and may better metabolize animal products. Maybe that’s why men of this blood type are less likely to have a heart attack. It’s also a low-carb diet, eliminating many grains and fruits, but allows full fat dairy in moderation.
Does It Actually Work?
In short, it’s complicated. Some people do see results, while others don’t. To be honest, if you’re at a healthy weight and do the blood type diet, you shouldn’t lose that much weight. But if you’re looking to lose weight, the blood type diet does help.
There are no peer-reviewed scientific studies that have found evidence to support or recommend the blood type diet. For the people who did see results, it could have been circumstantial or based on a factor other than blood type.
A 2013 study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no evidence to “validate the purported health benefits of the blood type diet.” The following year, the results of a different study published in PLoS One showed that the blood type diet was associated with lowering certain risk factors like high blood pressure or cholesterol, but those associations were independent of the individuals’ blood types.
Some professionals believe people who follow these diets are probably living really unhealthy lifestyles and have no idea what it takes to lose weight or be healthy in the real world.
The Bottom Line
If you are considering going on any diet, always talk to your physician first. He or she knows your medical history and can help you make an informed decision. You may even find that the right diet for you shares similarities with aspects of the blood type diet because its parameters overlap with those of other popular diets.
However, evidence that the blood type diet actually works remains unproven. That alone implies a risk in testing it yourself.