Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
29 May

Does Your Blood Type Determine Your Optimal Diet?

bloodcellsI get a lot of emails about the “Eat Right For Your Type” diet, also known as the blood type diet, which asserts that specific optimal diets exist for each blood type. In this post, I’ll take a look at whether there’s anything to this idea, and whether you should change the way you’re eating based on whether you’re Type O, A, B or AB.

The proposed diets all tend to be pretty decent, whole foods-based ways of eating, and they’re all better than the standard American diet of industrial processed junk, but differences do exist. Here’s the basic breakdown of all four blood type diets:

Type O (PDF): The “original” blood type and the oldest one, proponents claim it evolved among hunter-gatherers in response to their (Primal) diet of animals and plants. People with this blood type do best on meat, fish, and certain fruits and vegetables while limiting starches and omitting grains (especially wheat), beans, legumes, and dairy. It’s pretty much a strict paleo approach.

Type A (PDF): The agricultural blood type, proponents claim it arose after the advent of agriculture. People with this blood type do best on vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, legumes, and limited fish. They should avoid meat, wheat, and dairy. It’s basically a vegetarian diet.

Type B (PDF): The “nomad” type, proponents claim it arose amongst pastoralists raising animals for meat and milk. People with this blood type do best with lamb, mutton, rabbit, and most other meats (except for chicken and pork), dairy, beans, and vegetables. They should avoid wheat, olives, tomatoes, and corn.

Type AB (PDF): The “generalist” blood type. People with this blood type can eat many meats, some seafood, dairy, beans, grains, and fruit, but they should limit kidney beans, lima beans, seeds, corn, beef, chicken, and buckwheat.

I see a few things wrong with their reasoning:

First, they’ve got the anthropology all mixed up. Type O blood isn’t the oldest blood type, nor was it formed by human dietary patterns. The most recent research has found that Types A, B, and O arose almost 20 million years ago in a far-off ancestor common to humans and other primates – long before humans hunted, gathered, farmed, domesticated animals, or even existed. In fact, if anything, it’s type A blood that’s the oldest.

Second, if type A blood arose in response to agriculture, why would the Australian aboriginal diet of meat, marrow, and foraged plant foods, or the Sami diet of reindeer blood, meat, and milk and fatty fish both give rise to a preponderance of type A blood carriers? Type A is supposed to be founded on agriculture – grains, beans, with very little animal products. If a high-animal foods diet selects against type A blood, why does it flourish in these populations?

Third, the justification given for eliminating certain foods from these diets is that the lectins found in them trigger agglutination (clumping) of the red blood cells when consumed by someone with the wrong blood type. So, lectins found in olives are supposed to cause agglutination in Type As, lectins found in grains are supposed to cause agglutination in Type Os, and so on. Proponents claim that specific lectins are selective in their tendency to agglutinate – they interact differently with the various blood types. This supposed selective agglutination is the proximate arbiter of whether a food belongs in a particular blood type’s ideal diet or not, but it doesn’t even exist. The actual research suggests that lectin agglutination is non-selective with regard to blood type. If a particular lectin agglutinates, it generally agglutinates across all blood types. If a lectin is harmful to one blood type, it’s harmful to all.

That said, the blood type diet folks do highlight an interesting observation: the individual blood types are often associated with different rates of certain diseases.

Type Os have a curious relationship to certain infectious diseases. While those with type O blood are more resistant to contracting cholera infections, if they actually get infected, they’re more likely to have an extremely severe reaction. It protects you until you get cholera, after which it leaves you extremely vulnerable. The extreme virulence of cholera to this blood type may even explain the relative paucity of type Os in areas where cholera is common.

Type Os also are far more susceptible to ulcer, now known to be caused by infections from H. pylori bacteria. This is likely explained by the greater preponderance of “H. pylori receptors” in the guts of type O individuals.

Against other diseases, however, type O seems to be somewhat protective:

When compared to other blood types, type O is associated with lower rates of heart disease. The studies (comprising roughly 90,000 people) determined that 6.27% of the cardiovascular disease cases could be attributed to having a non-type O blood type.

