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      FITNESS TIPS FOR 10/9/2002    

"Hey, Good Lookin, Whats Your Type?"
A Review of The Blood Type Diet
by Vicki Palmer

If science could find us the perfect mate, it would probably start by
matching blood types.  Not only could you donate blood to your 
spouse in an emergency, but, if you follow this diet, you could 
actually eat the same food as each other.

The Blood Type Diet is based on the book "Eat Right 4 Your Type" and 
the more recent book "Live Right 4 Your Type" by Dr. Peter DAdamo.  
The basic idea of the book is that your blood type determines how 
different foods react in your system.  The same food can be highly 
beneficial to one blood type while highly detrimental to another blood 
type.  There are four different blood
types: A, B, AB, and O.  Blood types A and O are by far the most 
common in America.

DAdamo recommends that people with type O blood eat a fairly high
protein diet including lean beef.  He strongly urges Type Os to avoid 
wheat, corn and dairy products.  On the other hand, people with type A 
blood are encouraged to eat a diet based on plant-protein and avoid 
dense protein sources such as beef.  His reasoning is that type O 
blood is the oldest blood and evolved on a caveman-type animal food 
diet.  Blood type A came later and evolved on a more civilized, 
agrarian diet including grains and other less dense protein sources.  

People with blood type B blood are supposed to eat a diet balanced 
with meat and vegetable proteins and apparently thrive on dairy 
products.  People with the uncommon blood type of AB share certain 
dietary traits of the A and B blood types and wind up eating basically 
vegetarian with some dairy.  Each blood type is given a laundry list
of items to enjoy or avoid in each food category -- anything from 
bananas to sunflower seeds to cinnamon can be beneficial to one 
blood type and deleterious to another.

Although it reads like a dietary horoscope, there actually is a sound 
basis for the diet.  Your blood is programmed to react to a given 
entity as friend or foe based on its shape.  A negative effect causes 
agglutination of the blood cells, while a positive effect enhances 
immune system function.  The only question is just how important 
this effect is.  Certainly eating a diet with the proper balance of the 
macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbohydrates) should occupy 
the bulk of our attention.

I followed the blood type diet for about a year.  I am a blood type O 
and I did fairly well on this diet.  The main benefit I found was that 
it was the first diet I read that finally convinced me that there wasnt 
anything wrong with me because I didnt do well on a wheat-based 
diet.  It was with this book that I got my first clue that wheat was 
not an ideal food item.

My main criticism of the diet is the recommendations for the blood 
type A (and AB) diet.  He highly recommends tofu and other soy 
products as a main source of protein for Type As.  This is a 
recommendation based only on his own opinion and the politics 
of our time.  Even if it were true that Type As evolved on a 
plant-protein diet, they could not have evolved to adapt to soy
foods.  Soy foods have only been used for any extent of time in 
the Far East, an area where type B is most prevalent.  Blood 
Type As developed primarily in Europe where they never even 
saw a soy bean until this century.  DAdamo himself is a Type A, 
a naturopath, and his father was a Type A naturopath.  He grew 
up on the diet he recommends for Type As: vegetarian with
vegetables, whole grains and soy products.  It is only natural 
that his recommendations would be skewed by his own bias 
and experience.  

His primary reason for recommending that Type As avoid beef 
is that they do not produce the digestive fluids necessary to 
digest beef properly, either in the stomach or in the intestine.  
He has done research matching fluid levels to blood type and 
claims that Type As do tend to have lower levels, especially 
when compared to Type O.  Based on this same evidence, my
conclusion is the exact opposite.  Every Type A subject found 
to be deficient in digestive juices could be assumed to have 
been eating the standard American diet high in sugar and 
grains.  My conclusion is that type As are even more 
sensitive than Type Os to todays high-grain diet and that is
reflected by their low digestive juice output.  Therefore, it is e
ven more important for Type As to return to a meat-based 
caveman diet.  This could be done gradually if a person feels 
a genuine difficulty digesting meat.

My mother and my husband are both Type As.  They tried 
following the blood type diet recommendations for several 
months but wound up feeling miserable. Apart from the horrible 
taste of tofu, my husband just did not feel well after eating it.  He 
does much better eating the same food that I do as a Type O 
(not to mention its much easier for me to cook without having to 
make separate meals for each of us.)

The blood type diet may be useful in helping you locate foods 
that may be giving you trouble.  But dont let it scare you into 
following a strict regimen.  In the end, only you know which 
foods agree with you and which foods you should avoid.

Note: Vicki's new e-book "Eating Meat: The Truth Behind The 
Lies" is available for instant download at:
Eating Meat

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