Are You Eating for Your Blood Type?

July 3, 2013

blood type dietYour body knows best.

Quick, what’s your blood type? Are you an O, A, B, or AB?

I am a strong believer that your blood type can be the missing link to why you’re not losing weight and are more vulnerable to certain diseases. Since writing my book Your Body Knows Best over 16 years ago, I’ve come to believe that blood types have just as much to do with what not to eat as with what should be eaten. The answer lies in the lectin connection.

You see, blood types are part of the immune system. They react to foreign substances like lectins, which are protein antigens that—similar to little strips of Velcro—also bind to the surface of blood cells. Left to their own devices, lectins wreak havoc on your unsuspecting body. They can cause intestinal damage, disrupt digestion and absorption, cause nutrient deficiencies, food allergies, gas, mucus, fatigue, achiness, headaches, anemia and fatigue, and clump, then destroy blood cells. There are 65 lectins that are known to bind specifically to the ABO blood types. As a result, foods containing blood type specific lectins should be avoided by people with those blood types.

Here’s a run-down of the key facets of  blood type science:

Type O
The original “caveman blood type,” 44% of the population is Type O. A high protein, low carbohydrate diet suits Type O people the best. They do not do well with dairy products, grains, and legumes, which came about in the later agricultural stage of human development. Because they tend to be overly acidic, they also need to stay away from coffee and black teas. More so than any other blood type, Type Os have a greater predisposition to have gluten intolerance or full-fledged celiac disease. This is caused by a genetically inherited metabolic inability to digest foods that contain gluten—the protein fraction of the grain that gives it its resilient quality—found specifically in wheat, rye, barley, and kamut.

Coincidentally, these grains are the “new” foods that were introduced into the human diet only 10,000 years ago—long after the first appearance of the Type O individual. Symptoms of severe gluten intolerance include osteoporosis, alcoholism, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Another side effect is malabsorption of vitamins, resulting in chronic deficiencies that can be the cause of depression, fatigue, and a lack of motivation, as well as more serious diseases like cancer. Gluten sensitivity has been implicated in chronic canker sores, and a myriad of digestive disorders from intermittent constipation to diarrhea.

I always prescribe vigorous high intensity exercise to my Type Os, which can help ward off depression (a common occurrence among this type). I also suggest that the anti-inflammatory Inf-Zyme Forte be taken between meals to reduce inflammation from dietary indiscretions.

For the Type Os that tend to be sugarholics (or anyone else, for that matter), I recommend Y-C Cleanse. This homeopathic formula balances intestinal yeast to help reduce sugar cravings and relieve signs of Candida overgrowth, such as bloating, gas, headaches, moodiness, and mental fog.

Type A
The second most common blood type is Type A, occurring in 42% of the population. While the typical Type O is a meat eater, a typical Type A thrives on a more vegetarian diet. However, these veggie lovers should keep in mind that tomatoes and other night-shades (like eggplant) are “no-nos.” Type As need to ensure that their diet is balanced and they are ingesting enough protein—especially because they often innately veer away from animal foods. This is why I always suggest at least two Fat Flush Body Protein smoothies (made from GMO-free rice and pea protein) per day with my Type A clients.

One of the reasons I found the research on blood types to be so fascinating is that while I was working on my book about intestinal parasites, Guess What Came to Dinner, I learned that type As are at a higher risk for giardia, a common waterborne microscopic invader. It may be the genetic lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach of Type As that makes them so susceptible. This is why I also typically recommend at least 1-2 HCL+2 tablets for Type As after a heavier animal protein meal (like fish or poultry). Their digestive problems, as well as their rosacea, really seem to decrease with the addition of HCL.

This blood type can also benefit from adding Y-C Cleanse to their daily regimen as they seem to have a particularly sensitive immune system and often suffer from systemic Candidiasis.

