Blood Type Diet: Pros and Cons

With the introduction of the revolutionary approach in dietetics, saying that the blood type of an individual determines the proper way of dieting, the Blood Type Diet (BTD) by Dr. Peter D’Adamo received not only great popularity among people with the excessive body weight, it has also gained "popularity" among scientists and nutritional experts, giving them more than enough space to speculate about the BTD theory and its background.

The attitude of the official science to the Blood Type Diet can hardly be called "positive". Most of the registered dietitians and experts in nutrition claim that the theory behind the BTD has no scientific evidences. On the other hand, the first book on the diet “Eat Right for Your Blood Type” joined the list of New York best-sellers, and the author was granted a title of the most intriguing health writer of the year 1999.

The most intriguing and at the same time the most questionable and disputable issue of the Blood Type Diet is its suggestion that blood type should be used to determine what kind of a diet (high fat, vegetarian or mixed type) an individual should follow. The author says that special substances, called lectins, which can be found in any food, interact with each blood type in different ways.

According to Dr. D’Adamos, if a person eats regularly products that are not suitable for his blood type, those lectins cause blood cells agglutination (when red blood cells stick together and clog the capillaries throughout the body).

However, the opponents of the BTD say that most of the lectins, found in nature are not ABO blood type specific. In other words, there are very fewer lectins, which can somehow interact with blood type. Furthermore, it is said that all the ABO blood type specific lectins interact with different blood types identically. That means that there is no difference in interaction of the specific lectin with any of the existing blood type.

The Blood Type Diet goes far beyond the limits of the official science with the idea that one should follow a diet similar to the diet of his ancient ancestors with the same blood type, who lived in the times when the particular blood type was first identified. This suggestion has no scientific background.

Besides, the contradiction can be found in the recommendations given to people with the blood type AB. They are said to follow the diet, which should combine two absolutely different regimens, designed for people with blood type A and blood type B. In fact, this can be quite challenging, since according to BTD those with blood type A should follow strict vegetarian diet, and those with blood type B are allowed to eat all types of foods.

So, giving comments on the Blood Type Diet, most of the experts agree that it is reasonable only in the part, where it recommends the eating regimen for people with blood type B. They are recommended to follow a well-balanced diet, avoid highly processed foods and prefer olive oil instead of trans-fats.

Concerning the effectiveness of the Blood Type Diet in ensuring weight loss, the experts say that the followers of the program are likely to shed pounds of body fat. Though, weight loss here is mostly ensured by limitations and excluding certain foods from the daily ration, and not by eating products, which somehow interact with one’s blood type.

Finally, the Blood Type Diet is praised for its attention to exercising. According to Dr. D'Adamo, the role of physical training is essential in maintaining health and reaching the ideal body mass. Consequently, each blood type specific section of the BTD contains recommendations on exercising and fitness.

Of course, it is the matter of personal choice what type of diet to follow. However, one should always estimate all the pros and cons of the specific diet. Speaking about the Blood Type Diet, it seems like there are more cons than pros. Anyway, the modern science says that the basic nutrition needs of an individual are the same whether he is type A or B.


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