Eating Right For Your Blood Type: Type A
If you think you’ve tried everything to shed fat, you’ll want to consider the blood type diet. Today we’ll look at what it is to eat for your blood type, and discuss how type As should eat.
I confess, I thought this diet was absolute quackery at first. A friend whose health philosophies and practices I respect mentioned it to me one afternoon at a birthday party, so I decided I owed it to myself to at least look into it and bring you the story.
Since that day, I’ve done quite a bit more reading into the subject and, what’s more, was really surprised that the way I naturally feel best eating generally syncs with the diet’s recommendations for my type A positive blood.
What Is Eating For Your Blood Type?
Dr. Peter D’Adamo is a naturopathic physician who advocates a blood-type directed diet. His book, Eating Right 4 Your Type, is based on his belief that the four blood types, A, AB, B, and O, respond differently to chemical compounds in food called lectins.
His work is based on the studies of William C. Boyd, who was an immunochemist and blood-type anthropologist. In the 1940′s he surveyed the world to determine the distribution of blood types. He divided the world’s population into 13 distinctive races and published a book on his findings in 1950.
Using that research, Dr. D’Adamo grouped the races together by blood type and gives diet recommendations based on blood type, race, and subgroups of blood identifiers.
The premise is that each blood type evolved from an ancestor’s job. As such, blood type A is called the Cultivator, or one who thrives on plants. D’Adamo believes that this blood type evolved 20,000 years ago .
Blood type B has been around for 10,000 years, according to the research, and is based on the nomadic lifestyle. The individual with type B blood is said to have a strong immune system and a digestive system that can handle most foods.
Type AB is called the Enigma, and is said to have evolved in the last 1000 years. Less than five percent of the world’s population has blood type AB, probably because of more interracial offspring from genetically dissimilar ethnic groups.
Finally, type O is known as the Hunter, supposedly the oldest blood type coming in at 30,000 years of antiquity. This blood type is believed to be the only type to thrive on a high-protein diet in Dr. D’Adamo’s plan.
The entire theory of eating for your blood type hinges on the way each blood type is said to process lectins. Lectins are a kind of protein that bind to a particular kind of carbohydrate. They’re very specific.
A common analogy is to think of a lectin as a protein key, which fits into a specific carbohydrate lock. When the right key fits into a lock in the digestive tract, it breaks the cell membrane which damages the cell.
The keys (that is, lectins) can be inactivated by monosaccharides and oligosaccharides. The carbohydrates bind them, preventing the protein from attaching to the “lock” in the cell membrane. The goal is to protect the gut and the rest of the body from inflammation and destruction in the given foods.
Blood type dieting’s goals are to strengthen the immune system, shed excess weight, and prevent infections, as well as giving the body fuel that it can digest well and easily.
Generally speaking, type As should eat mostly vegetarian diets, B a varied diet of meat, grains, dairy and vegetables, ABs should be largely vegetarian, with occasional meat, fish and dairy, and Os should eat heavily meat-based diets.
Foods To Avoid
If you’ve never had your blood type tested, there are several ways to determine it. For women who have given birth and for anyone who has undergone major surgery, your blood type will be in your medical records.
They tell you what type your blood is when you donate, since it has to be classified during donation. You may find a test at your local drugstore in the pharmacy department, and/or your doctor can can order one for you the next time you go in for a visit.
When you know that you’re type A (positive or negative), you can begin to apply the principles of eating for your blood type to your daily diet.
The problem I personally have with the diet is the recommendation of soy protein for vegetarians. I am not a fan of soy, especially since blood type eating for As recommends consuming adequate amounts of legumes.
This diet recommends that you become a vegetarian. If you feel the need to consume meat, the best choices are chicken and turkey. Avoiding most dairy is required, though yogurt and kefir are allowed, as are feta, ricotta, and mozzarella.
Non-sprouted wheat should be avoided, as with most grains containing gluten. Amaranth and buckwheat are the most recommended grains, and sprouting them will increase the nutrition content significantly.
Foods To Indulge
I absolutely love that the recommendation is for As to consume lots of fresh vegetables, preferably raw. The only restrictions are nightshade vegetables (which cause a host of problems in many people, myself included), along with cabbage and mushrooms.
Personally I love cabbage and couldn’t see giving it up. However, it is remarkably difficult to digest. Choosing fermented types of cabbage will make the process much easier on the system.
Fruits are encouraged, especially berries. Melons aren’t recommended, and neither are coconuts, bananas, or mangoes. Along with berries, alkaline fruits like lemon and grapefruit are encouraged, as are plums and figs. Pineapple and cherry are recommended for their digestive benefits.
Legumes are encouraged, especially black beans, lentils, and black-eyed peas. Soba noodles, artichoke pasta, and Ezekiel and Essene breads are high on the list for grains, and sprouting them will increase the nutrition content significantly.
Black tea, soda, beer, and distilled liquors are expressly forbidden. One cup of coffee and one glass of red wine per day are thought to aid the digestion of As, so feel free to indulge. Also, green tea and ginger tea are fantastic for the system!
I was surprised at how well most of the recommendations jive with how I’ve come to eat for wellness over the last 15 years. I was a vegetarian for many years, and just came to eat seafood over the last three years. Dr. D’Adamo suggests that type As live largely vegetarian lifestyles with occasional seafood and little dairy.
Also, the diet recommends against pistachios and cashews (along with a few other nuts). I find this particularly interesting, as I am ridiculously allergic to poison ivy. I’ve become allergic to mangoes, as they are closely related to poison ivy, and pistachios and cashews are in the same family.
I’ll be back next week with another blood type, along with food recommendations and a few recipes, so be sure to check back. Be sure to leave a comment if you’ve tried the blood type diet, whatever the outcome!