Subhead: Who’d have thought that your blood type determines your weight?
By Emily Hawkesworth
The Blood Type diet isn’t just for Count Dracula folks, but before you start thinking the world has gone completely mad, you can rest assured this fad diet is not about sinking your teeth into your next-door neighbour’s neck. Vampires have been known to drink blood to keep them young and this diet is believed to do the same.
The Blood Type diet offers four separate and completely different plans based on an individual’s biological profile and blood type. Noted naturopath, researcher, lecturer and New York Times best-selling author of Eat Right 4 Your Type, Peter D’Adamo spent 20 years researching the connections between blood type, food and disease, and his findings are pretty startling.
It’s not just a diet to lose weight, although it seems to have done the trick with Liz Hurley and Kate Winslet. This magical plan also helps with all-round well-being including energy levels, mood balancing and healing chronic illness.
The basic premise is that when you eat foods that ‘agree’ with your blood type, you reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, infections and liver disease. But here’s where the theory becomes even more weird and wonderful. Dr D’Adamo believes that because blood types evolved at different times throughout history, we should eat a diet based on the types of foods our ancestors typically ate at the time when our blood type was first recognized.
Type O had ancestors that were hunters and gatherers, therefore these universal donors should eat lots of animal protein and very few carbohydrates…especially wheat and corn.
Type A’s ancestors were cultivators, and so it’s advised that this group sticks to a vegetarian diet, avoiding meat and dairy products.
Type B were nomads, whose dietary requirements evolved from red meat and fish.
Type AB is the most recently evolved blood group, and Dr D’Adamo believes this is the link that helped our ancestors make the transition to modern times.
As a combination of both groups A and B, Type AB can tolerate a wider range of foods.
Here’s how it works
Sixteen food groups such as meats and poultry, seafood, dairy and eggs, oils and fats, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, cereals, breads and muffins, grains and pasta, vegetables, fruit, juice and fluids, spices, condiments, herbal teas and miscellaneous beverages… are divided into three categories:
· Highly beneficial foods
· Neutral foods
· Foods to avoid
The latter category includes foods that are ‘poison’ for the dieter’s blood type. The idea is to eat foods from the beneficial or neutral lists and steer clear of foods on the taboo list.
For instance, type Os should avoid ice cream, caviar and – I kid you not – barracuda.
Type As should steer clear of buttermilk, sherbet and pistachios.
Taboos for type B are ketchup, corn syrup and rhubarb.
And no-no’s for type ABs: nearly every meat on the planet, including chicken, pork, veal, ground beef and buffalo.
If all this sounds a little far fetched, wait for the best bit.
No need to go hungry!
You’re allowed to eat as much as you want (although meat should be limited to 4oz. portions) and you can snack as often as you like. Also worth noting: You don’t need to be as disciplined as a nun to follow this one, Dr. D’Adamo suggests 75%-80% compliance for most people. As far as exercise is concerned the Doc also has some recommendations to correspond with your blood type diet. Got the idea so far?
With each of the four blood types having a detailed list of foods that should be avoided and those that can be included, as well as specific exercise ideas, here’s the lowdown.
Blood Group O
Foods you can eat freely include meat, fish and olive oil; foods you can eat in moderation include eggs, nuts, seeds, certain vegetables and fruits; and foods to avoid include dairy products, beans, cereals (especially wheat and corn), breads, pasta and rice. To complement your food intake Dr. D’Adamo recommends lots of vigorous aerobic exercise such as running. Just like your hunter-gatherer ancestors did.
Blood Group A
Nuts, seeds, beans, cereals, pasta, rice, fruit and veg are all on the ‘to eat’ list. Meanwhile, calming exercises are thought to be the best for blood type A such as yoga or golf.
Blood Type B
Only one person in 10 has blood type B. A real shame when you consider this blood group has the least dietary restrictions. The only foods that need be avoided are processed foods and chicken although nuts and seeds aren’t recommended and only small amounts of carb-rich foods should be eaten. When it comes to exercise, the Type B group should do activities that have mental component, such as hiking, tennis and swimming. Clearly their ancestors did a lot of thinking while they were walking.
Blood Group AB
AB’s should follow a veggie diet most of the time with some meat, fish and dairy products occasionally. It’s the same when it comes to exercise. ABs should combine calming exercises with moderately intense activities.
Typical Day’s Food on the Blood Type Diet Typical days diet for the different blood types Meal Blood Type O Blood Type A Blood Type B Blood Type AB
Breakfast 1 banana, pear and apple 2 wholegrain chapattis with peanut butter and 1 small glass orange juice Bowl of porridge/kanji made with half water and skimmed milk and 1 banana Puffed rice cereal with skimmed milk and a glass of pineapple juice
Lunch Grilled fish and salad drizzled with olive oil Vegetable soup with 2 wholegrain chapattis and 3 apricots Paneer and salad Tomato salad with 2 wholegrain chapattis and a kiwi fruit
Dinner Grilled lamb with onion and baby potatoes Salad made from lentils, green beans, brown rice and onion, drizzled with olive oil Lamb and pepper kebabs with raita, brown rice and a green salad chicken stir fry made with chicken breast, olive oil, onion, cauliflower, carrots and mushrooms, served with brown rice
Snacks Plums Handful of cherries 1 pot of dahi/curds Handful of grapes
Approx calories 1,000 1,150 1,200 1,200
De-Junk your diet, the organic way
Since our ancestors missed out on the joys of life like endless cups of coffee, processed foods, fast-food, booze and chocolate it seems that followers of the blood type diet will have to do the same. Although not imperative, eating organic foods will help you get the most out of this detailed diet. With the growing popularity of organic produce, products are becoming easier to find. The “Dharani” outlet at the ISKCON Temple Complex (# 80234471956) is a good place to try as well as the little store called “Jaiva” on 8 Hospital Road (located parallel to Infantry Road, near to Subway # 9448470353)