SolveYourProblem Article Series: Top Diets
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The Blood Type Diet

Dieters often complain because the diets they go on take a sort of “one size fits all” approach. They provide lists of acceptable and unacceptable foods that are supposed to be appropriate for everyone, yet not everyone has the same tastes and weight loss needs. Shouldn't diets be more personalized? Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo, creator of the Blood Type Diet, thinks so, but for different reasons.

D'Adamo is the author of Eat Right for Your Type, a book that claims that a person's diet should be based on his blood type. A New York Times Bestseller, the book was voted one of the Ten Most Influential Health Books of All Time by analysts. Yet it has also been subject to a great deal of criticism.

How the Blood Type Diet Works

Today there are four basic blood types in humans: O, A, B and AB. According to D'Adamo, type O blood is the oldest, and is associated with a time in history when humans ate mostly meats. Type A blood was the next to develop, and is associated with the movement toward a diet consisting primarily of grains and vegetables. Type B blood came about in Asia, at a time when the standard diet included mostly meat and dairy products. AB is the newest blood type. Brought about by intermingling of Type A and Type B, AB carries characteristics of both of those types.

D'Adamo suggests a diet for each blood type that consists of foods historically consumed by that type. Here are the basics for each type:

  • Type O – Can eat meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. Grains, beans and legumes should be limited. For weight loss purposes, eat kelp, seafood, red meat, liver, spinach and broccoli; and avoid wheat, corn, kidney and navy beans, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
  • Type A – Best foods include vegetables, tofu, seafood, grains, beans and fruit. For weight loss, eat vegetable oil, soy and pineapples, and avoid meat, dairy, kidney and lima beans and wheat.
  • Type B – Can eat all meats except chicken, dairy, grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. Greens, eggs, venison, liver and tea are conducive to weight loss, and corn, peanuts, sesame seeds and wheat should be avoided.
  • Type AB – May eat meat, seafood, dairy, beans, grains fruits and vegetables, all in moderation. Weight loss foods include seafood, dairy, greens and pineapples. Red meat, kidney and lima beans, seeds and corn should be avoided.

Criticisms

Although the Blood Type Diet has become extremely popular, it is also controversial. Critics say that despite its scientific-sounding explanations, there is no research to back up the claims made. Some go as far as to say that the principles of the diet are based on nothing more than generalizations gleaned from a few isolated cases.

Many dieters are put off by the diet's restrictiveness. Although it does not prescribe specific calorie counts or portion sizes, it severely limits the foods a person can eat. This makes it difficult for many dieters to adhere to.

Still, the Blood Type Diet has many supporters. Some claim that it has greatly improved their health and helped them lose weight. If you're interested, D'Adamo has published supplemental books for each blood type in addition to his original offering.

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