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davidk's avatar

I need advice about something called the "Eat Right for Your Blood Type" diet.

Asked by davidk (1408 points ) December 16th, 2009

I got a chart from a friend of mine who swears that this particular diet works amazingly well. I’m not really overweight, but I’m experimenting with diets that will improve my overall health and thinking.

The chart prohibits me from eating chicken! Chicken is prohibited to people with B blood type.

Does anyone know why chicken would be prohibited? My friend doesn’t have an answer, although she has the book that explains the whole diet.

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20 Answers

Harp's avatar

You might want to check out some of the criticisms of this diet theory by the scientific community. Some references here.

BraveWarrior's avatar

I’m not implying I agree with this diet, but here’s the reasoning from WebMD

“The nomadic blood type B has a tolerant digestive system and can enjoy low-fat dairy, meat, and produce but, among other things, should avoid wheat, corn, and lentils, D’Adamo says. If you’re type B, it’s recommended you exercise moderately.

The “modern” blood type AB has a sensitive digestive tract and should avoid chicken, beef, and pork but enjoy seafood, tofu, dairy, and most produce. The fitness regimen for ABs is calming exercises…

The right diet for your blood type comes down to lectins, food proteins each blood type digests differently, D’Adamo maintains.

If you eat foods containing lectins incompatible with your blood type, he says, you may experience inflammation, bloating, a slower metabolism, even diseases such as cancer. The best way to avoid these effects is to eat foods meant for your blood type.”

dpworkin's avatar

Technically, this type of reasoning is known among the scientific community as a load of bullshit.

grumpyfish's avatar

I would get Peter D’Adamo’s book, if you’re going to look into the diet, rather than relying on a summary.

However, you should also read the criticism of his diet:

http://www.skepdic.com/bloodtypediet.html
http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/NegativeBR/d%27adamo.html
and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturopathy

There’s very little evidence to support his theory, or his medical practice, but—as with any diet, if it works for you, and you’re getting a good balance of nutrients, you choose whatever diet you see fit.

syz's avatar

My advice would be “Be skeptical”.

JLeslie's avatar

I think this diet is ridiculous. I do however see nothing wrong in eliminating various things from your diet and seeing if you feel much better. I find the biggest indicator of how you feel when you eliminate a particular food is when you try to reintroduce it and you feel like crap.

davidk's avatar

Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. Great answers were given to all.
The links provided were a big help…and quite interesting, I might add. I even discovered some connections that I had never heard of before. Lectins, for example. I honestly had never hear of the term before. It seems that the influence of lectins is not widely accepted. Other strange, but interesting connections include this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_blood_type_theory_of_personality

Sounds like something that would be put on a placemat at a Japanese restaurant ;)

jaytkay's avatar

I’m not implying I agree with this diet, but here’s the reasoning from WebMD

That was helpful. Because it taught me WebMD isn’t a credible resource.

Was it always bad? I don’t recall running into such cringe-worthy material over there.

Sounds like something that would be put on a placemat at a Japanese restaurant ;)

Or phrenology.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrenology

BraveWarrior's avatar

@jaytkay WHOA This diet is not something that WebMD endorses!!! WebMD is only explaining it on their website in case someone goes there to look for info. If you read the entire page on WebMD you’ll see that it also states:

“Critics cite a lack of published evidence backing D’Adamo’s blood type-based diet plan. “I know of no plausible rationale behind the diet,” says John Foreyt, PhD, a researcher at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.”

So please do not presume based on the info in the link provided that WebMD is not a credible resource!

about Web MD : The WebMD content staff blends award-winning expertise in medicine, journalism, health communication and content creation to bring you the best health information possible. Our esteemed colleagues at MedicineNet.com are frequent contributors to WebMD and comprise our Medical Editorial Board. Our Independent Medical Review Board continuously reviews the site for accuracy and timeliness.

what we do for our users: We are dedicated to providing quality health information and to upholding the integrity of our editorial process. See What We Do For Our Users.

Awards and Recognition: WebMD offers credible and in-depth medical news, features, reference material, and online community programs. We are proud that others in the fields of media and health have recognized our efforts over the years.

editorial policy: Our mission is to bring you objective, trustworthy, and timely health information. See our Editorial Policy, including our Corrections Policy.

jaytkay's avatar

@BraveWarrior This diet is not something that WebMD endorses!!!

