People complain of heartburn, weight gain, bloating, depression, skin problems, irritable bowel disorders, a sluggish thyroid, weakened immunity, sinusitis, excessive mucus, joint problems and aches and pains but they say the blood type diet is a fad! I think not.
There are no pros or cons to the blood type diet
You can’t change your blood type. The blood type diet is not a fad diet to try. It is a guide to food that suits you because not all blood types are the same and they react differently to the same food, no matter how healthy you think they are. If you eat any kind of food that is in direct conflict with the antigens that are present in your system you will get into trouble sooner or later. Some symptoms only emerge over a period of years. This is usually what is behind thyroid problems, cancer, weight gain, hormonal disruption, indigestion and weakened immunity – to name just a few. For instance, most blood type A secretors (unless they are gluten intolerant) can eat a lot of wheat throughout their lives and thrive on it. But the blood type O and B wheat eaters do not tolerate bread. This does not seem fair to lower-income groups. So they eat a lot of bread and then wonder why they get fat and sick.
I was interviewed and asked how the blood type diet worked for me. As a blood type O veteran all I can say is do your homework! There is no way you can follow one of four lists of food. That is not really what the blood type diet is all about. I should know, I wrote a book: HEALTHY HAPPY EATING for all blood types. I have provided colour coded 8 lists - two for each blood type because there are two different sub-types within each blood type. This is the most important thing to know. It was fun posing for this picture and it helps to create blood type awareness. But please refer to the manual! Peter D'Adamo provides plenty of help and support and so do I.
Why do I like the blood type diet?
If you use the blood type diet (correctly) for many years you will see that fixing blood type errors profoundly improves your health. Many of the people I have helped will agree that avoiding food is the easiest way to avoid feeling fat, sluggish and downright lousy. The blood type diet is a good starting point because it helps to select food that you should be able tolerate if you suspect food intolerance or allergies. It is a scanning tool and provides the best suited range to prevent inflammation that leads to most of our health problems, especially weight gain, mucous problems and chronic degenerative diseases.
How does the blood type diet work for me?
You do not have to eat everything that is suggested on the list - especially if you are a vegan or a vegetarian. But be careful about eating large regular amounts of items such as bread if they are not suitable for your blood type. So if you are a hunter gatherer type O you do not have to eat meat. I don’t. But I don’t eat bread, pasta and pizza to fill my tummy. As an O secretor I stay away from lentils and dried beans that do not suit my blood type. I can soon see what happens after eating the wrong foods during the week-end. On Monday I gain a few kilos and feel bloated and sluggish. The O non-secretor, on the other hand, can eat lentils every day – but not chick peas! My A secretor husband reacts very badly to beef, potatoes, aubergines and large helpings of tomatoes. We are different blood types and thrive on different food.
Fat from foods that cause inflammation.
I ate more on the blood type diet and lost 9 kg!
How do we get started?
All this sounds very complicated. But for the beginner or a Mom feeding an assortment of blood types at home there is a very way easy to start. There are plenty of healthy simple everyday foods that suit all blood types. Begin with these items and take up my one month challenge to find out if the blood type diet really works for you. But you must also consider gluten sensitivity and certain allergies that do not affect everybody within the blood type ranges. To be on the safe side avoid what does not suit you and remember that you do not have to eat everything that is recommended on your lists. A little leeway is allowed with things like milk and consuming 10% of what you normally drank would not be too extreme. It is only blood type B that has free range with dairy products but not with bread!
Does this cause chaos at the dinner table?
Not as much chaos as is caused in the body by eating unsuitable food. In my full colour book I have compiled lists of food and colour coded them for the convenience of the 4 blood types and the 4 sub-types. This makes 8 columns. But the good news is that the grey panel running along the side of the page gives you what I call all-type options. So you can all have dinner at the same table. For instance: rice, spinach, carrots, butternut, broccoli, onions, turkey, eggs and some tuna, sardines or salmon. There will be less heartburn, weight gain, acid reflux, indigestion, sluggishness and brain fog.
Why do people say the blood type does not work?
The biggest mistake people make is to ignore the sub-types of each blood type: O, A, AB and B. Within each blood group the antigens in the bloodstream that “scan” your food and react to it are specific. About 20% of each group only have this reaction. The term used by Doctor Peter D’Adamo, the blood type guru for this sub-type is a non-secretor. So obviously the other 80% within each group are what we call secretors because they also have the blood type antigens scanning secretions such as saliva and digestive juices.
