This is a review of the Blood Type Diet by Peter J D’Adamato.
The Eat Right For Your Blood Type Diet was developed by Peter J D’Adamato, who is a naturopath. The premise is that each of us is adapted to a particular type of diet depending on our genetic background. If you follow the diet you are adapted to you will rid your body of toxins, lose weight, strengthen you immune system and increase your energy levels. Our problems arise from proteins called lectins that are present in foods to which some of us are not adapted, they make us ill. You can learn what type of diet suits you best by knowing your blood group, he says
His theory is that each of the four main blood groups represents an adaptation to conditions and available foods that mankind found to eat as we spread out across the globe. People were forced over several thousand years to adapt to the prevailing conditions. Our blood groups reflect these adaptations. The theory goes like this: Blood group O belonged to the original hunter gatherers who lived on a diet of meat, fish, wild fruits, vegetables, roots and nuts.
As time went by and agriculture became the means of producing food people adapted to a food based mainly on grains and the vegetables and fruits that they could grow. These people adapted to a diet that contained little meat and over time their blood groups evolved to group A. Blood group B, which is a much rarer blood group, belongs to the nomadic tribes of the European Steppes and the Himalayas. These people lived mainly on dairy products. Type AB, the newest of the blood groups, came to be when the invaders with type B invaded Rome and interbred with the type A locals. Their descendants have type AB blood group.
The consensus among dieticians, physicians, and scientists is that the theory is unsupported by scientific evidence
Eat Right For Your Blood Type Diet
Food is divided into 3 as follows:
- Highly Beneficial which is healing,
- Neutral” which includes basic supplies like water, fiber and nutrients and
- Avoid” which act like poisons creating illness, toxic waste and weight gain
You must follow the diet which is right for your blood group. So whether you should follow a high carb low fat diet, or a low carb high protein diet, is determined by your evolutionary past rather than you your preference. D’Amato divides foods into16 categories and indicates which ones are “Highly Beneficial”, “Neutral” and “Avoid” for each blood type.
The Eat Right For Your Blood Type Diet was developed by Peter J D’Adamato, who is a naturopath. The premise is that each of us is adapted to a particular type of diet depending on our genetic background. If you follow the diet you are adapted to you will rid your body of toxins, lose weight, strengthen you immune system and increase your energy levels. Our problems arise from proteins called lectins that are present in foods to which some of us are not adapted, they make us ill. You can learn what type of diet suits you best by knowing your blood group.
The diet does not have to be complied with in an obsessive fashion. Dr. D’Adamo suggests 75%-80% compliance for most people. This make sit a lot easier to continue with a normal life such as eating out and special occasions. Dr. D’Amatoalso provides specific diets for weight loss which would work whatever your blood type. Many criticisms are answered on his web site, for example here is Adamo’s response to the statement that the diet is unscientific:
” It is indeed ironic that something so well-supported by the scientific literature is called ‘unscientific’ by its critics. Much of this is the result of two factors.
First, most critics of the diet are unaware of the huge volume of scientific research that has documented extensive links between the ABO blood groups and variations in digestive functions, digestive diseases and the function of the immune system within the gut. The Knowledge Bases under the ‘Science’ link in the navigation bar at the top of the page will lead you to a wealth of supportive data on the effects of blood groups on digestion.
The second reason is a bit more disingenuous. The world of nutritional information is currently beset with an abundance of fad diets and quick weight loss gimmicks. The Blood Type Diet theory challenges some long-held institutional beliefs in the standard ‘one size fits all’ food pyramid scheme held sacred by such powerful groups as the American Dietetic Association, and their official stance that ‘there are no good or bad foods only good or bad diets’ (a distinct advantage when it comes to accepting funding from fast food and junk food manufacturers!)
Branding the Blood Type Diet ‘unscientific’ would seem a quick and easy way to discourage health providers from developing any further intellectual interest.” Peter J Adomato on his web site
And here is an answer from Edward Blonz, Ph.D., nutrition consultant, writing on the Quackwatch website:
“It may well turn out that there are important interactions with between certain foods and one’s blood type. D’Adamo, unfortunately, offers little in the way of scientific evidence, relying instead on a collection of anecdotal reports and case histories. His speculation that the one gene responsible the ABO blood type could exert such a dominant influence over everything else is unable to stand on its own merits. In the end, D’Adamo adds the caveat that individual variations still occur within blood types, so you shouldn’t expect all of his recommendations to apply to you. It’s nice to have it both ways, especially where book sales are involved.” You can read the whole book review here: Eat Right For Your Type
Flaws in The “Eat Right For Your Blood Type Diet” Theory
There is no scientific basis for this diet, it is just an idea that has been taken to extremes. On his website D’Adamato sells a lot of supplements and other products associated with his diet. This always devalues a diet. If the diet is meant to be natural and healthy why would anyone need a whole heap of expensive extras?
This theory behind this diet is not sound. For example, it takes many thousands of generations for genetic changes such as those claimed by D’adamato. The agricultural revolution occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 year ago, this is not enough time for any genetic adaptation to have been made. There are many more scientific solecisms in this book. You have to ask yourself why no one else has come out in agreement? Even Atkins has his imitators. As someone else has said “This diet is to weight loss, what astrology is to astronomy”.
If you choose to eat this way and it works that is because it reduces calorie intake not because the blood type theory is correct. On the other hand if you are a Type “A”, “AB” or even type “O” vegetarian you might heave a sigh of relief!