Out of all the many types of diets in the world, the Blood Type Diet is one of the most popular because it specifically deals with individuals types of people. Unlike a lot of one-size-fits-all programs that may or may not work depending on your particular body type, this specific diet addresses the types of foods you should eat and stay away from based on the type of blood you have running through your veins.
Although the diet wasn’t necessarily created by Peter D’Adamo, he did bring it to fame in his highly successful book, Eat Right 4 Your Type. D’Adamo, a naturopathic physician, claims that your particular blood type is the single most important factor in healthy dieting and promoting overall wellbeing.
There are four blood types addressed with this diet: O, A, B, and AB. Each individual blood type has a list of do’s and don’ts that you should strictly adhere to.
The first step on this diet, of course, is finding out what type of blood you have. Because the lectins in foods react different with each type of blood, it’s important that you eat the diet specifically tailored to your type.
It seems obvious, yes, but you would be surprised at just how many people with type B, for example, decide they want to try to eat a Type O diet because they like the options on that menu better. That is completely defeating the purpose of the diet, however.
In terms of how long the diet lasts, it’s not a fad or a quick-fix diet. With this program, you’re looking at a life-long menu change, with other types of foods eventually reincorporated into your body in moderate amounts.
Exercise with this diet is also dependent on your particular blood type. Some types require a lot of exercise, while others require very minimal exercise.
We’ll take a closer look at how this diet works for each individual blood type
The Four Blood Types and Diets
Type O Blood
Most people have type O blood, and it is thought to be the oldest blood type on the planet, originating over 30,000 years ago, around the time that “people” first started to get a handle on civilization (although that particular point is debatable).
Dr. D’Adamo describes the type O as the Hunter, and this particular diet focuses mainly on high protein intake. However, it is still suggested that the type O person practice a low-carb and low-dairy diet, and also engage in a lot of exercise (at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, high-paced is preferable).
What to eat
On the type O plan, any food that’s high in protein is recommended, especially red meat, fish, poultry, supplements, etc. The idea here is to build your meals around a protein, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of course, you do not want to focus solely on red meat; there are many other options to consider, and even a food like tofu would be good for you.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are also recommended with the program (we’ll go over the ones to avoid later), and you should eat a few servings of them per day. Some of the foods that will help type O with weight loss include: kelp, seafood, liver, leafy greens, broccoli, etc.
Realistically, you do not have to count your calories while on this diet. But like with any diet out there, you should always eat in moderation. Four or more smaller meals per day are always preferred over large meals.
What to avoid
As far as foods to avoid, we’ll start with the foods a type O person should eat in limited quantities, and they include: grains, beans, legumes, or any other starchy food. A serving per day is ideal, so do not exceed that amount.
Foods that you should avoid as a type O person include: wheat, kidney and navy beans, corn, lentils, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and dairy products.
Type A Blood
With this blood type, people should avoiding eating meat wherever practical, and especially red meat. D’Adamo believes this blood type to be one of the more recent in human evolution, arising during the height of agriculture. This particular diet strongly emphasizes the use of vegetables and fruits to lose weight, although it is not a strict vegan diet plan.
The diet profile may be listed as vegetarian, but occasional poultry or fish will not negatively affect your weight loss efforts. You should completely eliminate red meat on this diet, however.
As far as exercise is concerned, this diet differs from the type O. Exercise is still recommended, but only light exercise. That means: no heavy or high-paced cardio or weight training. Instead, walking and staying active is enough. Yoga and Pilates are preferred options on the type A diet.
What to eat
There are no real calorie requirements, and you do not have to monitor your carbohydrate intake like with the type O diet. However, it is always important to note that moderation is the key on any diet, so a diet rich in the sugars and starches from an abundance of certain fruits and veggies may stall weight loss, if not causing weight gain.
You can have a wide variety of foods, including: nearly every type of fruit and vegetable on the menu (except for a few to be listed later), tofu, poultry and fish in limited quantity, grains, etc. Foods containing soy will help you to lose weight on this diet, and fruits, especially pineapple, will also assist you in shedding pounds.
