Hollywood stars are always trying new diets, from the Low Carb to the Zone Diet. Kirstie Alley is a spokesperson for Jenny Craig, and Jennifer Hudson raves about Weight Watchers at every opportunity. There is a new diet trend in Hollywood called “The Blood Type Diet. ” Celebrities such as, Demi Moore, Cheryl Cole, and Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr are just a few loyal fans of the blood type diet. As the world continues to evolve, humans gain access to a wider range of foods than they could have several thousand years ago.
While some of this modern fare is beneficial to us, some of it can be very detrimental to our health. When I was studying blood disorders in my Medical Terminology class, I discovered that some foods affect our health more than others. Upon hearing this information, I did some research on the topic. I came across a book called “Eat Right for Your Blood Type,” written by Dr. Peter D’Adamo. The book encourages people to eat certain foods and avoid others based on the four recognized blood types: A, B, AB or O. The “Blood Type Diet” has become very popular in Europe and the United States.
People who follow the “Blood Type Diet” have great results, and even claim to have greatly improved their health. The theory subjects that our blood type plays an important role in our health; a topic I found incredibly engaging. I was consumed with curiousity. I did intense research on the relationship of food and blood type to determine whether or not Dr. D’Adamo had found the secret ingredient to good health and weight control: our very own blood. “Eat Right For Your Blood Type” I started my research by reading the book called “Eat Right for Your Blood Type” written by Dr.
Peter D’Adamo, a New York Times best seller. According to Dr. Peter D’Adamo, a chemical reaction occurs between your blood and the foods we eat. This reaction is part of our genetic inheritance, and mainly results from sugar binding proteins called Lectins. Furthermore, he believes that eating the wrong foods containing the wrong lectins can cause harmful effects on the body. The can result in slower metabolism, bloating, weight gain and even certain diseases such as cancer. By avoiding the foods that are wrong for our blood type, and eating foods that benefit our blood type, better health can be achieved.
D’Adamo breaks each blood type down by the evolutionary theory behind each group. Blood Type O: The “Hunter” D’Adamo believes that humanity’s oldest blood type is O. According to his book, the blood type O digestive tract retains the memory of ancient times, so their metabolism will benefit from lean meats, poultry, and fish. He advises to restrict lectins of grains and breads, and to enjoy vigorous exercise. Blood Type A: “The Farmer” According to the book, blood type A should basically stick to fruits and vegetables, due to their more settled and less warlike farmer ancestors.
They have thicker blood than other blood types, a sensitive immune system, and should not consume lectins of dairy products, animal fats and some grains. Blood Type B: “The Nomadic” According to D’Adamo, blood type B is the lucky blood type group. Blood type B should consume a balanced diet consisting of fruit and vegetables, grains fish, dairy, and meat, but should avoid lectins of chicken, tomato, and wheat. They have the best chances of overcoming everyday types of disease, including heart disease and cancer. Blood Type AB: The “Modern”
Blood type AB has a sensitive digestive tract and should avoid letins of chicken, beef and pork, but enjoy seafood, tofu, dairy and most produce according to D’Adamo. What are Lectins and why does D’Adamo connect them to blood type and food? “Lectins are proteins that share the common characteristic of binding to carbohydrates. Some antibodies and carbohydrate-metabolizing proteins (enzymers) also bind to carbohydrates; however they are not considered lectins. Plant lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins that have been primarily identified by their hemagglutinating activity (hemagglutinins).
However, a variety of lectins occur in animal species where they serve diverse array of functions through specific carbohydrate recognition. ” “lectins. ” Definitions. net. STANDS4 LLC, 2012. Web. 29 Nov. 2012. . Dr. D’adamo argues that food lectins could be beneficial or harmful to our own unique blood type. He believes that when we consume the wrong food lectins for our blood type a clotting reaction occurs. The reaction effect of the wrong lectins in our cells will increase our risk for obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, cirrhosis of the liver, and many other illnesses. In other words, he lames food lectins for many illnesses and weight gain. In the book “Eat right for Your Blood Type” D’Adamo writes, “Many food lectins have characteristics that are close enough to a certain blood type antigen to make it an “enemy” to another. For example, milk has B-like qualities; if a person with Type A blood drinks it, his system will immediately star the agglutination process in order to reject it (23). ” Trying it out for myself I’m not going to deny that I was very excited to read the book and learn more about the “Blood Type Diet”, because I believe we are what we eat.
