There has been a lot of attention in the alternative medicine world given to eating for your blood type, or the blood type diet.  Two naturopaths, a father and son, came up with the blood type diet after many years of practicing and noticing that certain people did better on different diets and they believed that the pattern they were seeing was actually correlated to the person’s blood type and hence the blood type diet was born.  Their book is called Eat Right For Your Type by Peter J D’ Adamo.

The Blood Type Diet Regimen

Their dietary regime for A, O, B, and ABO blood types are in my opinion, very detailed and tedious if taken to the full extent.  However, For every blood type except for AB, they recommend cutting out ‘wheat’ which in general leads to people eating more unrefined whole grains and feeling much better from this change alone (for many reasons besides what your blood type is see my article on grains).

Another major theme in the blood type diet is that people with O blood type should not be vegetarians.  Interestingly, I have found on a case basis that my patients who are O blood type that have tried to become vegetarians do not usually do exceptionally well without meat, and often report lower physical performance and fatigue, even though they are eating a very well balanced healthy vegetarian diet with enough protein.

It is scientifically plausible, I believe, that people with different blood types may respond differently to certain foods, but it has not been studied in a rigorous fashion thus far. For some of the blood types, the authors recommend cutting out more than one entire food group.

Blood Type Diet Recommendations: Meat And Dairy

They recommend for example that people who are A blood type cut out meat and dairy and some lentils–which leaves then with a strict (then still further restricted!) vegan diet.  They recommend that type O’s should severely restrict dairy and eggs, especially if from African descent.  There are also lists of vegetables, nuts and foods from every food group that one should either avoid, is neutral or is beneficial–it gets pretty confusing and tedious and cuts out many great ‘super foods’ for each of the blood types.

 

However, I have seen patients who have cut out dairy from their diets have improvements in general well being, weight loss, and improved immune function, but cannot say that this has been only in patients with A or O blood types .  Often, when people cut out dairy, especially cows dairy, they lose weight because cow’s dairy products and cheeses are calorie dense.  Dairy products (again, cow’s dairy is worse than goat or sheep dairy products) are also ‘mucous’ forming foods in many traditional Eastern medicine systems, as well as in naturopathy.

So someone with asthma or sinus problems, for example, would be advised in these systems to cut out dairy completely.  I have seen patients have subjective improvements in these conditions when they cut out dairy, and for certain people I do recommend restricting especially cow’s mild dairy products.

Blood Type & Personality Claims

The authors also claim that your blood type is linked to your personality and each blood type has certain personality traits.  Again, each person is so different  and I believe their categorization is overly simplistic and often misses the mark here.  They suggest specific ways of stress management and exercise for each blood type and even recommend, for example, that O blood types do hard aerobic exercise and that type A blood types should do yoga or Tai chi.

My main complaint about this is that it suggests that mind body practices like yoga and tai chi are not beneficial to everyone, which is SO UNTRUE!  Practices like yoga are good for everybody, regardless of blood type or personality, but their yoga practice should be different and tailored based on their individuality and needs.

If there are certain pieces from this dietary approach that you want to try, as long as you continue to eat a healthy balanced diet you should be able to see if some of the major themes apply to your body.  Just by being more ‘tuned in’ to your body during the process, you may gain some useful knowledge about the best dietary approach for you–I call this ‘Intuitive Nutrition’ and believe it is a powerful way to empower yourself through the foods you choose to put into your body.

If you don’t know your blood type, you can ask your family doctor if they have it on your file.  If not, it can be discovered with a simple blood test.

Dr Dani Blood Type Diet Summary

My favorite take home points from the blood type diet are that most people should minimize wheat (or refined breads,etc) and eat whole ancient grains.  Vegetarian and vegan diets may be harder to adhere to and may not maximize vitality for people with O blood type, but this has not been proven in a formal, rigorous western research study.

 


Dr Dani Gordon MD
Dr Dani Gordon MD

Dr Dani is a double board certified medical doctor, integrative medicine physician and world leading expert in CBD, cannabis medicine and brain wellness. She is a leading advocate for evidence based natural medicine and mindbody medicine and her mission it to help you thrive in modern life.