Upon reviewing twelve separate studies, researchers determined that type O blood confers protection against pancreatic cancer. Type B was most strongly associated with pancreatic cancer, followed by types AB and A, respectively. Despite the results, “the mechanism by which these SNPs influence risk is unknown.” It could be that “these SNPs may act as markers of allelic variants in nearby genes, and the ABO antigens may not be directly involved in” the development of pancreatic cancer at all. Then, once a person has pancreatic cancer, type O confers a significant survival benefit over the other blood types. This may be explained by the observation in animal studies that the immune systems of types A and B seem to have a harder time at “noticing” and “destroying” cancer cells.

Type Os are also less likely to get gastric cancer, despite their increased susceptibility to H. pylori infections (usually a risk factor for gastric cancer).

These connections are worth looking into and deserve further study, certainly, but they have nothing to say about what diets work best with each blood type.

Obviously, I agree that certain kinds of dietary lectins are problematic, especially if they make it past the gut and into the blood stream. They’re a big reason why I avoid most grains, beans, and legumes – not only do they contain large numbers of lectins, but the lectins they have tend to be particularly proficient at disrupting and navigating the gut barrier. And yes, some people seem more sensitive to dietary lectins than others, but I see no evidence that a person’s lectin sensitivity – and thus ideal dietary composition – is determined by their blood type. It’s an attractive idea, the notion that we can determine someone’s optimal diet and offer them perfect health and protection from disease simply by checking their blood type. It’s just not a realistic one, according to the available evidence.

In the end – and this might be the most important part of this whole thing – the blood type diet “works” because it eliminates processed food regardless of blood type, removes wheat from the diets of people with blood types A, B, and O (which takes care of the vast majority of the population of the world), and recommends that most people (type O is the most common blood type) eat a diet based on meat and plants with little to no grains, beans, sugar,and legumes. I’m honestly not all surprised that so many people get great results.

What about you? Have you tried the blood type diet? Do you know anyone who’s tried it and had success – or failure? If so, what type were they?

Thanks for reading, folks!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Hi all.

    Yes, I tried Peter D’Adamo’s diet many years ago when the book came out. I felt ok, but I found that the plan was only slightly different than the way I already ate intuitively. I am a type A and I was a fairly healthy semi-vegetarian for many years. The only problems I had were associated (I now realize) with too much grain and processed starch consumption.

    Since going completely paleo a year ago, I have experienced more energy, better weight control and better sleep than ever. It seems weird to think that I may be getting in better shape than ever before, even while approaching my 61st birthday.

    Mark and I are in total agreement on this one. The evidence seems to point to removal of all grains, especially wheat based for all blood types.

    Grok on!

    ShaSha wrote on May 29th, 2013
  2. Mark, what is your blood type?

    Johanna wrote on May 29th, 2013
  3. Paleo is the way to go but the avoid blood type list is very spot on. Just because you don’t ‘feel’ a reaction, doesn’t mean you are not getting inflammed. EVERYTIME I try to veere off the avoid list, I get into trouble. Sometimes it’s not immediate but if foods are eaten often. I don’t want to believe it works, but it does. I think Paleo is just as important, getting rid of grains, dairy, legumes and sugar. I don’t follow the recommended amounts, just the not recommended foods. So the combo is great.
    A’s are a different story. Their diets have been refined since the book and most do far better on the genotype diet or the software.

    Kristin wrote on May 29th, 2013
  4. If I stick to the blood type eating it does seem to make me feel good. I am A- and I really noticed that when I started reading the AVOID foods that it does match up with things that make me feel bad (zaps energy or make me feel bloated/gas etc) It is mostly a vegetarian diet and so I am good with it. When I eat meat it upsets my stomach (which is why I stopped eating red meat a very long time ago and I found out about all the issues with Chickens having thyroid diseases etc). I do love fish (which some consider meat) and even the AVOID fish lists seem to be ones that aren’t as good to me.. funny coincidence..but I LOVE FISH if it is prepared properly (not fried) I am not a STRICT blood type eater, but I do pay attention and also the other health things in the book (like disease and what we are deficient in mostly seem to also have been right on) who knows.. NOW I try my best to eat organic, NON-GMO, gluten free and TONS of water, NO alcohol, fresh veggies & fruit…but I do not deprive myself with a once in a while awesome authentic italian dish from my favorite sicilian owned restaurant in town…. technically what I get there isn’t bad according to my blood type, but SO FATTENING!!!

