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Bloody exciting

Diet plans based on your blood type could help you emerge healthier and happier. You may have heard of the blood type diet plans, which were popularised by Dr Peter D’Adamo when he discovered that patients with...

brunch Updated: Sep 22, 2012 16:42 IST
Shikha Sharma
Shikha Sharma
Hindustan Times

You may have heard of the blood type diet plans, which were popularised by Dr Peter D’Adamo when he discovered that patients with a particular blood group responded differently to specific types of foods they consumed. His theories – eating foods that fit your blood group (A, B, O, +ve or -ve and combinations thereof) – were initially met with much scepticism. Many refused to take it seriously, citing lack of clinical trials and research evidence. But over the years, more members of the scientific community are looking into research and analysis of his popular diet plans.

What it’s based on
The premise of the diet is that one’s blood group is the reflection of one’s genetic structure. This coding not only manifests itself through the colour of one’s eyes, height, weight, hair and other features but also determines the kind of metabolism the person has inherited. So individuals of a specific blood group are likely to respond best to specific kinds of foods.

What kind of meals to expect

Blood group ‘A’

For group A patients, the recommended foods include wheat and wheat products. This means more rotis, bread, pasta, kulchas, bakery products and noodles. It also encourages green vegetables, teas (especially green tea), light pulses and lentils. But warns against excess heavy meat (even chicken) and dairy. Fish, in small amounts, and all fruits are fine.

The blood group ‘B’
Those with a B blood group, on the other hand, should thrive on milk, curd, paneer and other dairy products – so long as they choose skimmed or low-fat milk if they follow a less active lifestyle. It discourages the consumption of chicken but greenlights other kinds of meat. But wheat products and high glycemic index foods such as rice, biscuits, sooji and maida are to be avoided. All green vegetable are beneficial to the blood type and low-sugar fruits work best.

The blood group ‘O’

D’Adamo claims that this is the earliest human blood group. The blood group O is associated with acidic constitutions or body chemistries that are more acidic than alkaline. Since the natural pH of the body should be 7.4 and leans acidic in any case, naturally acidic constitutions have to work harder to keep the body in balance. So it’s recommended that people with this blood type stay away from foods that generate acids upon digestion. They should cut down on non-vegetarian food, pickles, alcohol, fired foods, dairy and too much wheat and maida. What works better are all kinds of vegetables (especially leafy ones), rice, potato, black chana, all lentils, and fruits – especially melons.

Blood group ‘AB’
If your blood is of the AB type, it has compatibility with the A as well as the B group. As a result, foods of both blood types suit the body. The only thing to watch out for is the quantities in which food is consumed. AB types tend to gain weight after their 30s.

Are you +ve or -ve?
Of course, blood groups are as much about the rhesus factor (+ or -) as the letters that come before it. Not much is known about how they are affected by diet. But it is advisable that those with a negative factor avoid dairy as well.

How scientific the plan is

The plan is based on the fact the we all have a unique genetic structure. The new science of nutrigenetics works towards understanding how the body functions and looks for clues to how blood group and genetics are related. A lot of nutrigenetics research links genetic structure to specific treatments. Eating for your blood group, is therefore the first step to working out the right nutrition for your DNA. You cannot change your genes, you cannot escape your DNA destiny, but work with what you were born with, and you might just adjust to life better.

Even celebs love it!
In Hollywood (and closer home as well) several celebrities have used Peter D’Adamo’s book Eat Right 4 Your Type as their guide to looking and feeling their best. Demi Moore has been a fan, as has Elizabeth Hurley, Sir Cliff Richard, Cheryl Cole and Courteney Cox Arquette.

One of the newest converts has been Australian model Miranda Kerr, who believes that the blood-type diet is the key to maintaining her lean, healthy physique. The 28-year-old, who has type-A blood, started following the eating plan eight years ago and now has a vegetarian-based diet, high in organic vegetables, fresh juices and legumes. In Bollywood, Akshay Kumar and Sanjay Dutt have
experimented with the diet.

From HT Brunch, September 23

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First Published: Sep 21, 2012 16:33 IST