What to avoid
On the type A diet, there aren’t a lot of foods to avoid other than red meat and dairy. You can have most vegetables, but kidney beans, lima beans and refined wheat products are bad choices and could cause weight gain while on this plan.
Ideally, you should try to avoid even poultry and replace it with fish.
For many people, having type A is like winning the Loser’s lottery, since it is one of the more restrictive menus of the entire Blood Type Diet.
Type B Blood
Even a more recent blood type, type B is the nomad, as described by Dr. D’Adamo, and individuals with this blood type have very strong immune systems and flexible digestive systems. In practical terms, this blood type—this type of person—evolved through the world at a time where there was more balance.
Because of the agricultural methods of the time and the fact that we had dairy products, type B individuals can enjoy the most balanced menu of the Blood Type Diet, eating dairy, fruits/vegetables, and red meat. Balance is the key, however, and the goal is to be a moderate omnivore.
There are also no exercise limitations here. The important thing here is that a person stays active. If you wish to start to a more frenetic routine, then that’s fine. But if you want to stay paced and measured, that’s also okay.
What to eat
Except for a few odds and ends from every food group, you will find that the type B individual can eat a wide range of foods.
Every meat type is acceptable on this diet, except for chicken. That might seem like a blow, and also a little silly considering that most diets would have you eat chicken, but you still have plenty of options available to you bereft of chicken, including: red meat (lamb, venison, beef, etc), other poultry (turkey, duck, etc), and all the seafood you can handle.
Dairy is fine on this diet, but be sure to keep it low-fat – solely for the fact that you’re on a diet! You can also enjoy grains, beans, legumes, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Foods that will specifically help you to lose weight include: leafy greens, licorice, green tea, beef liver (or liver from red meat), venison (due to its low-fat, low-cholesterol, and high-protein nature), and eggs.
What to avoid
There isn’t a very long list of foods to avoid here. Overall, the type B diet is very balanced and thus offers endless possibilities. As you might imagine, the Blood Type Diet is a lot more popular with individuals containing type B blood than it is with people having type A blood.
The most important thing to note is that moderate meal sizes spread out throughout the day is always the best approach. You don’t necessarily have to count calories, but since this is a diet plan without many restrictions (per this particular type), you should cut back on your average calorie intake by about 500.
Avoid foods like: lentils, peanuts, corn, sesame seeds, wheat/buckwheat, and also avoid processed foods and junk food – that should go for every type in this diet plan.
Type AB Blood
As Dr. D’Adamo suggests, the blood type AB is the most recently evolved blood type on the planet, arising only about 1,000 years ago. Because of this, the dietary needs of this individual are wide ranging. But since this is a diet plan, it’s all about moderation, meal sizes and exercise.
Basically, this is the easiest type to explain. It’s a simple combination of type A and type B – meaning you want to eat a balanced diet, overall, but add more fruits and vegetables to it.
Of course, there are a few things that get added in/left out due to the blending. But it’s still a basic mix.
As far as exercise is concerned, follow the type B pattern instead of the type A. Although light exercise is perfectly acceptable with the AB type diet, a higher-paced routine is also fine if that’s what you want.
What to eat
With this diet, we see a blend of both A and B, providing plenty of choices for you, like: meat (except red meat), seafood, dairy, beans, whole grains, fruits/vegetables, tofu, etc.
It’s all about how you eat here. Like mentioned above, this is the type of plan where you want to really exercise portion control and moderate how much you eat. On this balanced diet, we’re shooting for an average of 1,500 calories ingested per day, along with some exercise in order to actually lose the weight. After you reach your desired weight (with this type or any type), you can adjust your portions accordingly, while still adhering to the type-specific menu items.
What to avoid
In order to see the best results with this diet, you should avoid red meat, kidney and lima beans, nuts and seeds, corn, and buckwheat. Other than that, you can basically eat any type of food you want.