Eat Right for Your Type: Myth or Miracle Diet?
There’s a diet trend that’s been getting a lot of public attention as of late: Eat Right for Your Type. The diet, developed by Dr. Peter D’Adamo is based on the concept that the key to overall good health as well as success in weight loss is eating foods geared for your specific blood type.
Dr. Adamo claims that over ten years of research in anthropology, medical history and genetics has led him to conclude that blood type is “the key that unlocks the door to the mysteries of health, disease, longevity, physical vitality and emotional strength”. Source: Eat Right for your Type.
The Eat Right for your Type diet focuses on the four main blood types, and each blood type has a specific recommendation for food and exercise. According to Dr. D’Adamo, following this program will allow you to “correspond to your exact biological profile”, which will bring you better health and weight loss. The book gives much more specific direction, but here’s an overview of the profile for each blood type:
Type O:According to Dr. D’Adamo, Type O was the first blood type. People with Type O blood that have poor diet and exercise are more prone to insulin resistance, sluggish thyroid and weight gain. Dr D’Adamo claims that individuals with type O blood should eat more animal protein and avoid dairy products and grains. The leading reason for weight gain among Type O blood is the gluten found in wheat products. As for exercise, Type O’s thrive on intense physical exercise such as martial arts, aerobics, contact sports and running.
Type A: People with Type A blood are best suited to a vegetarian, organic diet. According to Dr. D’Adamo, Type A’s are more pre-disposed to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. With respect to exercise, Type A’s prefer calming exercise such as yoga.
Type B: Those with Type B blood type have a strong immune system and are resistant to chronic degenerative diseases. People with blood type B should eat a blend of vegetables, dairy products and specific meats. D’Adamo recommends eating goat, lamb, rabbit, venison, eggs, low-fat dairy products and green vegetables. Foods containing corn, buckwheat, lentils, wheat, tomatoes, peanuts and sesame seeds cause weight gain and immune system problems for this blood type. As for exercise, Type B’s should focus on moderate physical activity requiring mental balance, such as hiking, bicycling and tennis.
Type AB-Type AB is the “newest” blood type from an evolutionary perspective, and is a combination of the Type A and B blood type. AB is the most complex blood type, according to Dr. D’Adamo. The AB blood type should eat a combination of both the Type A and B blood type, and exercise should be a combination of both as well. People with AB blood type should also avoid the same foods as Type B.
The idea of dieting for your blood type sounds interesting, does it work? According to many people who have tried this diet, the answer is ‘yes’. Looking at reviews on places that sell the book, such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble, I found many people who said this diet was “life changing”, and made it possible for them to lose weight after struggling for many years or all their lives. Many claim that the dietary changes improved digestive health and thyroid issues, as well as overall health and well being.
Sounds like a winner, right? Well, after doing a little more research, there are many in the medical, nutrition and scientific communities that express great skepticism about the research behind the diet, as well as the diet itself. According to Dr. Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., for The Mayo Clinic, “There’s no sound scientific evidence that the so-called blood type diet is any more effective or any more beneficial for weight loss than is any other diet”. And, according to an article by The Skeptic’s Dictionary, ”There is no reasonable scientific basis for the claim that blood type should determine one’s diet, though Peter claims to have collected over 1,000 scientific articles on blood types and their correlations to disease, biochemistry, nutrition, and anthropology. Even so, he’s never done a controlled study on blood type diets.” The article also goes on to say that “Peter’s reasoning is based on speculative inferences from such “facts” as that Type O is the oldest blood type. It isn’t. A is the oldest blood type. Studies in humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos show that alleles coding for the blood type A are the most ancient version of the ABO blood group.”
While critics argue that the diet does not have any real scientific evidence to support the theory, many admit that it does promote good eating habits. Dr. David W. Grotto, RD, LD, a former spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly American Dietetic Association), said that “within the diet itself are generally good recommendations…D’Adamo doesn’t say avoid vegetables and fruit.” And in reviewing the basic information about each blood type, each of them generally suggest healthy food options, including limiting foods that contain wheat and grains which typically contain gluten. Many doctors and nutritionists recommend a gluten free diet to improve overall health.
Practically speaking, it’s hard to believe that EVERYONE with a particular blood type should be eating the same type of food. We’re all unique individuals with different genes, characteristics, and medical history; grouping everyone by a blood type seems to over generalize us as human beings. Take me for example, my blood type is Type O. According to Dr. D’Adamo I should be eating mostly animal protein, but I have a propensity for high cholesterol; it’s a trait in my family. A diet consisting of primarily meat protein could have a negative effect on my cholesterol, as even lean meats tend to be higher in fat. I eat meat currently, but it certainly isn’t the majority of what I eat.
The question still remains: is the Eat Right for your Type a myth or a miracle diet? According to many doctors and nutritionists, this diet is a myth, and has no real scientific evidence to prove that blood type plays a role in your overall health or ability to lose weight. But as evidenced by the many testimonials I’ve seen, there are many people who have had great success and would say that it is. in fact, a miracle diet.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether this diet is a myth or a miracle; my goal is simply to provide you with information if you’re considering trying the diet out. But consider this: many people have success on diets simply because they are making changes in the foods they eat and/or exercise routines or following a specific diet regimen; the change itself can sometimes be the cause of the success, no matter what that change may be. Ultimately, eating better and exercising more will make you to feel better, improve your overall health, and help you lose weight; this is proven science. Whether you accomplish that with this diet plan or any other diet plan for that matter, getting and staying healthy is what really matters most.