Type B
Much less common, Type Bs account for about 10% of the population. People with this blood type digest almost all foods pretty well, including fermented dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese. They do not do well with chicken, lentils, corn, peanuts and sesame seeds. They also seem to be major cortisol secretors and do not cope as well as the other blood types when it comes to stress. This is why I suggest an adrenal supplement to all of my Type Bs. As a B myself, this group was the motivation behind the creation of UNI KEY’s Adrenal Formula.

Type AB
At just 4% of the population, they are rarest blood type of all and resemble type As in many respects, except that they can often digest dairy products. This blood type seems best suited for a semi-vegetarian or flexitarian diet routine and should take HCL+2 (like their type A counterparts) when consuming heavier protein foods.

In Japan the study of blood types and its impact on personality is serious business. In general, Japanese researchers have found that Type Os are goal oriented and enthusiastic, while Type As are more detail oriented and fastidious. Type Bs tend to be creative and unconventional, whereas Type ABs have a great spiritual sensitivity.

Tell me, does your blood type accurately represent you?

 

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Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!

55 Comments

  1. Dena Fernandez

    I am a type O, but the thought of eating animal protein makes me cringe. What can I eat instead that will be high protein/low carb?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Emily ann

      Chia seeds and water w/ lemon = chia fresca usually in the morning after hydrating. Chia is amazing for energy and low in calories. I add it to baked goods in place of eggs.
      Makes for springy moist baked goods.

      Chia is so amazing! you should google it.

      At first I was unsure of just how useable it was until your nails get strong and you have energy and feel light and easy and no hunger etc. Bk out on it: Born To Run by a tribe of Mexicans who for centuries eat chia and run all day long, no shoes up mountains and live on chia.
      Too bad we didn’t find out about this nutritional powerhouse when the Chia Pet hit the U.S.!! years ago.

      Good Luck!
      Em

      Reply
      • Jessica Richardson

        My mom has said this for years I need to use them more thanks for motivating me to start using them again

        Reply
    • Sierra

      The Fat Flush Body Protein is derived from rice and peas, making it a great option for those who prefer to not eat meat, or those who just want a clean source of protein.

      Reply
  2. Lorraine

    I’m AB negative. How does the positive and negative connection to blood type make a difference or is there one?

    Reply
    • Susieb

      Hi Lorraine,
      I would refer you to a book called ” Eat Right For Your Type”. It answers many questions relating to type AB.
      I am also a AB negative blood type! We are rare!

      Susie

      Reply
      • Donna

        I am also AB negative! After reading the blood type books I started eating more turkey than chicken because of the information about lectins in chicken. I have more aches and pains when I eat chicken. Applegate makes wonderful turkey burgers.

        Reply
    • Sierra

      The negative or positive component of your type does not have any bearing on the dietary recommendations for your type.

      Reply
  3. Ellen

    I’m a type B but intolerant of dairy (as well as gluten and a host of other foods, including nightshades). I agree with what you’ve mentioned as typical for type Bs but wonder if there may be additional factors.

    Reply
    • Sierra

      Bloody type is one of many components to be considered when deciding how best to nourish yourself.

      Reply
  4. Jennifer Rascon

    I am O Positive. Does that make a difference? Or does it apply to O positive and negative?

    Reply
    • Sierra

      The positive and negative make no difference.

      Reply
  5. jennifer dunn

    TH negative is my blood type what do u recommend

    Reply
    • jennifer dunn

      Rh negative is my blood type what do u recommend

      Reply
      • Sierra

        The RH factor is an unrelated component of your blood type.

        Reply
  6. Lauri

    Odd that you don’t give credit to the Doctors D’Adamo or cite their work as the originators and developers of the blood type diet theory. They have so very many books and guides available, not to mention the more recent work done by Dr. Peter D’Adamo to further elucidate and explore the connection between genetics and diet – the GenoType Diet. I use both the blood type and genotype diets with many of my patients, but always give credit where credit is due.
    To answer the above commenters, the Rhesus factor (positive or negative) has no impact.

