What should you be eating and doing to manage your lifestyle, according to Dr D’Adamo?
Dr D’Adamo maintains that each of us shares a common bond with our ancestors. This bond is fundamentally based on our blood type and the genetic information that has resulted in specific characteristics passed down through generations. It’s not just all about food habits.
Blood types are either secretors or non-secretors (this refers to the ability to secrete blood type antigens into tissues and fluids or not) and exist in every grouping (i.e. Type B’s can be both secretors and non-secretors etc.). A secretor places their blood type into their bodily tissues and fluids (such as saliva). A non-secretor places none or very little of their blood type into these areas of the body. Non-secretors lack the FUT2 secretor gene, which can be determined through blood analysis. Dr D’Adamo uses a unique software (a genomic test kit to assess a person’s status) of his own as part of his offering for personalised plans.
Dr D'Adamo defines the blood types as follows:
Type O – 'The Hunter'
- The individual: Type O’s are the only blood group to carry two opposing antibody types (one against type A and the other against type B). Type O’s may be predisposed to illnesses and ailments such as thyroid disorders, stomach acid issues and ulcers. Type O’s are better able to digest foods that are both high in protein and fat than other groups. There are two chemicals used in the digestive tract (intestinal alkaline phosphatase and ApoB48, a lipoprotein) which are secreted in higher quantities. Thus, type O’s efficiently metabolise cholesterol in animal products, as well as calcium. The downside is that carbohydrates are more easily converted to fats and triglycerides (these are stored in fat cells) and high levels of these in the blood are often an indicator of increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Lectins in grains can also react negatively in type O’s by causing auto-immunity or inflammation in the body. Type O’s are ‘fight or flight” people when it comes to stress reactions. Excessive anger, hyperactivity, and temper tantrums are enough to cause a chemical imbalance in the body, making type O’s susceptible to destructive behaviours, especially when depressed, bored or incredibly tired. That said the release of dopamine and associated feelings of reward are also on the agenda, making them vulnerable to certain behaviours relating to risk-taking, sensation-seeking, substance abuse or impulsivity. Type O’s are said to be prone to asthma, hay fever, and other allergies, as well as arthritis.
- The diet should include: Lean, organic meats, fish, poultry, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.
- The diet should restrict or avoid: Wheat, dairy, grains, potatoes, legumes, caffeine and alcohol.
- Lifestyle habits: Type O’s can benefit from brisk, regular (3 to 4 times a week) exercise that targets the cardiovascular and muscular skeletal systems. This in turn has a beneficial chemical response to emotional well-being. Aerobic activity for at least 30 to 45 minutes a session is the best way to energise a type O body.
Type A – 'The Agrarian or Cultivator'
- The individual: Type A’s emerged as a result for the struggle to survive when hunting game stock began to become scarce. Great game herds in Africa, for instance, began to dwindle rapidly and humans were forced out of their ancestral homes into Europe and Asia. This led to the establishments of communities which were stabilised with the cultivation of livestock and grains (effectively phasing out the hand-to-mouth ‘hunting’ lifestyle). Type A’s eventually became able to utilise nutrients from carbohydrate sources, which to this day affects this group’s digestive structure. Type A’s have low levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, but high levels of intestinal disaccharide digestive enzymes. This enables efficient digestion of carbohydrates, but also makes a type A body less able to metabolise fats and animal proteins as effectively. Type A’s also, due to the nature of developed communities over the ages, favour structured, harmonious and rhythmic lifestyles, surrounded by positive and supportive individuals. Type A’s can develop an increased sense of isolation with the harried pace of society and thus internalise stress. Balance is key for type A’s and these individuals tend to prefer a proactive mix of lifestyle strategies, gentle exercise, mental clarity and hormonal equalisers. Internalised stress (which results in naturally high levels of cortisol, a stress hormone) can negatively impact a type A’s health and can lead to conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular
disease or other problems such as disrupted sleep patterns, daytime brain fog or mental exhaustion, muscle loss and fat gain. Insulin resistance, obsessive-compulsive disorder and hyperthyroidism are also negative effects for type A’s. This blood group is often described as analytical, a good listener, creative, detail-orientated, inventive and sensitive to the needs of others.
- The diet should include: Soy proteins, grains and vegetables should be eaten in as natural a state as possible (organic and fresh). Type A’s best benefit from a vegetarian diet. Type A’s can consume protein, but it is best eaten at the start of a day (and in lesser amounts at the end).
- The diet should restrict or avoid: Sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Type A’s should also be mindful of skipping meals and rather eat smaller or more frequent meals to stabilise blood sugar levels.
