The Blood Group Diet or the Blood Type Diet was first popularized by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo in his book Eat Right 4 Your Type, published in 1996. With over seven million copies sold, this New York Times Bestseller has been backed and propagated by many prominent individuals like Cheryl Crow and Cliff Richards.
The Blood Group Diet works on the premise that certain blood types react differently to certain food groups. Microorganisms in our food create certain antigens that mimic antigens found in a particular blood type. These antigens can be beneficial or detrimental to the body. Consuming the wrong type of such microorganisms can lead to negative impacts on the lining of the gut, inflammation, agglutination of red blood cells, etc. The diet distinguishing blood types based on the ABO blood group system which denotes the presences of one, both or none of the A and B antigens on the erythrocytes.
Blood Type O (Hunters)
- Individuals in this group are recommended to consume a paleo-like diet which is high in animal protein and vegetables.
- They must avoid grains, means, dairy products, gluten, wheat products and cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower and mustard greens.
- The ideal exercise regime for this group includes high intensity activities like aerobics, jogging, biking, etc.
Blood Type A (Agrarians)
- Individuals with type A blood are best suited to a vegetarian diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes and whole grains.
- They must limit their consumption of fish and poultry and completely avoid red meat.
- Relaxing activities like Yoga and Tai Chi are highly effective in maintaining stress and overall health.
Blood Type B (Nomad)
- Individuals in this category are advised to eat a balanced diet comprising of green vegetables, eggs, low fat dairy products, turkey and certain lean read meats like lamb, venison and rabbit.
- They must avoid corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, sesame nuts and chicken.
- Their exercise regime should strive to challenge the body as well as the mind like tennis, martial arts, cycling and golf.
Blood Type AB (Enigma)
- The rarest and newest blood types, individuals with it should consume tofu, seafood, dairy, green vegetables, eggs and turkey.
- They must at all costs avoid caffeine, alcohol, cured and smoked meats.
- Their exercise regime should include a combination of high energy physical exercise with calming activities like, for example, three days of aerobic exercises followed by two days of yoga or tai chi.
Many critics cite the lack of scientific data backing the premise of the diet. In 2013, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stated, “no evidence currently exists to validate the purported health benefits of blood type diets.” Another major drawback is that the diet doesn’t take into consideration chronic illnesses, personal preferences, current ailments, food allergies, etc.
In a general sense, the Blood Group Diet promotes a healthy way of eating. It recommends the consumption of real food over processed junk food that is highly prevalent in the standard western diet. Although restrictive in some aspects, like those with blood type O, the diet advocates balanced form of eating to achieve optimum health.