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Blood Type Diet Meal Plan: Hit or Myth?

Blood Type Diet Meal Plan: Hit or Myth?

Out of all the fad diets out there, the blood type diet meal plan may be the most controversial. Many people get squeamish at just the mention of the word “blood,” but knowing your blood type is important. There are several myths surround the blood types, including its influence on personality and risk of diseases. But does your blood type have any bearing on what you can and can’t eat?

How to Read Food Labels for Healthy Eating

The different blood types

In a nutshell, there are 4 different blood types that people can have: types A, B, AB, and O. Each of these blood types can be further distinguished as either Rh-positive or negative. Blood types are controlled by alleles for either A or B antigens. These antigens are sugars or proteins on the surfaces of cells that the body uses to distinguish itself from foreign materials. This is why people with blood type A cannot receive type B blood, and vice versa.

There is evidence that certain blood types can be more resistant or susceptible to different health conditions such as heart disease or infection. For example, people with A, B, and AB blood types are slightly more likely to develop coronary artery disease compared to those with type O blood. However, other factors like family history and diet play a bigger role.

blood type diet meal plan

Blood type diet meal plan: a quick look

Type A diet

The type A blood type diet meal plan is best described as a vegetarian diet. People with type A blood should avoid eating animal products and processed inorganic food. This diet is centered around fruits, vegetables, non-animal protein, and whole grains.

Type B diet

For people with type B blood, their diet should include green leafy vegetables, eggs, and low-fat milk. They should avoid food that contains chicken, corn, soy, and lentil beans as these are said to contain lectin that can bind to the antigens on B blood.

Type AB diet

Because this blood type has both the A and B antigens, the diet is a mixture of the type A and type B diets. People with this blood type should avoid chicken, corn, bananas, fava beans, smoked meat, caffeine, and alcohol. They are encouraged to eat seafood, green leafy vegetables, tofu, and dairy.

blood type diet meal plan

Type O diet

Type O blood is the most common blood type in the world and has neither A or B antigens. It is said that type O blood is sensitive to the lectin that is found in grains and has more trouble digesting sugar than protein and fat. For this blood type, a high-protein diet from meat and fish is ideal. Vegetables are encouraged, but beans, peanuts, and grain-based products like rice and bread should be avoided.

blood type diet meal plan

Should I follow a blood type diet?

The blood type diet was originally published in a book called Eat Right 4 Your Type in the late 1990s. The diet sparked a trend in being aware of blood types, but decades later no scientific studies support that idea of a connection between blood types and diet.

All humans require macronutrients like carbohydrates, protein, and fat, as well as micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. The blood type diets avoid sources of lectin as much as possible because it can cause blood cells to clump and trigger an immune response. However, lectins are found in many foods and are hard to avoid completely. Because some of these blood type diets discourage or remove entire food groups, it is not considered balanced or healthy.

Key takeaways

Knowing your blood type is important and can also be an interesting conversation starter. While it is true that each person’s body is unique, blood type does not seem to be a significant factor when it comes to diet. The blood type diet meal plan is not recommended by most health professionals. If you are looking to manage your weight or get healthier, it is best to speak with your doctor before starting any new diet.

Learn more about Healthy Eating here.

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Sources

Facts About Blood and Blood Types, https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-types.html, Accessed January 4, 2021.

The lectin connection, https://dadamo.com/txt/index.pl?1007, Accessed January 4, 2021.

The blood type diet, https://www.winchesterhospital.org/health-library/article?id=214387, Accessed January 4, 2021.

Blood type diet, https://nutritionfoundation.org.nz/nutrition-facts/blood-type-diet, Accessed January 4, 2021.

ABO Genotype Does Not Modify the Association between the “Blood-Type” Diet and Biomarkers of Cardiometabolic Disease in Overweight Adults, https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/148/4/518/4965915, Accessed January 4, 2021.

What Does Your Blood Type Have to Do With Your Health? https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2019/april/blood-types, Accessed January 4, 2021.

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Feb 03
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