    Rebekah Preston wrote on May 29th, 2013
  5. I’m type O, and all this time I thought I was the “original” blood type!. Darn. :-) Several people I know, including me, have the blood type diet book collecting dust on a shelf. It’s interesting, but I’ve pretty much learned what I can and cannot eat by trial and error. I also recently took the food sensitivity test called “ALCAT”, and it reflected what I’ve already learned about my body vs food with a couple of minor exceptions. Even without knowing I had an significant sensitivity to “shrimp” for example, it’s not a food I ever crave or gravitate towards. Blueberries for instance I really don’t like but ate them because they are supposed to be healthy. Turns out they are on my food sensitivity list. So it seems to me that I can trust my instincts and listen to my body! I recommend the ALCAT test as some people have some huge surprises. And what I like about it, if there is an extreme sensitivity, they recommend avoiding that food for a particular amount of time, then reintroduce it slowly, if you want to, and see how you do.

    Patricia wrote on May 29th, 2013
  6. My bloodtyp is 0 and I do very well on a paleo diet. My wife is boodtyp A and a vegetarian (but do samtimes eat fish) and she do also very well on here diet! I think there is samthink in the idea because different people seem to do well on different diets!

    Joachim Overdick wrote on May 29th, 2013
  7. Will not eat soy in any form…soy is garbage and not good for you

    Richard wrote on May 29th, 2013
  8. It kind of reminds me of astrology, but for blood type and diet. Kind of fun to think about, with generalizations that work for everyone… but probably not true.

    Leila wrote on May 29th, 2013
  9. I remember when the blood type diet first emerged (I’m A+), I was already on Carbohydrate Addicts so I knew that too many carbs (especially grains) were problematic. But reading all these comments just reminded me of a symptom I had forgotten about entirely that has gone away in the year and a half that I’ve been (mostly) Primal: heartburn! I utterly forgot about how regularly that occurred for me. And I think about a good friend of mine, who has terrible heartburn and acid reflux and who struggles with her weight (as do I). I can’t help but wonder if she would feel well if she gave up the grain. But it’s hard to do at first. Thank God for all the years on Carb Addicts, then South Beach–prepping me for Primal! (sorry I got off thread).

    Angela Glaros wrote on May 29th, 2013
    • Hey, South Beach prepped me for Primal too. Several of the concepts carry over nicely, so it made the transition easier.

      b2curious wrote on May 30th, 2013
  10. I totally tried the blood type diet. And it indeed worked, however I am type O, so like many of us who do so well on paleo or primal it was basically the same thing. I love my meat, veggies, nuts and fruits. To me if God made it I can eat it.

    michele wrote on May 29th, 2013
  11. Let’s hear it for the B’s !! Oh wait there’s like three of us :)

    Vettech wrote on May 29th, 2013
  12. Funny! When I first heard about the blood type diet I was offended because it said I SHOULDN’T be a vegetarian (and I was veg for a few years for ethical reasons). I did, however, wonder whether there was something in it when I didn’t succeed well as a vegetarian, whereas others seem to be able to remain healthy on a veg diet for years!

    Fiona wrote on May 29th, 2013
    • It’s important to define “healthy”. Some friendly, low key questioning often reveals: anxiety issues/panic attacks, weakened immune systems, heightened allergic reactions, and under/over weight issues. Their children sometimes display issues with extreme moodiness (especially the boys).

      So compared to say, a diabetic eating SAD, they are healthy, but not to my much higher standards. The only vegetarians that I’m satisfied are actually healthy are those that receive a vast majority of their calories from eggs/butter/dairy and keep their overall carb loads low.