- Lifestyle habits: Type A’s fare better by limiting exposure to loud noise, crowds of people, violent movies and television programmes and extreme weather conditions (very hot or cold). Smoking, strong smells, excess sugar and starch, lack of sleep and overworking can also negatively impact the system of a type A and intensify susceptibility to stress. Elevated cortisol make it more difficult for type A’s to overcome stress. Calming exercise works best for this blood group – yoga, Tai Chi, deep breathing and medication (30 to 45 minutes a session, at least 3 times a week). Intense, physical activity is not necessarily advised against for type A’s, but merely needs to be balanced. Overtraining or too much (intense) aerobic activity can elevate cortisol levels.
Type B – 'The Nomad'
- The individual: The doctor ties this type with ‘balance’ and believes that the blood group developed in the area of the Himalayan highlands (now Pakistan and India). Populations were from the hot and lush savannahs of eastern Africa and migrated to the cold Himalayan mountains. The body thus needed to adapt as a result of climatic changes. The blood type emerged in the great tribes of steppe dwellers (Caucasian and Mongolian) who dominated Eurasian plains and eventually the Indian subcontinent as well. Tribes developed a strong lifestyle of herding and domesticating animals. Diets became heavily based on meat and cultured dairy products. Migration patterns have resulted in high type B population numbers in Japan, China, Mongolia, India and North Korea. Type B’s are thus able to thrive in changeable conditions but are highly sensitive to the effects of slipping out of balance. Like type A’s, B groups are also prone to higher than normal levels of cortisol when under stress which can make them more susceptible to inflammation and Syndrome X (slow growing / lingering viruses such as multiple sclerosis and lupus), diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. Type B’s are also easy-going, natural-born networkers, idealistic, subjective, intuitive, insightful, creative, flexible and original by nature. Type B’s are said to learn best through listening, taking time for reflection and interpreting their observations for themselves. Type B’s have a high allergy threshold and only typically develop allergic reactions by eating incorrect foods.
- The diet should include: Lamb or mutton, goat, rabbit, venison, eggs, green vegetables and low-fat dairy.
- The diet should restrict or avoid: Corn, wheat, lentils, buckwheat, peanuts, sesame seeds and tomatoes. These foods affect the metabolic process and contribute to weight gain in type B’s, causing problems with fatigue, hypoglycaemia and fluid retention. Chicken should also be avoided due to agglutinating lectins that attack the bloodstream, which can then lead to the development of immune disorders or stroke.
- Lifestyle habits: High levels of cortisol can contribute to depression, hyperthyroidism and insulin resistance. Type B’s are supposedly able to gain physiological relief from stress and achieve emotional balance through meditation and visualisation techniques. Thus, physical exercise that challenges the mind as well as the body is best for type B’s. Tennis, martial arts, golf, hiking and cycling are best suited to type B’s. This group can fare well by keeping their mental capacity sharp too by doing tasks that require concentration, such as crossword puzzles or learning a new language.
Type AB – 'The Enigma'
- The individual: Type AB’s are rare (less than 5% of the world’s populations) and came about due to intermingling (rather than evolution which applies to all other groups) between types A and B (A and B gene variations or alleles happily co-exist with one another in this group). Type AB’s share benefits and challenges of the two blood groups (A and B), displaying characteristics that lean towards being more A-like at times, and B-like at others, or even a fusion of both. This group is prone to low stomach acid (like type A’s), but also shows an adaptation to meats (like type B’s). Thus, type AB’s lack enough stomach acid to metabolise meat, which is then stored as fat. This can result in problems such as stomach cancer. This group has fewer issues with allergies, but are more prone to anaemia, cancer and heart disease. Type AB’s are thought to be spiritual, intuitive, passionate (especially when it comes to belief structures), emotional, friendly, empathetic and trusting. Did you know, Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy were type AB’s?
- The diet should include: Seafood (such as salmon, sardines, red snapper, tuna and mahi-mahi), tofu, green vegetables, beans, grains and dairy (especially yoghurt).
- The diet should restrict or avoid: Caffeine, alcohol, smoked or cured meats. Dr D’Adamo also advises type AB’s to avoid combining starch and protein in one meal as this affects digestive secretions, resulting in food staying in the stomach for longer.
- Lifestyle habits: Type AB’s most resemble type O’s when it comes to the effects of stress, but can also suffer physical consequences of high emotions (like type B’s). Internalising emotions is damaging to overall health and is best balanced out with calming activities and intense physical exercise (such as 3 days of aerobic activity, like biking or running for 45 to 60 minutes a session, and 2 days of yoga, stretching or Tai Chi).