The blood type diet

What is a blood type diet?

The inventor of the blood group diet, the alternative medicine specialist Peter J. D'Adamo, postulates that people can tolerate different foods differently depending on their blood group. He refers to the evolutionary development of blood groups and divides people into four different groups according to their blood group. Representatives are convinced that the blood group imposes restrictions or guidelines, compliance with which leads to better well-being and a lower risk of illness. In addition, according to the theory, people are also influenced in their personality by their blood type.

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For the four blood groups of the AB0 system of humans, four nutritional concepts are drawn up to combat obesity, because each blood group should react differently to certain proteins in the food. The proteins, called lectins, damage the body by clumping blood cells. Blood group-specific nutrition is supposed to prevent this and it is also said that the ideal weight is kept very easily, one grows old more slowly and reduces the risk of various diseases.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence to support these claims. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) assesses most of the herbal lectins as harmless. Because of the lectins you should only eat green beans raw and in large quantities, which certainly nobody wants to do.
The tried-and-tested diet contains a lot of fruit and vegetables, otherwise too fat, too much cholesterol, too few carbohydrates and recipes too high in calories to lose weight compared to the usual intake recommendations. There are few or no statements about behavior change in order to fight obesity in the long term.

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Blood group diet for four different blood groups

Blood group diet for blood group 0

According to D'Adamo's research, blood group 0 was the first blood group from the time of the hunter-gatherers. Today blood group 0 is the second most common blood group in Germany. Meat and fish are best tolerated for this group. However, this group of people should forego wheat and other types of grain. Legumes and dairy products should also be removed from the menu. Vegetables and fruits are allowed, but the latter should only be consumed in moderation as it naturally contains a lot of sugar. Overall, people with blood group 0 should pay attention to the size of their servings as they are said to have a slow metabolism (see also: How can you stimulate the metabolism?). In order to stimulate this, the meat type should also do endurance sports. This should lower the stress level of the generally aggressive 0-type and have a positive effect on health and well-being.

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Blood group diet for blood group A

According to D'Adamo, with the sedentariness of humans, blood group A developed. People with blood group A tolerate like the farmers, who mainly farmed, mainly wheat products and vegetables (see also: Vegetable diet). Meat and fish, however, are said to have a negative impact on your health. This makes it difficult for them to digest and metabolize animal proteins and fats. People with blood group A should rarely eat meat, and then especially moderate amounts of white meat. In order to absorb enough protein, you should use plant-based products that contain protein, such as legumes or tofu. Nuts and seeds are also allowed. People with blood group A are particularly prone to stress and then react with fluctuations in weight. Accordingly, these people should primarily resort to relaxing sports (e.g. swimming) and incorporate relaxation exercises into everyday life in order to strengthen their well-being and health.

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Blood group diet for blood group B

According to D'Adamo, blood group B comes from the Himalayas. The Asian "nomad type" can eat meat, eggs, low-fat dairy products and green vegetables. Group B should avoid cereals and legumes, and chicken meat is also rather poorly digestible. When it comes to meat, the guy should prefer goat, lamb, rabbit and game. According to D'Adamo, people with blood group B are carefree, creative and flexible, but also react to stressful situations with a high increase in cortisol. They succeed in regaining their balance with meditative activities (see also: Meditation) and sports that are not too physically intense. Here D'Adamo recommends golf, cycling, hiking or martial arts, for example.

Blood group diet for blood group AB

According to D'Adamo, the AB blood group is the newest blood group and arose from the mixture of type A and type B. It symbolizes modern people. Overall, blood group AB is the least common blood group. In their eating habits and their personality, they are similar to type A and type B people. The diet should focus on tofu, seafood, dairy products, and green vegetables. Eggs are also allowed, and it is the only type that tolerates grain well. Meat should only be consumed in small quantities, but smoked and cured meat in particular should be avoided. People with blood group AB particularly benefit from snacks instead of three large main meals. Caffeine and alcohol are also poorly digestible for blood group AB. The personality of people with blood group AB is ambivalent, they are friendly and social but also intuitive and spiritual. To reduce stress and support a healthy lifestyle, D'Adamo recommends calming activities alternating with intense physical exercise for the AB type.

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Rhesus factor

In addition to the determination of the blood by the AB0 system, the Rhesus factor is also determined. This is another protein found on red blood cells that may be present with rhesus positivity or absent with rhesus negativity. In principle, each of the four blood groups A, B, 0 and AB can be rhesus-positive or rhesus-negative. The determination of the Rh factor does not play a role in the blood group diet. The recommendations on diet and lifestyle are based exclusively on the blood group, according to the AB0 system.

Course of the diet

The course of the diet is different depending on the blood group. There are even different recommendations for the number of meals and snacks in between. You should design your nutrition plan in a balanced way and, if possible, only use the foods that are intended for your own type. The recommendations for exercise are also helpful in achieving controlled weight loss. Although the blood type diet does not include calorie counting, it should be understood that successful weight loss is only possible if you are in an energy deficit. Exercise and sport can also increase the body's consumption.

