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Should you eat for your blood

20 March, 2020
Myth of the blood type diet

In his 1996 book Eat right for your type”, the naturopath Peter D’Adamo argues that people with certain blood types can more easily digest certain foods and that if we follow our blood type diet, our overall health will improve. While it may sound logical, there’s actually no scientific research to support the theory.

What does the blood type diet recommend?

Some of the recommendations of this diet include:

Type O Blood

Should eat high-protein foods including lots of meat, vegetables, fish and fruit. They should not each too much grains, beans and legumes.

Type A Blood

Should eat fruit, vegetables, tofu, seafood, turkey and whole grains. They should not eat too much meat.

Type B Blood

Should eat a varied diet including meat, fruit, dairy, seafood, and grains.

Type AB Blood

Should eat dairy, tofu, lamb, fish, grains, fruit and vegetables.

Is there any scientific evidence to support the diet?

There is currently no scientific research to support the blood type diet. An extensive study of 1415 articles on the blood type diet found no evidence to support it. The best possible outcome is that some of the recommendations are generally healthy and therefore provide you with some health benefits regardless of your blood type.

What are the risks of following this diet?

Aside from the costs of supplements and organic foods that Peter recommends in his book, there are some health risks linked to following this diet. While there’s no proof that these diets are harmful, if you have certain health conditions like high cholesterol or diabetes, it’s important to follow the diet recommended by your doctor or dietitian instead. A good place to start is following the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.

What diet should I try instead?

If you’re looking to lose weight, you can look at eating and drinking fewer calories that you burn. Start by reducing your portion sizes and introducing more movement in your day. Weight loss diets often focus on removing certain foods and drinks from your diet and replacing them with healthier options. Fad diets eliminate food groups which can pose long term health consequences if you follow for long periods of time. For example, cutting out all dairy foods can make it hard to meet your daily calcium needs increasing your risk for osteoporosis.

Overall, you should be eating from the following five food groups:

  • vegetables
  • fruit
  • whole grains
  • lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs and plant protein alternatives like tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes or beans
  • milk, yoghurt and cheese (mostly reduced fat)

For more information on what foods you should be eating each day, read the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Some general diet tips include:

  • replacing highly processed products that are high in fat (particularly saturated fat), added sugars and salt with more vegetables, reduced fat dairy, lean protein, fruit or wholegrains
  • be prepared: planning and cooking your meals ahead of time and having healthy snacks at hand
  • less eating away from home: cut down on takeaway foods and cook more

For more information on ways to lose weight, , read the healthy weight page developed by the Australian Government.

Before you make a major change to your diet, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor or a dietitian. You can find an accredited practicing dietitian located near you at the Australian Dietitians Association website.

Sources

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/diet-not-working-maybe-its-not-your-type-2017051211678

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23697707

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3893150/

https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-guide-healthy-eating

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/weight-loss-and-dieting

All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified healthcare  professional.

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