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Blood type diet food lists - wise to follow?

I have earlier written about the blood type diet food lists - which foods people of different blood types should eat and which foods they should avoid.

I wrote only briefly because my purpose was not to teach the diet plan, but to show how unscientific and illogical it is.

But... is there any harm in following the blood type diet food lists? Is it effective in the first place?

On the Internet, you will find lots of testimonies of people who say they have benefited greatly from the blood type diet. I am not sure how reliable these testimonies are - because on the Internet, anyone can write anything.

That said, it should not be surprising that some people would have benefited and found the blood type diet effective. Because generally, Dr Peter D'Adamo does offer good dietary advice, like telling people to eat plenty of vegetables, especially fresh and organically-grown vegetables.

He also advises most people (except Blood type B) to avoid milk and dairy foods. Some nutritionists have criticised this as possibly leading to osteoporosis. But to me, this is good advice because milk causes a whole lot of health problems. See my article on The harm of milk. The calcium in milk is not well-absorbed anyway and there are far richer food sources of calcium, like seaweeds and sesame seeds.

In general, any of the four blood type diets - for blood groups O, A, B and AB - is healthier than the average modern diet. So when people lose weight and feel better, it could well be because they eliminated junk foods or they stopped eating foods that they are sensitive / intolerant to. For example, many people in modern societies are sensitive to gluten in wheat and the blood type diet plan recommends to avoid wheat. These people may not be feeling better specifically because they follow the blood type diet food lists.

Personally, I know of only a few people who tried following the blood type diet food lists. They basically told me the same thing - that they benefitted more from following recommendations on which foods to avoid, rather than which foods to eat.

However, none of the people I know had followed the diet plan for more than a few months. So the long-term effects are not known. Based on my personal understanding of health and healthy eating, I can see some potential problems with following the blood type diet food lists over an extended period of many years.

Let's take a closer look at the recommendations for various Blood types:

Blood type O

Blood type O are supposed to eat a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet with plenty of meat and fish, but little dairy products like milk and cheese. The diet does include some grains (but not wheat and corn) and vegetables. The emphasis, however, is on meat and fish.

This is similar to the Atkins Diet and other low-carbohydrate, high protein diets - except that some of the other diet plans may not emphasise avoiding milk and dairy.

One positive aspect of low-protein, high-carbohydrate diets is that they highlight the fact the meat is not necessarily bad for health. Some people will benefit from eating meat.

I the video interview below, Dr Peter D'Adamo talks about his web designer who was vegetarian and had developed an auto-immune disease. Initially, the person tried to recover by "becoming a better vegetarian". When his condition worsened, he finally decided to follow Dr Peter D'Adamo's blood type diet food lists and, being a Blood type O person, he started eating meat. He soon recovered.

This is a point that many vegetarians probably cannot accept. Even though I was only briefly vegetarian (for six months during the 1990s) I would not have been able to accept this previously. As I continued to research on health, however, I have come to accept that some people would be healthier if they eat some meat.

But will only Blood type O benefit? Will all Blood Type O benefit? I doubt.

I have greater doubts about diet plans, including the blood type diet food lists for Blood type O, that recommend certain people to eat plenty of meat. Eating some meat is one thing. Eating plenty of meat - while avoiding carbohydrates - is another thing altogether.

Among other dangers, a long-term high protein diet increases the risks of kidney failure, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer. Such a diet also deprives the body of carbohydrates, which is the basic source of energy. Learn more in my article about the dangers of high protein diets.

Blood type A

Blood Type A, according to the blood type diet food lists, should be largely vegetarian. They should eat plenty of vegetables and whole grains. plus some fish. They should generally avoid meat and especially avoid red meat=. Milk and dairy foods should be minimised.

From my understanding, this looks that the sort of diet that would benefit the majority of people and not just those of Blood type A.

Interestingly, even though Blood type A are said to do well as vegetarians, they are recommended to eat some fish as well. In a 1999 paper published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers analysed the results of five previous studies that compared people on various types of diets. They found that those who are largely vegetarian, but ate some fish and seafood, had the lowest death rate from ischemic heart disease. They fared even better than vegans or "pure" vegetarians, while those who ate meat fared the worst.

Blood type B

Blood Type B are "omnivores" according to the blood type food lists. They can eat just about anything, including meat, fish, dairy, vegetables and grains. This is in line with a general belief that humans, are truly designed to eat a varied diet. Still, there may be some issues with the way Dr Peter D'Adamo interprets an "omnivore" diet in this case.

First, the blood type diet food lists for Blood type B again recommends "plenty of meat" instead of just "some meat". So the problems associated with a high-protein, high meat diet are still present.

Second, Blood type B are encouraged to take more milk and dairy products. Dr Peter D'Adamo even goes to the extent of saying that Asians who are lactose intolerant - meaning they cannot properly digest milk and dairy foods - should slowly incorporate more milk and dairy products into their daily diets.

I find this recommendation especially troubling, because milk and dairy foods have been associated with a long list of health problems, including female (breast, ovarian, cervial) cancers, asthma, allergies, diabetes and osteoporosis. See my article, Harm of milk.

Personally, I have advised many people to STOP taking milk and dairy products and all of them regardless of their blood type, have reported significant improvements in health.

Blood type AB

Finally, Blood Type AB are recommended to follow the blood type diet food lists of both Blood type A and Blood type B. So while they would benefit from many of the positive attributes of the Blood type A diet, they would also put themselves at risks from the harm of milk and dairy products.


In summary, I would say that following Dr Peter D'Adamo's blood type diet food lists can result in both good and harm. In particular, Blood type O should be more prudent with regards eating "plenty of meat" whlle Blood type B should question the wisdom of taking plenty of milk and dairy foods.

As for those who benefit from following the blood type diet food lists, those benefits are obviously real and I would not discount them. I would question, however, whether those benefits arise because of blood type, or because of some other reason. And whether the benefits will continue to be enjoyed after many years remains to be seen.

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