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Myth: In order to lose weight or be healthier you should ‘Eat Right for Your Type’

Do you need to get tested in order to eat healthy?!

TRUTH:  ‘Type’ in this instance, refers to blood type.  A very popular diet these days is the blood type diet, which prescribes certain foods to persons of different ‘types’ based on the theory that different blood proteins are more (or less) compatible with the proteins in certain foods (called lectins).

Based on your type, you should avoid certain foods but you can consume other foods in as much quantity as you’d like.  For instance, if you’re a Type O, like me, you can’t have any grains but you can have as much meat as you’d like.  Doesn’t that sound like a terrible idea to anyone else?! In this instance alone, I won’t be consuming any fiber but I can have as much saturated fat as I want?  No, thank you!

One of the major problems that I have with this diet is that it directly opposes both intuition and science.  It opposes intuition because it simply doesn’t make sense.  For example, type ‘B’s are encouraged to eat a variety of dairy foods. But what if you’re a lactose intolerant Type B?!  Intuitively, it makes more sense to eat a variety of foods that don’t upset your digestive tract.

Scientifically, there are no studies to back this up and the creator of this diet (who happens to be from my hometown by the way) readily admits that nothing objective in this world suggests that it works.

So why is it so popular?  Well, people are always looking for a quick fix and anyone can lose weight on any diet.   Let me explain: say you love having a bowl of ice cream every night before going to bed and you happen to be blood Type B (which you should, apparently, forgo).  If you adhere to this diet and stop having a bowl of ice cream every night, you’ll probably lose weight simply due to having a lower calorie intake.  The weight loss would have nothing to do with your blood type and everything to do with cutting calories.

Lastly, the developer, Dr. D’Adamo suggests that, based on type, some people should only engage in calming exercises.  I have a huge problem with this because evidence in exercise is clear; moderately active people are healthier and maintain a lower weight than those who exercise gently.

BOTTOM LINE: The Blood Type Diet prescribes certain diets based on an unproved theory.  There are blanket diets prescribed that don’t consider a person’s health, preferences, tastes or otherwise.   While the diet doesn’t limit fruits or vegetables, it certain doesn’t encourage portion control.  The blood type diet sounds like a sound scientific theory, but it’s really just a lot of clever marketing.


  1. QuackWatch’s Non-Recommended Books: Eat Right For Your Type
  2. MedicineNet  Article

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2 Comments to "Myth: In order to lose weight or be healthier you should ‘Eat Right for Your Type’"

  1. Pamela N Red says:

    Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo never said you could have all the saturated fats you can eat. He says to eat lean meat. People need to read the entire book and not take a few passages out of context. I’ve been on this diet for three months with great results. Most body fat comes from carbohydrates which comes from grains.

    The reason he says for Type O to avoid whole grain has to do with gastrointestinal reasons not weight loss.

    This book is not only for losing weight but for overall health. Losing weight is just one of the perks.

  2. Kate Gardner says:

    Hi Pam,

    You’re right – he doesn’t suggest gorging on saturated fats but unfortuantely he doesn’t encourage eating a variety of healthy foods. Rather, he singles out nutrients or food groups for seemingly arbitrary (non-proven) reasons.

    I happen to be Type O, I’m very healthy, have no GI issues but eat lots of whole grains. The best diet for overall health is eating a variety of healthy foods, which it sounds like you’re doing so good job!

    I should mention here that many fad diets have components of a healthy diet – they’re not all bad or they wouldn’t be so popular!

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