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Side effect of diet

Depending on the type, certain foods are consumed more in the blood group diet, while others are removed from the menu. In general, it can be said that a low-protein diet in particular goes against a healthy lifestyle. Especially in the context of a calorie deficit, this leads to a reduction in muscle mass. Healthy fats, such as in some types of fish and vegetable oils and nuts, should also be on the menu of every healthy adult, as they are essential for the metabolism. Dietary fiber in the form of vegetables and legumes should also be included in a balanced lifestyle, as should their vitamins and trace elements. The complete omission of these food groups can lead to nutritional deficiencies, such as hair loss and split nails with zinc deficiency or a weakened immune system with vitamin deficiency.

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Criticism of the diet

Numerous scientific studies have now shown that there is no evidence for the effectiveness of the blood type diet. At first glance, D'Adamo's observations seem scientific, but it has been proven several times that he draws many wrong conclusions in his arguments. Just the formation of blood groups in the course of evolution, as described by D'Adamo, does not correspond to reality. In some cases, the specifications for the individual blood groups do not correspond to the general recommendation for a healthy, balanced diet. For example, the proportion of milk and grain products for blood group 0 is too low, in other cases the protein proportion is too high. In addition, the blood group diet can hardly be integrated into normal everyday life, as the recipes are complex and sometimes consist of exotic foods. In restaurants, it will also be difficult to find dishes suitable for blood groups on the menu.

What are the risks / dangers of this diet?

In general, with the blood group diet, there is the risk of a deficiency in the reduced supply of a nutrient. As part of a healthy diet, you should consume enough protein; in addition to animal proteins in meat, eggs or fish, you can also use vegetable proteins from legumes or tofu. Fat should also be on the menu. Particularly groups in which these foods should be used sparingly are exposed to the dangers of deficiency symptoms. These can range from muscle loss and physical weakness to hormonal and metabolic disorders, as the body is not supplied with all essential nutrients.

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What is the cost of a blood type diet?

Not everyone knows their blood type. Therefore, there are initially costs for determining the blood group according to the AB0 system. D'Adamo sells such self-tests for at home on his homepage, otherwise the tests are also available in the pharmacy or can be carried out at the doctor's. It costs around € 20 or more. Otherwise, the choice of food is different depending on the blood group and the expenses for a lot of meat or fish are higher than average. In addition, some exotic foods are recommended, which are only available in specialist shops. Furthermore, one can purchase food supplements at high prices via the D'Adamo online shop, the benefit of which is definitely questionable.

Where can I find good blood type diet recipes?

D'Adamo brought his book "Eat Right 4 Your Type" onto the market in 1996 and operates a website through which self-tests for blood grouping and food supplements can be purchased. It makes a lot of information freely accessible, but it also remains so vague that you have to buy at least a guide to imitate the concept. There are now many German-language recipes on the Internet under the search term “blood group diet”.In general, you should deal with your blood group very carefully, since, for example, not all types of meat are allowed even with blood group A.

How much can I / should I lose weight with this form of diet?

The goal of the blood type diet is not primarily to lose weight, but to strengthen health and well-being. The blood group-appropriate diet is intended to prevent diseases and to develop a strong immune system. Weight loss simply by following the guidelines does not necessarily mean you will lose weight. Of course, it is also possible to eat a calorie deficit via the blood group diet, which leads to weight loss. However, you should pay particular attention here to supply all nutrients in sufficient quantities. With blood group A in particular, it must be noted that proteins are essential for a balanced diet.

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Medical evaluation of the diet by

D'Adamo's observations have meanwhile been refuted in numerous scientific studies. His theories on the history of the origins of blood groups are also doubtful. Overall, the effectiveness of the blood type diet defies reality. Strengthening the immune system simply by following the guidelines or even losing weight is not a given. In particular, possible nutrient deficiencies caused by omitting certain foods should be closely monitored.

However, a change in diet after the blood type diet can provide an introduction to the topic of healthy eating. Many tips, such as the consumption of vegetables and legumes, the omission of alcohol and fast food, as well as the sports instructions are good tips for a health-conscious lifestyle. However, you should be aware that a healthy diet has to be balanced and contain all important nutrient groups, i.e. proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, trace elements and vitamins. Weight loss, on the other hand, only occurs when there is a calorie deficit from energy intake and consumption.

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What alternative diets are there to the blood group diet?

D'Adamo's observations and postulations evidently evade any scientific evidence. In addition, the diet according to the blood group can also lead to deficiency symptoms, especially if there are too few proteins and healthy fats on the menu. The blood group diet is less suitable for weight loss and is primarily intended to strengthen the immune system and resistance to stress. If you want to practice a healthy lifestyle, you should focus on a balanced diet. This includes animal or vegetable protein, healthy fats, enough fiber, complete carbohydrates, vitamins and trace elements. If you want to lose weight, you should also have a balanced diet and achieve a slight calorie deficit.

Mixed diets, in which all foods are allowed, are easiest to integrate into everyday life (see also: Mixed diet). Approaches such as the low carb diet, in which a large proportion of carbohydrates are dispensed with in favor of proteins and fats, are also successful. Exercise and sport should also be firmly anchored in everyday life. This not only supports weight loss, but also strengthens the immune and cardiovascular systems. In addition, muscle breakdown is prevented and the skeletal system is supported.

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