What is the Blood Type Diet?

The Blood Type Diet is based on the idea that your blood type—O, A, B, or AB—determines the types of foods you should eat and the exercise you should get. According to naturopathic physician Peter J. D’Adamo, who wrote Eat Right for Your Type: The Individualized Diet Solution to Staying Healthy, Living Longer & Achieving Your Ideal Weight, eating the wrong food for your blood type leads to ill health and excess weight.

While the Blood Type Diet is more of a nutritional diet than a weight loss diet, D’Adamo claims people lose weight as a side effect of the diet. They lose weight by avoiding the foods that are contrary to good health for their blood types. According to proponents of the diet, when you eat outside your blood type you become more susceptible to inflammation, bloating, a slowdown of the metabolism, and even cancer.

You need nothing but the book, which retails for $24.95, to follow the Blood Type Diet. Your food should cost no more than in the past, except perhaps if you choose to eat more organically grown foods.

The book goes into extensive details about the foods and exercise for each blood type. Following is basic information about the foods to eat and the foods to avoid, recommended exercise, and sample menus for each type.

Blood Type O

  • Eat lean meats, poultry, and fish.
  • Limit grains and legumes.
  • Avoid avocados, oranges, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and Brazil nuts.
  • Exercise vigorously.
  • Breakfast: 2 slices of sprouted wheat bread with butter; 6 ounces of vegetable juice, a banana, and herb tea.
  • Lunch: 6 ounces of organic roast beef, spinach salad, apple, and water.
  • Snack: 1 slice of cake and herb tea.
  • Dinner: Meat and vegetable stew, fresh fruit, and herb tea, beer, or wine.

Blood Type A

  • Eat a mostly vegetarian diet with soy proteins, grains, and organic vegetables.
  • Limit dairy.
  • Avoid red meat, kidney beans, and lima beans.
  • Do gentle, relaxing exercise such as yoga or tai chi. Do not exercise to the point of fatigue.
  • Breakfast: Water with lemon, oatmeal with soymilk and maple syrup, grapefruit juice, and coffee or herb tea.
  • Lunch: Salad, apple, 1 slice of sprouted wheat bread, and herb tea.
  • Snack: 2 rice cakes with peanut butter, 2 plums, and green tea or water.
  • Dinner: Pasta with pesto, broccoli, frozen yogurt, and coffee, herb tea, or red wine.

Blood Type B

  • Eat low-fat dairy, lean meat, fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid chicken, dairy, wheat, corn, peanuts, buckwheat, sesame seeds, and lentils.
  • Get moderate exercise. Do not exercise to the point of fatigue.
  • Breakfast: Rice bran cereal with bananas and skim milk and grape juice.
  • Lunch: One sandwich of a slice of cheese, a slice of turkey breast, two pieces of bread, and mustard or mayonnaise; green salad; and herb tea.
  • Snack: Yogurt sweetened with fruit juice and herb tea.
  • Dinner: Broiled fish with steamed vegetables, fresh fruit, and herb tea or coffee.

Blood Type AB

  • Eat seafood, tofu, dairy, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Avoid red meat, seeds, kidney beans, and lima beans.
  • Combine calming exercises such as yoga or tai chi with moderate physical activities such as bicycling or hiking.
  • Breakfast: Water with lemon, 8 ounces of grapefruit juice mixed with water, 2 slices of sprouted wheat bread, yogurt, and coffee.
  • Lunch: 4 ounces of sliced turkey breast, 2 slices of rye bread, salad, 2 plums, and herb tea.
  • Snack: Tofu cheesecake and herb tea
  • Dinner: Tofu omelet, vegetables, fruit salad, and herb tea, decaf coffee, or red wine.

How the Blood Type Diet Works

Using the book as your guide, eat the foods recommended for your blood type and do not eat the ones your type should avoid.  You do not need to measure portion size or count calories or carbohydrates.

You also follow the exercise prescribed for your blood type. The book goes into great detail about not only the type of exercise you should get, but also about how you should exercise.

Benefits of the Blood Type Diet

The Blood Type Diet encourages dieters to cut down on processed foods.

The diet includes exercise—an important component of any long-term weight loss plan.

It is not expensive to eat according to the Blood Type Diet.

You do not have to track calories, carbohydrates, or grams of fat, which is a plus because counting tends to discourage many dieters.

The book includes low-calorie diets, which should help people lose weight.

The Blood Type Diet in not a one-size-fits-all approach to dieting.

Concerns about the Blood Type Diet

This is a complicated diet that requires continual reference to very detailed lists of what and how much to eat. It would be very difficult for more than one person in a household to follow the Blood Type Diet if they have different blood types.

No scientific research supports claims that the diet improves health and promotes weight loss. There are only anecdotal reports from individuals to support these claims.

There is no concrete meal plan. Followers of the Blood Type Diet choose foods based on lists, which could result in balanced-nutritious diets, but may not.

Talk to Your Doctor

The Blood Type Diet is controversial. Many people find that a change in the foods they eat has a profound effect on their health and weight. However, there is a lack of scientific evidence that blood type determines the right foods for each person.

Before you embark on the Blood Type Diet, talk to your healthcare provider. Show him or her the diet for your blood type. Your doctor will be able to tell you if this is a good diet for your personal health status and weight loss goals.