After hitting the gym, doing yoga and jogging, people are now trying blood group-based diet as experts say the secret to a fit body may be hidden in the blood type.

Blood Group Diet

Do you know that following a diet that's designed specifically for your blood group can help you to lose weight, feel healthier and lower your risk of many diseases. This is what Dr Peter D'Adamo, naturopath and creator of the Blood Type Diet claims in his book Eat Right For Your Blood Type. American naturopaths James D'Adamo and his son Peter D'Adamo, founder of blood group-based diets, feel each person's blood group is key to how he burns his calories, what food he should eat and how he would benefit from certain type of exercise. "People with A blood type have a different set of characteristics from people who are Type O - they are susceptible to different diseases, they should eat different foods and exercise in a completely different manner," says Peter.

What is Blood Group Diet?

Blood Group Diet

The concept of blood group diet is based on the idea that each blood group has its own unique antigen marker (a substance that the body recognises as being alien) and this marker reacts badly with certain foods, leading to all sorts of potential health problems. Dr D'Adamo believes that levels of stomach acidity and digestive enzymes are linked with your blood type. By following a diet designed specifically for your blood type, your body digests and absorbs food more efficiently, with the result that you lose weight.

If one goes by the blood group diet chart, it suggests that 'Type O' people should eat high proteins; 'Type A' should avoid heavy proteins and dig on carbohydrates; 'Type B' people should drink more milk and avoid fruits like corns, lentils and peanuts. People with Type AB blood group, which is very rare, can go for a combination of diet chart recommended for both Type A and Type B.

Why do I follow the blood group-based diet?

According to Dr. Peter D'Adamo, A chemical reaction occurs between your blood and the foods you eat. This reaction is part of your genetic inheritance. This reaction is caused by a factor called Lectins. Lectins, abundant and diverse proteins found in foods, have agglutinating properties that affect your blood. So when you eat a food containing protein lectins that are incompatible with your blood type antigen, the lectins target an organ or bodily system and begin to agglutinate blood cells in that area.

Fortunately, most lectins found in the diet are not quite so life threatening, although they can cause a variety of other problems, especially if they are specific to a particular blood type. For the most part your immune systems protect you from lectins. Ninety-five percent of the lectins you absorb from your typical diets are sloughed off by the body. But at least five percent of the lectins you eat are filtered into the bloodstream and different reactions in different organs.

Your blood type diet is the restoration of your natural genetic rhythm. Your blood type diet works because you are able to follow a clear, logical, scientifically researched plan based on your cellular profile. Each food groups are divided into three categories: Highly beneficial ( food that acts like Medicine), Foods allowed (food that are no harm to the blood type) and Foods not allowed (food that acts like a Poison)

Principle of Blood Group Diet

According to Dr. Peter D’ Adamo, the blood group of a person determines how the body deals with various nutrients. The principle behind this is that each blood type has its own exclusive antigen marker (a substance that the body identifies as being foreign); this marker responds badly to a few types of food thus causing all kinds of potential health issues. This difference hinges on the fact that lectins in foods react differently with each blood type.

The stomach acidity levels and the digestive enzymes in a persons body is linked to the person’s blood type. Hence following a diet schedule designed specifically for a particular blood type helps the body to digest and absorb the food more efficiently and thus results in weight loss. An interesting part of the diet principle states that different types of blood groups were developed at different times. It is highly recommended that we follow the specific diet pattern that was followed by our ancestors who lived during this period (while identifying the new blood groups).

How does blood group diet work?

Blood group-based diet works on the theory that the body has different reactions to food depending on a person's blood group. Each ABO blood type is categorized under the following diet profiles:

  1. Type O: High-protein eaters o: high-protein eaters >
  2. Type A: Vegetarians a: vegetarians >
  3. Type B: Omnivores b: omnivores >
  4. Type AB: Mixed diet eaters ab: mixed diet eaters >

After finding out what group you fall into with a blood test, you have to strictly stick to the diet suitable for you:

Type O: The diet recommended for people with blood type O is simply a variation on many of the typical high-protein, low-carb diets that are currently popular, such as the Atkins diet. You can eat olive oil, nuts, seeds, certain vegetables and fruits in moderation. It is recommended that you stay away from dairy products. To complement your food intake, you must engage in vigorous aerobic exercise as well such as running.

Type A: People with blood type A must avoid all red meat and dairy products. You should only eat a mixture of vegetable, seeds beans and cereals. You can do great on wheat (but not very high bran), idli, dosa, pasta, roti, bread, mung dal, channa dal, soya roti etc. This vegetarian diet should be combined with more gentle exercise such as yoga.

Type B: This blood group has the least dietary restrictions. You can eat most food groups including dairy and vegetables. Avoid too many cereals like wheat (bread, sandwich, pizza, roti, sooji, etc.) Some dals (pulses) do well with this blood group like mung dal, channa dal, lobhia, rajmah etc. When it comes to exercise, Dr D'Adamo recommends activities that have mental component, such as hiking, tennis and swimming.

Type AB: People with this blood group has the friendliest immune system of all the blood types. It has most of the benefits and limitations of types A and B. Somewhat confusing when type B allows you to eat most foods, while type A suggests a vegetarian diet! Dr D'Adamo gets around this by suggesting that type ABs follow a veggie diet most of the time with some meat, fish and dairy products occasionally. It's the same when it comes to exercise too – you should combine calming exercises with moderately intense activities.

Advantages of Blood Group Diet

  • Instead of counting calories and fat grams, this diet provides a detailed list of food to be avoided or included.
  • It also identifies how big your portions should be and the type of exercise that is suited to your diet.
  • Most of the foods recommended in the diet are unprocessed and natural.

Disadvantages of Blood Group Diet

  • If you have Type O blood group, your risk of heart disease may increase.
  • You could miss out on essential vitamins and minerals, because the diet suggests cutting out different food groups depending on your blood group.
  • This diet is written keeping in mind the people who eat non-veg also as part of their diet. So if a person happens to be a vegetarian which is often the case in Indians, it is very difficult to follow the diet.
  • Mealtimes may be impossible if everyone in the family wants to follow the diet, but has a different blood group!

Conclusion

Information presented here is for general educational purposes only. Each one of us is biochemically and metabolically different. We all have different nutritional needs, and different people are suited to different types and amounts of food. So trying out this diet is a good idea. And one needs follow it only if one feels comfortable. The blood group based diet may work, but like excess of everything is bad, one should not over do it. One should have a diet which is a mix of blood group plus a diet that suits your lifestyle. One should also consult a professional and also not forget that age plays an important role. Food and exercise go hand in hand. So even if you have normal weight and you exercise regularly, it will keep you fit always. Always remember food is never a culprit, it's the way we eat the food which makes it bad for our health. These diets can be beneficial for you if you have them in combination with other foods. Only one food cannot fulfil one's dietary needs; thus it's important to have all kinds of food in one's diet.