Is there any truth to the idea that individual blood type should dictate what we eat? How can I tell if a diet is based on science or is just a gimmicky fad?
The blood type diet is a diet advocated by Peter D'Adamo, a naturopathic physician, and outlined in his book Eat Right 4 Your Type. D’Adamo claims 90% of what you need is related to your basic blood type which could be A, B, AB or O.
1. Blood group O is believed by D'Adamo to be the hunter. The diet recommends that this blood group eat a higher protein diet. D'Adamo bases this on the belief that O was the first blood type, originating 30,000 years ago.
2. Blood group A is called the cultivator by D'Adamo, who believes it is a more recently evolved blood type, dating back from the dawn of agriculture, 20,000 years ago. The diet recommends that individuals of blood group A eat a diet emphasizing vegetables and free of red meat, a more vegitarian food intake.
3. Blood group B is, according to D'Adamo, the nomad, associated with a strong immune system and a flexible digestive system. D'Adamo claims people of blood type B are the only ones who can thrive on dairy products. D'Adamo believes blood type B arrived 10,000 years ago.
4. Blood group AB, according to D'Adamo, the enigma, the most recently evolved type, arriving less than 1,000 years ago. D'Adamo thinks this blood type should adopt a diet that is between blood types A and B.
We have almost 7 billion people on our planet and according to D’Adamo, 4 basic diets can accommodate ALL of these people. That alone is a big red flag. It is not reasonable to think all people can only eat one certain way. This does not take into account culture, economics, or foods cultivated in different parts of the world. It also doens't take into account that people with eating disorders don't have their blood types fall into these catagories once an eating disorder is discovered.
Here’s another red flag: I have type O and my husband is type A. We both like and eat a similar diet without any problem. However according to the blood type diet, I should eat lots of protein and my husband should be a vegetarian. There is no real scientific evidence that supports the concept that blood type is a major factor in what you should eat. When we give food to people in other countries, we never ask what blood type they have; we ask what food they need.
Basic logic is one of the best ways to separate gimmick from fact. When you were little did your doctor, mother, grandmother, teacher or anyone ever ask you what your blood type was in relation to food?
Our obesity crisis didn’t really take off until the low/no fat diet was introduced along with the wide availability of prepackaged processed food.