    Reply
    • Melanie

      I agree with you whole heartedly. I stumbled upon this blog after a quick google search, but yes, most definitely Dr D’Adamo is the pioneer (along with his father) of what we know most about the blood type today. This is not a discovery of yours, rather you have built upon an already very sound knowledge base.

      Reply
  7. Dalia

    Type B. Can’t tolerate dairy or any kind; gluten, wheat. Have no problem with chicken. I suffer from stress (Prozac works). I have a compromised immune system (cancer survivor).I need to find out what “cortisol secretors” are.

    Reply
    • Sierra

      Hi there Dalia, you could greatly benefit from an adrenal support supplement, like the Adrenal Formula from UNI KEY.

      Reply
  8. Betty

    Dr. D’Adamo says that blood type A should eat tofu and drink soy milk. I have heard that soy is not good for you. What is the truth?

    Reply
    • Emily ann

      See the great book: Spent by Dr. Lipman as he expains that soy that is not fermented and broken down does cause major problems all backed with research. so soymilk etc. is not a good choice for us. Great book! I just bought it for my daughter and I love how sensitive and caring he is to help all of us turn being tired and not vibrantly lovely into bliss via a slow gentle approach!

      Ciao,
      Em

      Reply
    • Sierra

      Properly fermented soy in the form of tempeh, miso, or tofu may be consumed 2-3 times per week with no problem.

      Reply
  9. Reggia

    I am a Type B and I am still experimenting with different foods. So far, I have found out that:

    …no, I don’t do well with chicken at all. Thankfully, turkey is a good alternative for Type Bs and I find it very agreeable.

    …as far as dairy products are concerned I do fine with fermented types as listed above, e.g. cottage cheese and regular cheese I can tolerate almost daily; yogurt, too, if it’s not loaded with sugar.

    …peanut is a no-no but I only have occasionally and haven’t really noted anything.

    …I will have to watch closely lentils, coconut oil and sesame seeds as they are favorites of mine but no-nos for Bs. 🙁

    Reply
  10. Reggia

    Oh, and the cortisol issue and type Bs — very true! I almost always have to take supplements for the ole adrenals.

    Reply
  11. Ninon Delorme (Mrs.)

    I am type O positive and also diabetic type 1 taking insuline daily, 49 yrs old started menopause at warp speed !! What do yo uconsider low carb ?? no matter what I eat or drink a bloat to the point of looking 8 months pregnant Help !!!

    Reply
    • Emily ann

      see book The Candida Cure by Dr. Ann Boroch as you sound like you have a case of candida as thats what it does after each meal, makes you bloated, I was there and you can reverse this ~ great simple book easy to do!

      Reply
    • Sierra

      Candida could definitely be a factor. I encourage you to look into the Fat Flush Plan diet by Ann Louise Gittleman, which does wonders for hormonal imbalances, blood sugar stability, and also addresses Candida overgrowth.

      Reply
  12. Sophie

    Thank you to Lauri for shining the light on the fine work of the doctors ,father and son ,D’Adamo and for letting us know of the new work by Peter D’Adamo.
    A question for you Lauri since you use the blood type and genotype to guide your clients: do you believe that an individual can stray slightly from their blood type and still maintain overall good health? For example, could a blood type A occasionally eat grass fed lean beef while taking HCL and digestive enzymes and still do ok? I welcome Dr. ALG’s thoughts as well on how strictly the blood type needs to be followed in order to achieve its benefits. Thank you all.

    Reply
    • Sierra

      I feel that occasional departures from an ideal diet are realistic and can be well tolerated.

      Reply
  13. Administrator

    Lauri: From what we understand, Your Body Knows Best was originally written quite a bit before Peter D’Adamo’s first book was published but does use the senior D’adamo’s original work as a primary reference in the section on blood typing.

    Reply
  14. Marina

    It was in reading Dr. ALG’s book Before The Change that I first learned about Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo. I was absolutely fascinated to learn about the connection between blood type and nutritional needs. I am a believer and have tried to follow the recommendations for my blood type as much as possible. The above blog helped me further understand the concept of lectins–Dr. ALG excels in making complex subjects easier to understand.