      Amy wrote on May 30th, 2013
  13. The reason why this blood type diet had success is that it is easy to understand, at least the way it is put. Actually, the blood type thing is far more complex than A/B//O/AB and RH +/-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_blood_group_systems#Blood_group_systems

    primal_alex wrote on May 29th, 2013
  14. No pork for type O? To hell with this diet.

    C. Belmock wrote on May 29th, 2013
    • Here, here good fellow!

      Shannon wrote on May 30th, 2013
  15. I went on the blood type diet as recommended by my naturopath. I’m an o, and it worked really well for me! She also had me follow food combining rules. I’ve since added in dairy and forbidden foods like avocado, coconut oil, etc. and I do just fine with them!

    Jessica wrote on May 29th, 2013
  16. Thanks for clarifying that Type A is the oldest blood type. I’ve worked many a time trying to explain this to blood type fans.

    Barb Crocker wrote on May 29th, 2013
  17. I always think of this diet when I see an avacado! I’m O type, and, besides eating Paleo-style, it says to avoid avacados. They’ve always given me a stomach ache, so in the back of my mind I used my blood type as justification for not eating them.
    Several people in my family have diagnosed Celiac’s and they are all O blood type. Probably a coincidence, but I’ve always wondered what Mark’s take on it was. Now I know! Great post.

    Cait wrote on May 29th, 2013
    • And pork doesn’t sit we’ll with me either…. INTERESTING! ;)

      Cait wrote on May 29th, 2013
      • I’m type O and avocadoes are an excellent food for me, easily digested without any gassiness, and most importantly they lift my mood when I feel a depression coming on, more so than any other food, and not in an addicto-inflammatory way either, I don;t crave them or feel any mental fog or anything (unlike say bread used to cause). Just my 2¢ :)

        Patrick wrote on May 30th, 2013
  18. I witnessed the book of the blood type diet (hardcover) used as a test subject during a Applied Kinesiology exercise. It failed on all 3 participants & the person then chucked the book saying it was BS! I laughed.

    Russ C wrote on May 29th, 2013
  19. I can’t believe how many people believe support this nonsense diet. just look at the many studies directly contradicting that diet on wikipedia.

    marcus volke wrote on May 29th, 2013
  20. I have been on the blood type diet for more than five years, the paleo diet for nine months. In spite of Chris’ comments, it seem clear from this thread that some people are getting good results from this diet, including me. I am type B. When we went to a Chinese restaurant and ordered dinner for two, it was pork and shrimp. I ate it and was fine, but after I ate the leftovers the next day I thought I had fibromyalgia–I was achey and had difficulty sleeping. Incidents like that made me trust D’Adamo’s recommendations. I read “avoid” to mean you can eat it once in awhile.

    Medina Gross wrote on May 29th, 2013
  21. As a type A, if I had to eat the foods listed as suitable for my blood type, I would be permanently ill. The majority of the foods on the Type A avoid list are foods that I have never eaten anyway, and I still got sick (adrenal exhaustion), regardless of the fact that I never ate them! I am now 6 weeks into Paleo and can already see a difference in my health. I think I’ll just stick to Paleo thanks. :-)

    Sharon wrote on May 29th, 2013
  22. Just imagine if a blood type A person (with a AO genotype) marries a blood type B person (with a BO genotype). They have four children. They could all be different blood types: one A, one B, one AB and one O. They’d have to have different diets according to the theorists. Yet they each share approximately half their genes with each other!

    Kathals wrote on May 30th, 2013
  23. Out of all the things I tried (vegetarian, vegan, raw foodist and, of course, Primal) Blood Type dieting was the least effective and enjoyable of my experiments. I’m type A, so it was like being a specialised vegetarian. By this I mean as a vegetarian I didn’t worry about which veg or fruit I ate. Is it a legume or bean etc – I didn’t stress about it. With Typing, I couldn’t go to any restaurant, or share a meal with anyone, because there was always something forbidden. Not to mention the turbulence if something unexpected happened and I couldn’t eat according to my prepared plan of action. Even if it did provide perfect health, I don’t know if it would be a sustainable lifestyle in this age. It created far more stress for me than any benefits it may have reaped, which were few. I felt tired, grumpy and very hungry. All the time.