For example, if a human grows up consuming a diet high in carbohydrates, the risk of diabetes is higher. His theory seemed believable, so I decided to try the diet myself. I am blood type B and according to Dr. D’Adamo, I needed to eliminate tomato, potato, avocado, chicken, pork, Wheat, beans, shellfish, nuts and many other food sources. Dr. D’Adamo also considers blood type B group to be the “Lucky Blood Type,” suggesting that we can tolerate more food lectins than other blood type groups. My previous diet was based on beans, wheat, rice, fruits, vegetables, and tomato sauce.
Unfortunately, these are all foods that attack my blood cells, according to D’Adamo. The new blood type diet is so specific, that even the wrong seasoning can affect my blood cells; this includes black and white pepper, soy sauce and cinnamon. So in the end, I basically formed my new diet around green leaves, turkey, beef, pineapple and drinking green tea for a two weeks period. I was very restricted, and ended up avoiding my favorite restaurants because I was afraid the wrong ingredients were used to make my meal.
The results from my two week journey on the “Blood Type Diet” were inconclusive, therefore I cannot suggest that it improved my health. In addition, I was not suffering from any pre-existing conditions before I started the diet; a factor like that could have drastically changed the final results and my overall impression. However, I felt somewhat more energized and I did lose weight. On the other hand, anyone who consumes salads and lean meat will feel a difference in the way they feel. I did find it to be an exceptionally difficult diet to follow.
For this diet, discipline and motivation are the keys to success. The Facts Dr. D’Adamo may have suggested the path of good health, but nowhere in his book does he present concrete scientific evidence to support his theory. D’Adamo’s argument is based on the fact that substances called lectins are present in many commonly eaten foods. He theorizes that individuals with certain blood types would be adversely affected by specific letins, whereas people with a different blood type would react to other lectins. The resulting nteraction creates “agglutination” in our bloodstream.
If this is true, why doesn’t he show actual evidence supporting this interaction? He could had have shown microscopic evidence of this cellular agglutination and linked it with specific blood types. In addition, I couldn’t find any scientific study backing up this chemical interaction. According to D’Adamo blood type B is adversely affected by lectins found in chicken’s muscles, but adult chickens don’t even have lectins in their muscles. In fact, only chicks contain lectins in their muscle’s tissue NOT adult chickens.
I also would like to point out that there is not enough information on lectins to develop detaileded and comprehensive dietary recommendations. If a health care physician wants to provide specific information about which foods are acceptable for which blood types, a medical study research would have been the appropriate approach. Conclusion Although his theory seems attractive from a conceptual standpoint, no data or references are presented to support his theory. However, one cannot argue that regardless if what we eat follows a specific blood type diet or not, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial to good health.
Overall, I am happy that I had the opportunity to explore a topic I have always found fascinating, and lose weight at the same time! In a country where obesity has become an epidemic, I can appreciate that Dr. D’Adamo forces us to question the substances we put into our bodies. Food is one of the most important weapons we have in the battle to stay healthy, and that is one battle I am more than willing to fight. Works Cited “Diet for your Blood type; After Hrs explores how you should eat right for your blood type. ” DNA. October 3, 2012 Wednesday ): 276 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2012/11/27. D’Adamo, Peter, and Catherine Whitney. Eat Right 4 (for) Your Type: The Individualized Diet Solution to Staying Healthy, Living Longer & Achieving Your Ideal Weight : 4 Blood Types, 4 Diets. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1996. Print. “lectins. ” Definitions. net. STANDS4 LLC, 2012. Web. 29 Nov. 2012. . “YES, YOUR BLOOD GROUP DOES AFFECT YOUR HEALTH. ” DAILY MAIL (London). (February 22, 2011 Tuesday ): 1256 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2012/11/27.