Doctor, I wish to know the foods to avoid for my blood type or blood group. This is a request that has become familiar with Most Ghanaian Medical Doctors. Unfortunately there is no course subject or program taught in medical school which makes a reference to this assertion that, one must avoid certain foods which are not good for their blood group or type. So I decided to find out where this information or “misinformation” is coming from. Then I chanced upon a herbal talk program on TV where the “herbalist” was vehemently advocating for this Blood Group diet… considering the vim and sensationalism associated with his presentation, I wasn’t surprised people were so much obsessed with this new “discovery” which is NOT supported by research
Fast facts on the blood type diet:
- Research has shown that some blood types are a risk for developing certain diseases or conditions.
- People with type O blood have been shown to have higher levels of stomach acid than those with other blood types, which make digesting proteins and fats easier for this group.
- O blood is unique in that it has both A and B antibodies in its plasma, although not on the cells themselves, so it will not attack A or B blood types as foreign invaders.
- Meats and animal products, such as fish and poultry, are at the top of the go-to list for the type O blood diet, as they are metabolized well by this blood group.
Different blood types may make people more or less susceptible to certain conditions. Some research has suggested that certain blood types have been linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, blood clots, and heart attacks.
As an example of this, some research has indicated that those with O type blood are at a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease but at a higher risk of peptic ulcers.
According to D’Adamo, a chemical reaction occurs when the blood comes in contact with certain foods, specifically with a protein called lectin.
Lectins, which are found in food, have a direct effect on the blood and the digestive tract. The protein binds to cells within the body, causing them to clump together and, potentially, to cause hormonal disruptions. This effect on the body is similar to a foreign substance being present.
D’Adamo suggests that people with different blood types react differently to different types of food and their lectins. As a result, he recommends specific diets for people with these different blood types.
Some research has shown that many lectins react with all types of blood, however, not specific ones.
With this enlightenment, lets know this: In theory you would need a high protein diet and lots of meat! But too much meat (protein) and too little carbohydrates can put a load on your kidneys and give you many unpleasant side effects. What if you have a certain medical condition where you need to limit your meat intake? What if you prefer vegetarian food options? And what about healthy salads, fruits, legumes, low fat dairy, bread and grains: are these foods bad for you or will they make you gain weight? In practice NO! The hypothesis that you should eat according to your blood type is unsupported by scientific studies!
Not only that, but blood type diet has many shortcomings:
- If you eat one type of food or a group of foods, you would miss out on many essential nutrients that your body needs and on the long run, this can result in vitamin or mineral deficiencies and their health consequences.
- You cannot maintain this type of diet because it’s too restricting.
- Each person is unique with different nutritional needs, food preferences, medical conditions, lifestyle… you cannot limit a person by his own blood type diet!
So I ask ” How come our fore parents lived such long and full lives when they had no knowledge of their blood group or type and associated foods to avoid?
Its a questions i am yet to receive an answer to.
Well, Lets check the facts so that we know if this BLOOD Group and foods to avoid hypothesis is even worth considering.
As stated, there is currently no strong evidence to prove that this blood type diet is effective, or to support its use.
People following a specific blood type diet may report improved health, but this could occur due to eating more healthful food in general, rather than due to anything linked with their blood type.
It is always important for people to pay attention to their bodies and get to know which foods work best for them. Keeping a well-balanced diet, full of nutrient density and variety is best.
As with any diet or exercise program, it is important to speak with a doctor before embarking on a specific diet for blood type.