There are 4 blood groups - A, B, AB and O - and we each belong to one of them. The blood type diet dictates that each blood type has a susceptibility to certain diseases, benefits from specific exercises and should only eat certain foods.
The blood type diet has become enormously popular recently, and makes a lot of sense intuitively to many people, with its references to human history and evolution.
Many find that by switching their diet, the weight falls off while hardly trying.
The blood type diet comes from the evolutionary theory of blood groups, first proposed by William C. Boyd. It states that our blood types have evolved in the same way as our species. In other words, we can draw a line from the earliest blood type, O, through history to the most recent, AB.
The naturapathic doctor Peter D'Adamo took this theory and expanded it. He researched for many years the connection between food and blood types, and wrote a best selling diet book called "Eat 4 Your Blood Type".
There are many who are skeptical of this diet as it is largely theoretical, rather than based on any credible scientific studies. However, many swear by the diet and enjoy positive results like a slimmer physique and increased energy.
The order of evolution dictates the diet for each blood type. The idea is that we should look back in history and try, to some degree, to replicate the diet from the time of each blood type's evolution.
Much of the theory of the blood type diet rests on the actions of lectins, proteins found on the surfaces of foods that react differently with certain blood types. Peter D'Adamo believes each blood type has different levels of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. This variation creates a difference on how food is digested and absorbed, and how fat is metabolized.
Here are the recommended diets for each blood type:
Blood Type O Diet (The Hunter)
The earliest blood group, associated with the hunter, tending to be muscular and active. Engaging in intense physical exercise is fundamental to the health of those in this blood type.
Type O dieters should stick to a high-protein diet heavy in meat but light on vegetables. Dairy and wheat products will lead to weight gain and should be avoided if possible. Foods in the brassica family such as cabbage, brussel spouts, cauliflower, and mustard greens inhibit thyroid function which leads to fatigue and weight gain (check out What is hypothyroidism for more info). Coffee is also a strict no-no.
Blood Type A Diet (The Cultivator)
Type A evolved when humans began to build settlements and cultivate the land. The Type A diet therefore moves away from meat and emphasises vegetables. Carbs are fine, but meals should be very low fat. Dairy is also to be avoided, but coffee is beneficial.
Type A should ideally adhere to a strict vegetarian diet of complex carbs, fruits and vegetables. Type A has trouble digesting any type of animal protein, including dairy, so source protein from nuts, seeds, legumes and soy based products such as tofu.
Blood Type B Diet (The Nomad)
Blood type B supposedly evolved at a similar time to A, but is associated with a nomadic lifestyle and the herding of livestock. Dairy products are therefore an important part of this diet, along with a limited amount of meat.
Blood Type AB Diet (The Enigma)
Blood type AB is the most recently evolved type, and as you might expect its a combination of diets A and B. It is the most balanced diet, with a mixture of dairy, vegetables and meat.
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