The Eat Right for Your Blood Type Diet
How the Diet Works
D'Adamo rejects the idea that one diet fits all. With four unique blood types, why shouldn't we have four specialized diet plans, he asks.
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.
All foods fall into three categories on the Eat Right for Your Type diet:
- Highly beneficial
Beneficial foods for your blood type act like medicine, neutral foods like food, while avoid foods "act like a poison," says D'Adamo.
For example, type Os should steer clear of whole wheat and wheat germ because "eating gluten is like putting the wrong kind of octane in your car ... it clogs the works," D'Adamo says.
What the Diet Experts Say
"Within the diet itself are generally good diet recommendations," says David W. Grotto, RD, LD, a former spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly American Dietetic Association). "D'Adamo doesn't say avoid vegetables and fruit, for example -- but his specific recommendations based on blood type -- the science is not there to support it. I'm not aware that anyone has duplicated his research."
The presumption that each blood types will thrive on certain foods but not others also gives Grotto pause. "I'm type O and apparently I should be feasting over roadkill. Well, that doesn't work for me because I don't like too much meat."
Overall Grotto does not recommend the diet, believing it pigeonholes people into dietary restrictions without taking into consideration individual needs and tastes.
Critics also refute D'Adamo's theory that there's a connection between certain blood types and specific diseases. Though the theory has been long been investigated, no conclusions have been reached, says Andrea Wiley, PhD, an associate professor of anthropology at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.
Food for Thought
As for why so many have embraced the Eat Right for Your Type diet, Wiley has a theory: "Dieting is one of those things people feel desperate about. ... The blood-type diet sounds more scientific [than some others]."
But it's the very lack of a solid scientific background that rankles most experts.
"If this diet wasn't coming from the whole blood-type approach, I could recommend this," says Grotto, "but the philosophy of blood type is very obscure and lacking in science."