We all seem to love a new diet or food fad craze that promises us an easy way to lose weight and stay fit and healthy. You only have to look at the rows of books in the health section of your local book store or hop on the internet to find out what the Hollywood stars are doing to keep fit and healthy to see the enormity of the health and wellness industry.
The majority of diet fads are just that a fad, another marketing scam to encourage you to join a tribe of extremists in the hope that you will eventually find a diet that works whilst at the same time parting with more of your hard earned cash. There are so many misconceptions about healthy eating we are getting lost in a mound of quinoa flakes, gluten free raw food paleo bars and activated almond milk. We are eating more supposedly “healthy” food than we ever have, yet as a nation we are getting bigger. I get asked so many times about what I think of the latest diet trends so here is my low down on some of the most frequently asked about popular diets.
The blood type diet has been around for over twenty years now but is still a popular diet that I get asked about all the time. The blood type diet proposes that certain foods are best eaten by certain blood types and certain foods best avoided. Each blood type is thought to represent genetic traits of our ancestors and the types of food that they would eat. The blood type theory is based on how we react to Lectins found in the foods that we eat. Lectins are proteins that bind to sugar molecules and are thought to inhibit nutrient absorption and have potentially damaging effects to the lining of our gut. There are many different lectins in food that are theorised to target specific blood types. Knowing which foods to avoid for which blood type is the basis of this diet plan.
The following blood types should eat and avoid the following foods:
Type A – The Cultivator – These people thrive best on a largely plant based diet and do not do well on red meat. Very similar to a vegetarian diet.
Type B – The Nomad – These people thrive on a mix of plant and meat based but should avoid chicken, pork, wheat and some legumes.
Type AB – The Enigma – These people are a combination of type A and type B but should avoid chicken and beef.
Type O – The Hunter – These people thrive on a diet of red meat, poultry, fish and vegetables but should avoid grains. This one is very similar to paleo.
Whilst there is little scientific evidence to support the claims in the book, many people claim that they feel better by following the blood type diet. There is a long list of foods to eat and foods to avoid for each blood type so the diet can become a bit restrictive. Following the basics of the diet without getting too pedantic about it can be beneficial for many people. Interestingly I do find that many type A’s naturally steer towards a more plant based diet whilst the real meat eaters often tend to be type O. A coincidence perhaps but it may be worth a look at.
Pros – Many people find they feel better by following the blood type diet. It is full of fresh foods and free from processed foods which may be the explanation of why so many people claim they feel better. There is no one diet fits all approach therefore some people do feel better by eating more red meat and some people feel better by cutting it out.
Cons – Little scientific evidence to back up the theories and completely cutting out food groups can result in nutritional deficiencies so a balanced diet approached always needs to be taken.