Should I Eat a Diet Based on my Blood Type?

  • Author:
    Betty Kovacs Harbolic, MS, RD

    Betty is a Registered Dietitian who earned her B.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from Marymount College of Fordham University and her M.S. degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She is the Co-Director and Director of nutrition for the New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Ask the experts

I read Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo's book, Eat Right 4 Your Type, when it came out. Now my acupuncturist is telling me that I should not eat dairy, eggs, and wheat, which is what D'Adamo's book recommended for people with type O blood. Is there a genuine connection between blood type, diet, and health?

Doctor's response

It comes as a surprise to many people to hear that there is no research to support the claims that tell people what to eat and what not to eat based on their blood type. Without research, there is no way to prove if these recommendations work or if they are even safe to follow. I think that people are attracted to a diet like this because it sounds like something that would be based on research without realizing that it isn't.

One of the biggest problems that I have with diet recommendations like the ones that you were given is that they are made without taking your lifestyle or preferences into consideration. It's my experience that the best way to make changes to your diet is to personalize them. The only time that I ever omit specific foods or food groups from someone's diet would be if there is a medical condition that requires me to do so. Believe it or not, you could actually end up doing more damage to your health by doing what you were told. For example, if dairy is your primary source of calcium, you will increase your chances of being deficient in calcium if you cut it out of your diet without guidance on getting it from other sources. Another problem could occur if you cut wheat out of your diet. Whole wheat products are great sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. One of the worst things that you could do is change from whole wheat to white, and not being allowed to eat wheat would increase the likelihood of this happening. The research is clear that there are numerous health benefits to eating whole wheat products and that is why so many companies have switched to using it over white flour. Registered dietitians (RD) exist to assist people with making changes to their diet without harming their health.

Medically reviewed by Robert Bargar, MD; Board Certification in Public Health & General Preventive Medicine

REFERENCE:

"Healthy diet in adults"
UpToDate.com


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Reviewed on 8/15/2017

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