Society has always been told that there is a distinct correlation between the foods one eats and ones overall health, hence the term, “You are what you eat. ” There have been multiple studies on blood types and what diseases they are must prone to obtain, but it was not until recently when Dr. Peter J. D’ Adamo, in his book, Eat Right for Your Blood Type, identified the four blood types as the main advisor for determining what foods people should eat, what type of exercise one should do, and what illnesses one is most susceptible to.
He mentions that blood is a large factor in your energy levels, in the efficiency with which you “burn” calories, in your emotional response to stress, and perhaps even your personality (D’ Adamo XIV).
After working in the field of blood type analysis with his father, Dr. Peter J. D’ Adamo, a second-generation naturopathic physician, became interested in discovering why certain people reacted differently towards different diet plans and exercise regimes (D’ Adamo XIV).
He came to the realization that since blood was the fundamental source of nourishment to the body, perhaps some aspect of the blood could help identify these differences (D’ Adamo XIV). In his book, Eat Right for Your Blood Type, he explains that every human body has unique chemical markers called antigens. These antigens identify foreign substances that enter the body, in turn, making them the greatest defense for the immune system. There are many antigens attached to each red blood cell, but the most powerful is the one that determines blood type (D’ Adamo 19).
Each blood type has a chemical structure where they are made of long sugar chains called fructose, which by itself forms the simplest of the blood types, blood Type O (D’ Adamo 18). Blood types A, B, and AB are all formed from fructose and another sugar (D’ Adamo 19). Because the blood types are made up of specific sugars, they have antibodies to foreign sugars. When food is consumed, a chemical reaction takes place in the blood due to lectins (D’ Adamo 23). Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins that are found in most plants, particularly seeds and tubers such as cereal crops, potatoes, and beans (NaturalTherapy).
Lectins are also proteins that do not break down easily, and they are resistant to both stomach acid and digestive enzymes (NaturalTherapy). This resistance can sometimes lead to agglutination, the clumping of Type A red blood cells by anti-A antibodies (Armstrong), and it may cause lectins to bind to the wall of the gut and damage the lining of the gut (NaturalTherapy). By observing how one’s antigens react toward certain foods and the lectins found inside of them, a person’s blood type can be determined, and most importantly, according to Dr.
Peter D’ Adamo, the types of food a person should eat can be determined. Dr. Peter J. D’ Adamo sees his, Eat Right for Your Blood Type, diet as the key to restoring your natural genetic rhythm. There are no calories to count, and each blood type and ethnicity of that blood type has to pay attention to the serving sizes they consume in each food group, for example meats, dairy, etc. There are 3 categories: those that are beneficial, those that are neutral, and those that should be completely avoided in each food group (D’ Adamo 34).
There are also specific exercise programs for each blood type, and by following the guidelines, one will be able to maintain an ideal weight and improve his/her overall health. Type O Blood is the oldest of all the blood types. A Type O does best as a meat eater. They have a hardy digestive tract, an overactive immune system, and intolerance to dietary and environmental adaptations. They respond best to stress with intense physical activity and require an efficient metabolism to stay lean and energetic (D’ Adamo 48).
The Type O should stick to a high-protein and low-carbohydrate diet while restricting milks, the consumption of grains, breads, legumes, and beans (D’ Adamo 53). Since it is believed that African heritage came first, I found it interesting how D’ Adamo showed, in the serving charts, their food portion differences compared to Caucasians and Asians. For example, eggs should never be consumed by African Americans, but Asians should limit their ingestion by five times a week (D’ Adamo 58). Dr.
Adamo says, “Most African Americans are lactose intolerant; food diary is extremely hard for them to digest. It makes sense since their hunter-gatherer ancestors had no lactose in their diets” (D’ Adamo 59). The leading factor of weight gain in Type O’s is caused by the gluten found in wheat germ and whole wheat products. The gluten inhibits metabolism, thus interfering with efficient caloric use. Some beans and legumes also cause Type O’s to gain weight. They contain lectins that deposit in the muscle tissues, making them less charged for physical activity.
Since Type O’s benefit from intense physical exercise, the deposition of lectins in the muscle tissue can become quite problematic (D’ Adamo 52-53). Blood Type A was the next in the evolution of the four bloods and the first vegetarian. Type A’s have a sensitive digestive tract, a tolerant immune system, adapt well to settled dietary and environmental conditions, and respond best to stress with calming action (D’ Adamo 96). Type A’s require a agrarian diet to stay lean and productive, because their blood inheritance came from a more settled and less war-like ancestry (D’ Adamo 8).
By eliminating meat from a Type A’s diet, Dr. Adamo says rapid weight loss is likely to follow. Meats slow down Type A’s metabolism causing it to be stored as fat, the complete opposite from the Type O who has a much higher stomach acid content ( D’ Adamo 97). Type A’s should also stay away from dairy and monitor their intake of wheat germ and whole-wheat products. Dr. Adamo says that by adopting quieting techniques, such as yoga or meditation, a Type A can achieve great benefits by countering negative stresses with focus and relaxation ( D’ Adamo 139).
Type A’s do not respond well to continuous confrontations such as fighting, competition or stresses caused from leadership positions ( D’ Adamo 142). Type B is known for being the nomadic blood. It is the most balanced of all the blood types and has the most flexible dietary choices. Type B’s have a strong immune system, a tolerant digestive tract, and they can eat diary. They respond best to stress with creativity and they require a balance between physical and mental activity to stay lean and sharp (D’ Adamo 144).