    I too wonder if taking HCL and enzymes with meals can help offset the effects of eating foods not on one’s blood type’s preferred list. I wonder too if there are any other helpful strategies that can offer protection for those times we stray from the preferred list of foods for a given blood type — such as times we dine out, are on vacation, etc. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Sierra

      Absolutely- HCl and digestive enzymes are wonderful aid for your body after straying from an ideal diet. Support your body and it will support you!

      Reply
  15. CaraCraig

    I’m O positive and am amazed at how well the descriptions & solutions fit/work for me! I fought this truth for a long time (not wanting to give up wheat), but do find I’m sooooo much healthier & happier without it. I’d like to encourage others to simply try new ways of eating for a few days or week, if you can, and see what happens! Amazing. 🙂

    Reply
  16. CaraCraig

    Question: I’m O positive (and have leaky gut, I believe). Can I put psyllium husks in cran-water? or do I need to use something else b/c of gluten? Thx for advice/guidance. 🙂

    Reply
    • Sierra

      Psyllium husk does not contain gluten, so it is A OK to use in the cran water. So are ground flax seeds or chia seeds if you prefer.

      Reply
  17. helene

    i eat according to blood type A recommendations and have lots of energy and no problems in the bathroom.

    Reply
  18. Barbara Zeigler

    I am A- what should I be eating?

    Reply
    • Sierra

      You will find the book ‘Your Body Knows Best’ to be a great resource for your dietary requirements.

      Reply
  19. Karma

    Good afternoon.
    My blood type is O negative . I’ve currently been introduced to flex seed , chia seeds as a great source of healty eating. Now I’m also trying to eat right according to my blood type. I also wanted to know about whole grain products.

    Reply
    • Team ALG

      The book Your Body Knows Best will be your best resource for blood type diet questions.

      Reply
  20. Michelle R

    Hello,
    I am O negative blood type. I tested positive for the BRCA gene and had both ovaries and double mastectomy for prophylactic purposes. I went into INSTANT menopause and can’t lose the belly fat, especially. I eat VERY healthy, although love my diet coke! I find myself bloated, gassy, and don’t have the energy I typically have. Any suggestions ???

    Reply
    • Team ALG

      The Fat Flush Plan would be most appropriate for you. Also, it sounds like your major complaints are directly related to the artificial sweeteners used in Diet Coke. Kicking that habit will majorly contribute to your health, vitality, and well being!

      Reply
  21. Tracy

    I’m blood type A and was wondering about chia seeds, goji berries, acai berries and maca powder.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Team ALG

      Food journaling, as described in The Fat Flush Plan, is wonderfully helpful for determining which foods your body responds well to.

      Reply
  22. Gloria

    Is it okay to eat hemp and chia seeds. I am TYPE A

    Reply
  23. Donna

    What are answers for the last 3 questions – fibers forType A …

    Reply
  24. Alison

    I am AR NEGATIVE WHAT SHOULD I EAT.Is there a book for my blood pleas

    Reply
    • Team ALG

      Your Body Knows Best by Ann Louise Gittleman is a the perfect resource to answer your questions.

      Reply
  25. Teddy Green

    Earlier this year I started following the Eat Right For Your Blood Type diet and feel fabulous. Something that is not on the list of foods and that I cannot find on-line is whether Chia seeds are either neutral or beneficial for Type As. I see that a couple of other posters have the same question. Can you help? Thanks.

    Reply
  26. Lisa

    I’ve found that Chia seeds are neutral for all blood types.

    Reply
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  28. carol

    I am type A. Can I safely consume hemp seed in my protein powder?

    Reply
  29. mary anne

    hi there, i am blood type A + can i use psyllium husk powder. i take 10grams daily

    Reply
  30. Sammi Jo

    I’m rheus negative where can I find the right blood type diet ?

    Reply
  31. Team ALG

    You can look at Your Body Knows Best or the book Eat Right For Your Type by D’Adamo.

    Reply

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