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Diet Series: Blood type diet and FODMAP diet

Blood type diet

The food we eat reacts chemically with your blood type

The blood type diet has been created by naturopath Peter J. D’Adamo. The idea behind it is that the food we eat reacts chemically with your blood type, so the food should be appropriate for the blood type we have. In this way, your body will digest and process the food more efficiently. Other than specific foods you should eat, he also recommends his own line of food supplements. If you are not aware of your blood type and you want to follow this diet, you need to find this out first. It might be a very restrictive diet as it does not consider personal taste: if you like meat and you are A blood type well… it is going to be difficult.

Type O blood: The diet for this blood group is based on a high-protein diet mostly constituted by lean meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables, and very light on grains, beans, and dairy. D’Adamo also recommends various supplements to help with intestinal disorders and other digestive issues he says people with this blood type tend to have.

Type A blood: The diet for this blood group is a meat-free diet. It is essentially based on fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, and whole grains — ideally, organic and fresh, because D’Adamo says that people with type A blood have a sensitive immune system compare to the other types.

Type B blood:  People with this blood group should avoid corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Chicken can also be problematic. He encourages eating mostly green vegetables, eggs, certain type of meats, and also low-fat dairy.

Type AB blood: People with this blood group need to focus on foods like tofu, seafood, dairy, and green vegetables. D’Adamo says people with type AB blood tend to have low levels of stomach acid. For this reason, is better to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and also smoked or cured meats.

Some studies have been done on this diet, and in particular one study found that adults following the type A diet showed improved health markers, but this is true for every participant of the study, which are also on the other type diets. In 2013 however, a major review concluded that there was not enough evidence to support benefits of blood type diets. This can be easily explained by the fact that this diet does not take into account the specific health needs of the individuals. For example, people with high blood pressure or cardiovascular diseases might not do well on a high protein diet. Same issue for people with diabetes, they might experience some problems as this diet cuts out a lot of food groups. Overall, it is likely that you lose weight as the diet can be very restrictive. As a rule on The Blood Type Diet, you’ll certainly avoid processed food and simple carbs. That may be already enough to help you lose some weight. But any weight loss on this diet has not been linked specifically to your blood type. Moreover, there’s also no research proving that this diet can aid in digestion or give you more energy. On top of that, this type of diet may quickly become expensive too, since D’Adamo recommends eating organic food as well as using his own line of food supplements.

FODMAP Diet

This type of diet is based on the elimination (temporarily) of foods containing FODMAP. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols, which are short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that are not absorbed well by the body, resulting, in some people, in abdominal pain and bloating. They ferment in the large intestine during digestion, drawing in water and producing hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane gas which causes the intestine to expand. This causes gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating and pain that are common in disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). FODMAP occurs naturally in some foods and in others as additives. They include fructose (present in fruits and vegetables), fructans (it is like fructose, found in some vegetables and grains), lactose (dairy), galactans (found in legumes), and polyols (artificial sweeteners).

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols, which are short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols

Research has also indicated that appears to exist a cumulative effect of these foods on symptoms. In other words, if you are eating more high-FODMAP foods at the same time it will add up, giving you symptoms that you might not experience if you ate the same foods isolated. Foods and drinks to avoid on a low FODMAP diet are: some vegetables and fruits, beans, lentils, wheat, dairy products with lactose, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners. Examples of foods and drinks to eat on this diet are certain vegetables and fruits, lactose free dairy, hard cheeses, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, soy, rice, oats, quinoa, non-dairy milks, and small servings of nuts and seeds. This diet cuts out many common foods that may contain high FODMAP foods, so it is very restrictive. They are eliminated or severely limited usually for 3-8 weeks, then they are gradually reintroduced one by one, into a low-FODMAP diet to see if they cause symptoms (elimination diet). Of course, it’s not meant to be a long-term solution because of its very restrictive nature, but it may work well enough to be considered as an alternative treatment for people with gastrointestinal (GI) problems in an acute phase.

These foods are not necessarily unhealthy products. Some of them contain fructans, inulin, and galactooligosaccharides (GOS), which are healthy prebiotics that help stimulate the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Many of them are indeed good for you, but in certain people, eating or drinking them can cause gastrointestinal symptoms… it really depends on you.

A low FODMAP diet cuts out many common products that are contained in certain foods. The principle behind this diet is to give the gut a chance to heal especially for those people with IBS. This diet (as well as the blood type one) may be difficult to follow, and it is advisable to contact your health care professional or a dietitian to make sure that you are on the right track and getting enough dietary nutrients.

Team MM