For Type B’s, the biggest factors in weight gain are corn, buckwheat, lentils, peanuts and sesame seeds. Each of these foods has a different lectin, but all of them affect the efficiency of the metabolic process, resulting in fatigue, fluid retention and hypoglycemia (D’ Adamo 145). Type B is the only blood type in which the consumption of dairy is encouraged, for it aids in the metabolic processes. Dr. Adamo recommends no “grazing”- eating many meals throughout the day, because it interferes with the body’s natural hunger signals; and the dieter may begin to find themselves hungry ll the time (D’ Adamo 146). Moderate exercise, such as brisk walking or light jogging is recommended. Blood Type AB, the enigma, is the most modern of all the bloods. It is a merging of both A and B antigens which allows it to take on chameleon-like responses to changing environmental and dietary conditions (D’ Adamo 186). Blood Type AB has a sensitive digestive tract and has an overly tolerant immune system. It responds best to stress spiritually, with physical vitality and creative energy (D’ Adamo 186). Type AB is the only blood type for which wheat germ and whole-wheat products are not problematic.
They should stay away from foods deemed “Avoid” for either A and B such as cashews, corn, English muffins, cream of wheat, etc. In the book, Eat Right for Your Blood Type, Dr. Adamo goes more in depth with lists of foods that should be eaten regularly, moderately, and not at all. When it comes to gaining weight, Type AB reflects the limitations of both Type A and Type B. It has Type A low stomach acid, but it also has the Type B’s adaptation to meat. Although Type AB is genetically designed to eat meats, it does not have enough stomach acid to digest meats properly (D’ Adamo 187).
Thus, the meat gets stored as fat. For weight loss, Type AB should have smaller portions of meat and should stay away from the foods listed as “Avoid”. Moderate, isotonic exercises such as, hiking, swimming, bicycling, and yoga work best with the blood Type AB (D’ Adamo 188). Overall, I believe the Eat Right for Your Blood diet is not fully believable. There is nowhere in D’ Adamo’s book or online where he offers proof or documentation of any sort to quantify his statements. There is no peer reviewed data to validate any of his theories and no credible references of any sort.
I also find it hard to believe that just by knowing blood types, you can determine one’s personality traits and what exercises work best for them. D’Adamo says that because type A’s were originally adapted to deal with dense population concentrations and the stresses of a more sedentary but intense urban lifestyle, they would eventually develop certain psychological traits that dealt with the demands of a crowded environment (D’ Adamo 142). He says that the original Type A’s and A’s today were and are more likely to be law abiding citizens who are decent, orderly and exhibit self-control.
Personally, I think we have had many criminals locked up who have Type A blood. There are certain personality traits that are passed down from family to family, but I think most ways of behavior are observed and learned early throughout one’s life and their surroundings. David W Grotto, RD, LD, a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association said, along the lines, that D’Adamo doesn’t say avoid vegetables and fruit, but his specific recommendations on the certain types of vegetables and fruits you should avoid based on blood type does not have any proven or logical science to support it (Gelfand).
There has been lots of epidemiological data to support the relationship between a high intake of vegetables and fruits and having positive health effects on people of all blood types, such as, a low risk of chronic disease. In a study on the health effects of vegetables and fruits in the 1999 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that generous amounts of both vegetables and fruits resulted in a stimulation of the immune system, reduction of platelet aggregation, modulation of cholesterol synthesis and hormone metabolism, reduction of blood pressure, and antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral effects (Lampe).
Studies included multiple arm trials, randomized crossover studies, non-randomized crossovers, and pre-and post-treatment analyses on the patients (Lampe). On another note, what happens to Types O’s who hate eating meat and Type A’s who hate greens of all sorts? This diet limits people into specific dietary guidelines without taking into consideration individual needs and tastes. In a review on ultimatefatburner. com, the editor of the review article mentioned how most experts agree that mankind made the jump from hunter-gatherer to farmer 6,000-10,000 years ago (Admin).
Other experts have said the switch over began no earlier than 15,000 years ago, the time the last ice age was drawing to a close (Admin). Adamo on the other hand believed that blood Type A evolved sometime between 25,000-15,000 B. C in response to the domestication of livestock and farming. Blood Type A, for example, apparently allowed people to “better tolerate grains and other agricultural products” (Admin). Geneticists have theorized though that it takes many thousands of generations to bring about any sort of significant genetic evolutionary response.
In other words, the switch from hunter-gatherer to farmer happened much too recently in our history for it to have resulted in the evolution of a new blood type. I also found it interesting that Adamo mentions how blood mutation and evolution is consistent with exposure to new foods in blood Types O, A, and AB, but when it comes to blood Type B’s change, it was solely caused by climate change (Adamo 10). While reading Eat Right for Your Blood Type, I came upon some common reoccurrences throughout.
What D’ Adamo is asking for his readers to eat is, overall, really healthy foods. He mentions that blood Types O, A, and B should stay away from breads and grains, also known as complex carbohydrates, but says that AB can eat them. In the diet’s book, Dr. Adamo mentions that type AB is very rare with only 2-5% of the population having that blood type (D’ Adamo 187). I find it ironic that he would allow Type AB blood, only 2-5% of the population, to eat carbohydrates without any problems or weight gain.
Adamo also mentions some form of physical activity for each blood type, for at least three to five times a week. My conclusion is, if someone is overweight and they eat unhealthy and they pick up this diet, they will surely lose weight. Whether they switch from eating badly to a really lean meat diet of poultry and fish, like Type O, or if they switch to eating a vegetarian diet like Type A while exercising regularly, they are more or less going to see positive weight loss results.
I believe that the Eat Right for Your Blood Type diet can seem appealing to those who don’t want to track calories or fat grams, but can be unappealing to others who may find it difficult to stay within the diets confines. Even if there is no solid proof of Dr. Peter J. D’ Adamo’s studies on foods affect on blood types, his highly detailed and regulated diet is likely to work for those who have not already been on a strict and healthy diet regime.
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