Sunday, 19 December 2010

Diet #7, The Blood Type Diet

I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I was delighted to get an A+ in my blood test results. In all honesty, I thought that there was only blood type 'O', and that all the other types were made up for dramatic effect by writers of soap operas (you know the one, when the child needs a kidney, and it turns out they're an 'O' and their parents are A, and they must have been switched at birth...)

Here's a brief description of the groups (with thanks to Wikipedia...)

"Blood group O is believed by D'Adamo to be the hunter, the earliest human blood group. The diet recommends that this blood group eat a higher protein diet. D'Adamo bases this on the belief that O blood type was the first blood type, originating 30,000 years ago. Blood group A is called the cultivator by D'Adamo, who believes it to be a more recently evolved blood type, dating back from the dawn of agriculture, 20,000 years ago. The diet recommends that individuals of blood group A eat a diet emphasizing vegetables and free of red meat, a more vegetarian food intake. Blood group B is, according to D'Adamo, the nomad, associated with a strong immune system and a flexible digestive system. The blood type diet claims that people of blood type B are the only ones who can thrive on dairy products and estimates blood type B arrived 10,000 years ago. Blood group AB, according to D'Adamo, the enigma, the most recently evolved type, arriving less than 1,000 years ago. In terms of dietary needs, his blood type diet treats this group as an intermediate between blood types A and B"
Reading up on the different types, Type A's are described as "sensitive to the needs of others, good listeners, detail oriented, analytical, creative and inventive". As none of these words describe me, I think that there's a good chance that the lady at the hospital might have just chosen the lazy option, and picked the first choice on the list. She obviously wasn't a "detail-oriented" 'A' either. Type 'A's are supposed to limit their exposure to:
  • Crowds of people, and loud noise
  • Negative emotions
  • Smoking
  • Strong smells or perfumes
  • Too much sugar and starch
  • Overwork
  • Violent TV and movies
  • Lack of sleep
  • Extreme weather conditions 
I am also supposed to choose calming exercise, like Tai  Chi and Hatha Yoga.

The thing that really makes me laugh about these diets are that their proponents are all 'Doctors'. Dr D'Adamo is the main advocate of this diet, and Dr Lam's website lists the foods that I should choose and avoid. Closer inspection reveals that Dr D'Adamo is a 'Naturopathic' Doctor, and Dr Lam is a trademark. You can even call 1-800-DRLAM-88. All of their websites refer to "scientific studies", but none are ever credited or detailed.

As an 'A', I need to avoid all meats, and many fish, including anchovy, beluga (as if), eel, frog, haddock, herring, lobster, lox (I've got a shedload in the freezer, which is where it will stay for another week), octopus, shrimp, tilefish and turtle (a real delicacy in east London). Most dairy products are not digestible for type A's, and I can eat peanuts and pumpkin seeds, but not cashews and pistachios (which would be fine for every single week except this one - christmas week!). Beans are out, but lentils and black-eyed peas are in (I have no idea what these are, but I think I can download them from itunes), wheat is out, as are peppers, olives, potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, mushrooms. Garlic, onions, broccoli, artichoke, romaine, carrots and spinach are in. Berries good, melons bad, orange bad, grapefruits and pineapples good.

I still think that I'm more of an 'O' – leadership, extroversion, energy and focus are among the best traits. Type O’s can be powerful and productive, however, when stressed Type O’s response can be one of anger, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, but I'll try this dairy & wheat-free week, and see what happens...

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