    Tyler wrote on May 30th, 2013
  24. No diet can work if you need a laboratory to know how to follow it… People survived before blood types were discovered, didn’t they?

    JKJ wrote on May 30th, 2013
    • Indeed they did, JKJ, but in the past we were attuned to our body sense and the variety of foods was smaller and less processed. We must learn to listen to what makes us healthy.

      mhikl wrote on May 31st, 2013
  25. I have dark brown eyes, so I must do best on chocolate!!

    Ha! I knew it :D

    James wrote on May 30th, 2013
  26. Before I went primal, I tried the Blood Type for my type A, and for two years I was constantly bloated, my dry skin was dryer than ever, and I waited & waited for “the magic” of great health to begin–I ended up in worse health than before I began, of course.

    After going primal, grain-free sugar-free dairy-free egg-free (I’ve been diagnosed with wheat- dairy- & egg-allergies), my skin is healthy & I no longer suffer from severely dry skin; I no longer suffer bloating or digestion problems; I look much, much younger than my age; the very dark circles under my eyes have disappeared; and I feel so very good all the time–yes, All The Time. As a matter of fact, in addition to feeling so very good all the time, I have developed an aversion to feeling bad and being around people with negative attitudes–I’ve cut them out of my life, and I now always feel calm, stress-free, peaceful, and just plain happy!

    Glenda Pearl wrote on May 30th, 2013
  27. When we can type and then extrapolate an optimal diet from the bacteria in our guts, then I’ll buy into individualised eating plans, but obviously someone with group A blood born 2 months premature with weak lungs, who’s had a childhood full of antibiotics, and raised in an overly sterile home etc will have fundamentally different gut bacteria and inflammatory responses (and all that carries with it) than the well-nourished full-term baby who was raised on a farm and whose health meant s/he didn’t have too many antibiotics as a child.

    It’s hard not to notice some people do well with some foods and badly with others (I feel better the day after I eat beef, whereas citrus fruit in any amount messes me up and causes cravings for more) but I think the contributing cause is personal gut makeup, genetics, and that blood grouping is too blunt an instrument.

    Also, it doesn’t as far as I know address the issue of rhesus pos/neg blood, a serious issue which can cause a child to die shortly after birth, which I would think is therefore a bigger issue overall with regards to antibody reactions than simple 4-way blood grouping?

    Patrick wrote on May 30th, 2013
  28. My Uncle does this Eat Right For Your Blood Type Diet often and has great success with it. He loses a lot of weight (naturally) and feels great because of it. He highly recommended it and still swears by it to this day. I bought the book years ago and so did my Mother. I hated the diet because I am type B and do not like the taste of game meats. I find it difficult to stick to something, even if it is successful if you dislike what you are told to eat. I find better success sticking to a primal diet and have lost 30 pounds now and feel awesome. I agree with Mark that the success of the Blood Type diet is because you are cutting out so much junk in your diet. Who would not lose weight and feel great after doing that? Its just simple logic really, cut the crap out, feel better.

    Traci wrote on May 30th, 2013
  29. Hi! I appreciate the article. I have explored the blood type diets a bit. I have found that there are a number of foods on the avoid list for my type that I naturally do not want to eat, and others that do affect me negatively. (Type O) Same for my husband who is B, and several coworkers who experimented with it. There does seem to be something more to it than just eating whole foods and eliminating processed… what that is, I’m not sure. Perhaps we just don’t know what’s really going on in relation to blood type and there have been a lot of assumptions made.

    That being said, I do agree that a paleo diet is ideal for me at this point and generally a great improvement for most people… although lifestyle and health conditions need to be taken into account because it may be appropriate to have short or long periods of time meat-free or raw, etc. Thank you!

    Rebecca wrote on May 30th, 2013
  30. I am type B and when I read the PDF attached, it says I should avoid COCONUT?????
    My diet revolves around coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut flour. My main fat source is Coconut, does anyone has any inputs on coconuts for type B?