Secretors are very different to non-secretors. This is where people go off the rails. They are very different and the same O - type foods can have two different effects. For instance, Blood type O and B non-secretors who eat a lot of soya (even if it is free of GMO) have serious weight and thyroid problems. I have personally seen vegetarians within these two categories succumb to cancer from eating a lot of soya products every day – especially the ones that also include wheat.
How do we test for blood and salivary antigens?
The blood tests for IGA and IGE (immunoglobulin antigens) are fine for non-secretors. But 80% of us also have the salivary antigens to consider. The new tests that include these secretory antigens are far superior to what used to be the gold standard blood tests for food intolerance. They are available but are very expensive and hard to find in South Africa. That is why using food lists based on collective results for each blood type based on such testing can be useful guide as a starting point. The choice is yours to make. You can’t change your blood type or your secretor status. But you can change to eating what suits you.
Get to the cause of the inflammation
Less than 28% of us tolerate wheat because of anti-wheat antigens (decoders) for our blood type. So quit the bread if you eat it at every meal and see how many of your symptoms go away. We suffer from a general symptom picture of inflammation and hence weight gain when we regularly eat a lot of something that does not suit us. This causes alarm and disarray in the immune system - it disrupts our hormones, makes us swell up and feel unwell. But it is a subtle process because with food intolerance, especially to wheat or food not suited to your blood type you usually do not flare up with sudden and dramatic effects.
Allergies and gluten intolerance and your blood type
Allergies are a different story and do not adhere to blood type rules. People have unique allergies to certain things like cat hair, strawberries, nuts or bees. You can be allergic to food items that are listed in the blood type diet. You may also be intolerant to substances such as gluten that are present in rye bread or oats that are recommended for your blood type. I found this out the hard way! First get tested for gluten intolerance before embarking on a blood type diet and take note of your unique allergies.
But to rules there are exceptions. When it comes to a bread problem, Blood type A or AB groups have an 80% chance of tolerating wheat. Instead, their inflammation is most likely to be caused by milk, tomatoes, green peppers, potatoes and beef.
Magazines are not always a reliable source of information
Most people who try the blood type diet fall foul of the sub-type factor and assume that each blood type only has one list of recommended foods. This is a grave mistake to make and many of us can be misled by careless journalism in terms of blood type science. For example 20% of blood type A and AB do not tolerate wheat, owing to a variance within the basic blood type. Innocent readers mistakenly think that four lists of food; one for each blood type is all you need to use to slim down. Something that has been published is not always accurate, truthful of well researched. People get paid to write these articles. The magazines have to be sold, so when you buy an item that announces: "All about the blood type diet" are you getting what you paid for? Not when a recipe using wheat tortillas is recommended for blood type B.
Another gremlin to consider is gluten intolerance. I find a number of people who can tolerate wheat according to their blood type are intolerant to gluten and this includes grains such as wheat, rye, barley and in many cases, oats. This is a problem with so-called nutritionists who do not do their blood type homework properly. There are no short cuts to sifting out offending foods. At best the blood type diet can point one in a general direction. Knowing your sub-type is essential. A secretor reacts to food due to antigens that are present in the blood as well as secretions like saliva and digestive juices.
Blood testing alone is not as efficient as both blood and saliva tests to determine food allergies or intolerance. Laboratory results will tally with blood type lists for the A, B, AB and O secretors providing both tests, but particularly saliva tests are done. The more common and much-advertised old-fashioned blood tests are excellent for rooting out offending foods for the non-secretor variants of each of the four basic blood groups. But bear in mind that only about 20% of us are non-secretors.
So now you know how to take the blood type diet seriously. The funny side of the photo shoot was when I was given a plate to hold. I looked down at a very greasy lamb chop that had been lightly fried. Yuk! I have been a vegetarian for over a decade. How dare they. I protested and was asked to pull a funny face. Then I had to tilt the plate upwards to show the sorry-assed piece of meat to the camera. The chop slid off the plate and took off across the floor. It left a greasy trail and fat splashed all over my hands. We reassembled the exhibit and tried again.
I then had the skirt unpinned from my behind. I took off the spiky shoes, reassembled by toes and tried to stand on my bloodless feet. The tiny jacket was pulled off my ape-long arms and I washed off the smelly lamb grease. I was soon back to my old self again - the blood type O hunter gatherer who felt like punching somebody! Blood type O loves a hard physical work out. That is probably why I have a Karate Black belt as well as one for kickboxing. But there is more about blood type personalities in the books yo need to read if you want to take your blood type seriously.
If you want to see one of the pages of the book, follow this link
If you need more information about unhealthy food choices click here