Nicholas Rush, RDN, CDNDecember 18, 2020
The “blood type diet” was made popular when the 1996 book “Eat Right 4 Your Type” was published by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo. He claimed following a diet for your specific blood type would aid in weight loss, increased metabolism, and disease prevention. Some of the claims indicate that some people should eat lots of meat, while others should eat more plants.
Although the “Blood Type Diet” has been debunked in a 2013 study, and others, it continues to have traction. However, further research published just this year has solidified that the claims for this popular diet are false.
So why did these claims come to fruition and is there some truth? Studies have shown that individuals with blood type O have a lower risk for cardiovascular disease than individuals with blood type A. So there is something to be said about blood types, just not concerning specific diets.
The Study in a Nut Shell
All participants in the study were asked to follow a low-fat vegan diet for 16 weeks. The participants blood types were A, B, and O with 68 people participating. The test measured body weight, fat mass, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood glucose levels. The study results concluded that there were no significant differences in changes between blood types. However, the test did show that following a low-fat vegan diet did have positive outcomes for the participants across the spectrum of blood types. Including decreased fat mass and cholesterol levels.
The Take Away
Following a specific diet for your blood type is not necessary. Though plenty of evidence suggest that eating more plants can have a positive effect on weight loss, reduction in cholesterol and prevent, or even reverse, some diseases. I’m not saying you need to become a strict vegan to reap the health benefits. That’s just not realistic for many. If you are wanting to improve your health think about how you can incorporate more fruits, veggies, legumes, and seeds into your diet. One tip I give my clients is the ‘flip your plate’ method. This is when you reduce the size of your meat protein to about the size of your palm. Then fill the rest of your plate with veggies and fruits. You won’t feel deprived of your protein and you will feel fuller for longer from the veggies and fruits.
Lastly, don’t lose hope on being able to customize a diet specific to your biology. Look out for ground breaking research called “nutrigenomics”. This is the study of how nutrition and genes interact with each other to prevent or even treat diseases!
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