I understand that, but I think they give it more attention than it merits.

grumpyfish's avatar

@jaytkay Their article on Homeopathy is similarly “gentle”: http://www.webmd.com/balance/tc/homeopathy-topic-overview

If nothing else it describes homeopathic remedies as containing “a little” active ingredient, instead of none.

jaytkay's avatar

And on reflection I may be reading WebMD the wrong way. They have information on pro-anorexia web sites, too, and that simply gives me a “forewarned is forearmed” vibe.

Better than a flaming sarcastic criticism, which I would enjoy, but would turn away anyone who doesn’t already agree.

drdoombot's avatar

If you want to lose fat (notice I didn’t say lose weight), follow a bodybuilder’s diet and fitness regimen (scaled to your level, of course). Believe it or not, they were experts on losing fat before there was a such a thing as an expert on dieting. I’ve been following a bodybuilding diet for a few months now and it is the steadiest weight loss I’ve ever experienced. Instead of dropping 5 pounds the first week, 3 the next, and less each subsequent week until the weight-loss just stalls, I’ve been consistently losing only about a pound a week. And that’s a pound of fat, leaving my muscles intact (most quick diets make you drop more muscle-weight than fat-weight, which leaves you in a worse position than when you started).

BraveWarrior's avatar

GA for @drdoombot Many weight loss diets can put you in risk of loss of muscle, dehydration (losing water weight), and/or ketosis (from lack of carbs). It is important to have a well-balanced diet with a variety of food in order to get all the vitamins, minerals, lean protein, carbs, and antioxidents needed for optimum health. I would be concerned about any diet that would severely restrict intake of categories of food (unless you have a food allergy or intolerance) which this “blood type diet” appears to do.

davidk's avatar

Thanks everyone. I think this question has run its course.

lovelycherry's avatar

Hi I have been following this diet.. known as the BTD ( blood type diet) for quite some time. I have experienced the health benefits of this way of life from increased energy, stable weight and decreased aging/inflammation.
Yes, B’s are cautioned about eating chicken but they can have turkey. If you go to the Typebase on www.dadamo.com it will tell you the reasons behind the food choices, they are not just something that Dr. D’Adamo guessed at. And you don’t have to guess either just look it up. If anyone wants to question the science behind this diet. A simple search of the medical research on the web will take you to thousands of references to the role of Lectins and how they effect our bodies, from arthritis to the thyroid and even weight gain. That will be the tip of the iceberg, you can go as deep as you want, just let us know and we will help.

Dr. D’ Adamo is a man before his time in how he thinks and interprets the scientific literature. He continues to write and provide insight about his ideas. In 2007 he wrote a book called the Genotype diet ( GTD) which takes the BTD a step further and deals with epigenetics. He then took the GTD a step further and created the SWAMI, a diet book that writes itself just for you, individualized nutrition.
For many it is easier to criticize then to actually look stuff up and open their minds to something new. Why not join us at www.dadamo.com, you won’t be disappointed we are a great bunch of people, who live this way everyday.
You may even see Dr. D’Adamo stop by to answer questions or just say hello.

Andrea BT A Warrior

dpworkin's avatar

@lovelycherry Anecdotes are not evidence.

DianaMayflower's avatar

I’ve been following Dr. D’Adamo’s personalized nutrition for about 2½ years. I don’t know what you would consider “evidence” but all I care about is my own evidence and my increase in health since I’ve been following the diet. I am blood type A+. Both my sons, one who is a B and the other an O, refuse to follow the diet. I, try to cook their meals as close as I can to their food recommendations and they’ve never been healthier, just with that little bit of intervention that I’ve provided!

This diet has also taken away horrible hormonial headaches that I was getting, almost daily, within a couple of weeks of starting it. Menopause has been so much easier for me. I barely have symptoms. IMO, this diet is a health diet. Everything just falls into place when you eat the right foods for you. Instead of worrying about what “evidence” there is to support it, read the book, try the diet, and see how YOU feel. That’s what’s important.. Come and visit us at the forum. www.dadamo.com

dpworkin's avatar

@DianaMayflower I beg to differ. Anecdotal evidence like yours is not what matters, since firstly it applies only to you, and secondly, it fails to account for the placebo effect. You have no idea if you or your children are “more healthy” or not: you just think you feel better. That is insufficient reason for people to make unsupported claims as you are doing. It is lazy, inaccurate and irresponsible.

The only way to measure this diet’s putative effects on health is to do a controlled, double-blind study which can be peer-reviewed. In the absence of that, there is really no reason to listen to you or anyone else on the efficacy of this peculiar, idiosyncratic diet.

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