    Tiash wrote on May 30th, 2013
    • I do – trust what your body tells you is nutritious more than ANY book! ;)

      I do great eating more avocado to stave off depression, but according to this as type O they should be making me worse.

      Patrick wrote on May 30th, 2013
    • I’m a type ‘B’ and used to eat a lot of coconut and avocados because they were considered ‘healthy’. When I read D’adamo’s books I decided to give up those foods just to see if there was something to it. I’m so glad I did, because I felt so much better afterwards. Now I still occasionally eat coconut (never did like avocados) but I am more in tune with my body and can tell that it bothers me. I’m a beleiver in the blood type diet combined with paleo.

      Laura wrote on May 31st, 2013
  31. I was tested a couple of years ago for Apo E genotype. I already know that I am A+. I have never been able to digest red or white meats easily. Fish has never been a problem. After I got my Apo E results and found out that I am a 4/3 I NEVER ate red or white meats again. I continue to have fish. I decided it was now time to try Primal/Paleo. My biggest issue is I work at a brewery! So far I am loving the diet, but being creative every meal is not so easy. Keep up the great work you do, I look forward to your posts each and every day.
    Here is the link to Pamela McDonald’s site. I had the opportunity to meet her and that is what got me on the Apo E bandwagon. I would love to hear your opinion on this.
    http://perfectgenediet.com/apoe_gene_diet

    im4peace wrote on May 30th, 2013
  32. Hey, what’s all the fuss about? The bottom line is: we are all different, never mind blood type (although it did work for me) the point is every one of us has a different body with our own health challenges, different foods create different inflammation in each one of us, what works for one may not work for another. The paleo diet/lifestyle can help eliminate many of these inflammatory symptoms and we feel better even though we each need to listen to and get to know our bodies and adjust our intake to what works for US, not for everyone out there. We are individuals and there is no cookie cutter plan for everyone.

    A great book to read and get ideas from is “The Virgin Diet” which isn’t that far off from the Paleo. The whole idea in the end is, do what works with you and only you . . . not the other guy!

    Adeena wrote on May 30th, 2013
  33. For me, another Victorian-style fad diet. Why? Because it’s based on a piece of knowledge slightly older than 100 years. If this were the diet to end all diets, most of our predecessors were unable to benefit from it, they had no idea there is such a thing as blood types. Fail for me.

    Jan Rendek wrote on May 30th, 2013
  34. Hi, great article and comments!
    I felt vindicated when that Blood Type Diet came out, since I’m Type A neg. and had been vegetarian then vegan for many years. I was slim and healthy until my late 20′s, when things just fell apart. My hair got thin, I developed cysts in my ovaries and lymph nodes, was extremely depressed for many years and began gaining weight after drinking heavily and taking antidepressants. I started eating primal/ paleo in early April and my mood and energy levels are SO MUCH better. I also lost 15 lbs that I’ve been struggling with for a long time now. My theory is that I did okay being vegetarian when I was young and healthy, but eventually the deficit of necessary nutrients I was creating over that time caught up with me. I’m hoping I can reverse some of the damage done by continuing to eat this way–so far so good!
    So chalk up another (Type A) “NAY” for the BTD!

    Jenny wrote on May 30th, 2013
  35. Have you ever noticed that people say, “oh, I tried x or y diet and my joints feel better, my skin is great, and I have so much energy!” They’re all ditching the processed foods. Give the credit to blood type, paleo, primal, veggie, whatever you want, but quit eating the plastic food and you WILL feel better!!

    PS: Vegetarian for 2 years. It made me a type 2 diabetic. Not even lyin’! Love me some Primal.

    Shannon wrote on May 30th, 2013
    • Absolutely, almost all diets including plain old calorie counting mean people will eat way less bread, pasta and biscuits at first, so that’s a major source of gluten reduced.

      Almost all forms of diet reduce flour products, veg oils and pulses as a side effect, but without knowing why they’re off limits they’re what we eventually crave and end up “cheating” on and then craving more and more, and the whole thing starts again.

      Patrick wrote on May 30th, 2013
  36. Concerning the comments about ancestral diets, here’s my experience: I’ve done practically every diet out there, from Slim-Fast to low-fat to Weight Watchers to Blood Type to Body Type to South Beach to vegetarian to raw vegan, etc., etc. in a desperate attempt to control my ever-increasing weight gain, to no avail. Although I’d been a skinny kid and easily maintained my weight through my first two kids, I suddenly started packing on the pounds and continued to gain for the next 20 years. It wasn’t until I read The Metabolic Typing Diet that I started researching ancestral diets–truly ancestral. (NO potatoes, despite my Irish heritage.) What I ended up with was a Primal diet. LOTS of meat (predominantly wild boar and venison), fish, seafood, some dairy, some veg (the ancient Irish used vegetables as more of a supplemental food than a staple), some nuts, and berries, apples and pears in season (wild varieties, of course). The root crops they ate were things like turnips and parsnips, rather than potatoes and carrots. I found this surprisingly similar to what I’d been raised on, although we did eat bread and potatoes, like most modern Irish-American families. I changed my way of eating after moving out because my friends kept telling me that I was a heart attack waiting to happen because of how much saturated fat I consumed. I spent a long, miserable, confusing period of years faithfully following each new “miracle diet” that came along, listening to all the “experts” and getting fatter, sicker and more depressed. It took hitting bottom before embarking on my ancestral diet; I figured since nothing else worked, I might as well go back to enjoying what I ate. I stuck with grass-fed, wild-caught, and organic meats and dairy (including lots of pork and salmon) and locally-grown and organic, seasonal veggies and berries–a bit more veg than my ancestors likely ate, but two years as a vegetarian had taught me to love my veggies). Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered that, eating my favorite childhood foods, and strictly avoiding sugar, legumes and grains, I effortlessly dropped 70 pounds in under a year! During that year, I discovered The Primal Blueprint and modified my diet slightly to include coconut products, avocado, macadamia nuts, and dark chocolate, for variety and the health benefits they provide. I feel great, I look great and best of all, eating is an enjoyable, natural process again. Not only will I stick with a Primal diet for the rest of my life, I strongly urge my clients to adopt this way of eating as well. (My obsession with diets led me to become a holistic nutritional consultant.) I’ve seen similarly impressive results with the people I coach.

    Suzi C wrote on May 30th, 2013
    • Good for you, Suzi. I did exactly as you, save the occupation. Listen to your body, go unprocessed and experiment is the best advice in your post. Even as a child I knew that oranges and strawberries, (high acid) foods, were not good for me. Sadly, I think the skill to listen and avoid is very hard to do for many.

      mhikl wrote on May 31st, 2013
  37. I have read, and generally follow, an O blood type plan (as it is paleo anyway). But I saw an “8 constitution acupuncture” practitioner, and as a “pancreatonia” constitution body type my diet is mainly paleo anyway, omitting spicy, citrus and poultry. **shrugs**

    Judijo wrote on May 30th, 2013
  38. my whole family pushed me towards this diet when I started having all kinds of gut and hormonal issues. But being a type B, they suggest a high tolerance to dairy products and quite a few grains, and low tolerance for chicken among other things. Being that I am lactose and soy intolerant, I was hesitant. My body tells me that I do better with high protein content and some fiber, that’s what I stick to. Chicken isn’t the thing that’s killing me. I’m pretty sure.

    andrea wrote on May 30th, 2013
  39. This really is a fascinating article. I think I may conduct my own “observational study” and determine if the above claims regarding susceptibility to disease within the different types ring true among my patients ;)

    Erin wrote on May 31st, 2013
  40. BLOOD TYPE DIET
    I follow the blood type diet and in conference with many people find that I can often figure a person’s blood type by questioning his/er food preferences and senses, and feelings after certain exercises. I do have troubles with AB types but when confused between A and B I explain my confusion and suggest AB or one of the other. Still iffy though right a little more often than not.

    Also, excruciating pain in my left hip I damaged getting up from a table a little too short for me (thirty-five years ago) was much alleviated after about six weeks by eliminating wheat. It actually took almost nine months to become mostly pain free and to be able to walk long distances but the difficulties in walking began again a year latter when I was allowing one wheat treat a week on Fridays. I then went completely wheat free again and I could again walk longer distances. Surprisingly, after the original six weeks, the skin of my legs and my feet became sensuous for the first time in my life. I was also told at the time that I would need a complete hip replacement within five years, my hip bone was so deformed (the MD thought I had bone cancer but the scan said otherwise). I have been mostly pain free now for fourteen years and haven’t had a hip replacement. I am tinkering with my height sat fat raw/cooked paleo diet in hopes my hip might further improve or even regenerate.

    I listen to my body and avoid any food that doesn’t feel or taste right or that causes reactions. I was surprised that oranges and strawberries, foods that I have avoided since early childhood were on the list. They are too acidic Dr D’Adamo claims for O BTs because Os usually have very strong stomach acids. They have always hurt my stomach. However I have always loved lemons, limes and raspberries which seem acidic but turn out to be alkalizing. Limes and lemons I used when I had indigestion for the alkalizing-neutralizing benefits. I also think most people have had such crummy dietary habits they have not tuned into their body senses. I blame modern over-processed foods, denuded soils and poor childhood diets by well intending parents. I was persuaded early in life to eat Brussels sprouts and carried the behaviour into Sunday dinners in adulthood. The bag in the freezer was tossed with glee when I read the ER4YT book. Stinky, wretched little weeds they are. Same with cauliflower and, to a lesser degree, the iffy cabbage, though the heavier flavoured broccoli has always been my favourite veg.

    Allopathy disparages the possibility of Dr D’Adamo’s work but he claims that he has tested the lectins, for agglutination, in the laboratory on samples of all blood types. It would be very easy to disprove his theory and he is an incredibly intelligent and eloquent man (I’ve seen a number of his lectures) so it would not seem terribly bright of him to straight out lie. However, I suspect, nay I know, the majority of allopaths I have met have been so indoctrinated they have no idea how locked into a box they are and are dismissive to nutrition in food as having much importance to health.

    Mark, I appreciate that you at least gave credit to the strengths and weakness of blood types when it comes to diseases. Bubonic plague is another disease that is claimed to be particularly deadly to O blood types. Such may have been the reason type A suddenly became the dominant blood type in Europe up until the Twentieth Century when O blood type again began to make up the largest group, world wide, I believe.

    Thinking outside the box is not a common trait throughout our species, Mark. It may be a sense favoured by far less than ten per cent of the population. Creative thinking, reviewing accepted ideas and those of vocal specialists and advocates (including oneself and one’s own biases or conclusions), challenging conventional wisdoms, would have been quite a detriment, in the heat of battle to our survival when herd mentality and xenophobia were necessary for the survival of our species. Today, with modern propaganda, I suspect it is the reverse and we all need to question conventional wisdoms and especially the waggling fingers of the medical professions and scientists. Prevailing trends often are the source of their incomes and that, for the empowered, is often an underlying thorn preventing any discussion of conflicting ideas which are seen, possibly feared, as threats to personal beliefs or assumptions. I call upon the histories of Galileo and Semmelweis to support my case. One was harangued by religious dogma and the other by the profession in which he lived and of his own steadfastness, over-exuberance and strong bearing.

    I don’t expect the closed minded to give a newts whisker for any thought or notion that challenges their worlds, but I do expect the creative thinker who thrills when a personal wisdom is challenged, to keep an open mind and willingness to ponder the possibilities of even the most foreign and challenging of possibilities. If one’s mind is made up on either side and all edges to the possibilities of alternative thinking such as (—alien beings, speeds far in excess of the speed of light, 911, questions to climate warming, the source of the sun’s energy, the idea that science cannot explain the possibility of ping pong and other sports at such speeds, the possibilities of an ever-being, conscious universe or that consciousness, self and mind might reside outside the brain—) let them sit in the comforts of their knowledge. All ways of thought have their purpose in the progress and success of our species for both keep the other grounded and challenged at appropriate times.

    mhikl wrote on May 31st, 2013

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