Applied Health JournalTopics of Health and Natural Healing
I began my review by feeling somewhat skeptical about this series of books. Even though, I am a definite proponent of appropriate nutrition, I still believe in moderation, and often I find that the newest "rage" diet or eating habit is temporary and with little substance. I must admit after reading this, there was a lot of information that I found intriguing and worth examining further. In Dr. D'Adamo's first book, "Eat Right For Your Type" the reader was introduced to the concept of different blood types being a factor in determining the appropriate food choices for optimum health. This concept was generally unknown to the public, until the publishing of this book.
In the second book "Cook Right For Your Type", Dr. D'Adamo reviews the concepts from "Eat Right For Your Type", with a practical, easily understood explanation of ideas and suggestions. He has also included food charts incorporating dietary recommendations for the various blood types. The majority of the book is dedicated to a selection of meal-planning ideas, with assorted recipes for the specific blood types...truly helpful when trying out this new program.
The following information is a brief summary of Dr. D'Adamo's theory and suggestions.
Even though blood type is usually considered only when a transfusion is necessary, it is a factor that cannot be ignored. Blood type affects the immune and digestive systems, and is believed to have evolved over thousands of generations.
Scientists believe the first known blood type was Type O, dating back to when humans hunted for most of their food. These "hunters" had strong immune and digestive systems. The stomach-acid content was very high, so most of the proteins and nutrients could be derived from the meat that was consumed.
As humans began to settle more in various geographical locations, they began a more agricultural lifestyle, gathering and growing their food. It is supposed that around 25,000 and 15,000 B.C., the Type A blood emerged, with the digestive system adapting to a predominance of foods from plants, grains, and fish. These new Type A's are referred to as "cultivators".
Approximately 15,000 and 10,000 B.C., some people began moving away from the "agrarian" Type A communities, and the Type O "hunting" lifestyle, to become wandering tribal societies. The B blood type began to appear. These were the "nomads". Traveling in large groups, their sustenance depended on meat and dairy from their herds of cattle, sheep, goats, and whatever else they could find along the way. Because Type B's developed immune and digestive characteristics that were similar to both Type O's and Type A's, these people had more tolerant, and balanced, immune and digestive systems than the two groups before them.
It was not until about ten to fifteen hundred years ago, that the Type AB blood began to emerge. This blood type is still the most rare. It is often referred to as "the enigma", because it is still unclear as to why this type evolved. Type AB blood carries with it the strengths and weaknesses of both Type A and Type B, with the immune/digestive systems being more complicated than either individually.
Each blood type has specific biochemical differences, due to "antigens". Dr. D'Adamo defines "antigens" as:
"...chemical markers that are found on the cells. Antigens spark the production of antibodies. Each blood type possesses a different antigen with its own special chemical structure."
In simple terms, Dr. D'Adamo explains that the chemical structure of the various blood types have protrusions extending from the cell, similar to "antennae", which are made of long "sugar" chains called "fucose". Blood Type O has one of these antennae.
Type A blood looks like Type O in every aspect, except it contains two antennae. Type A antennae are comprised of the Type O antigen, fucose, combined with another sugar, called N-acetyl-galactosamine.
Type B also has two antennae, but while the first antenna is made of Type A's antigen (fucose, plus N-acetyl-galactosamine), the other is made of a different sugar called "D-galactose" in combination with fucose.
Type AB has three antennae radiating from the cell. The first antenna contains Type O's antigen "fucose"; the second antenna has Type A's "N-acetyl-galactosamine"; and the last antenna is made of Type B's "D-galactose". So, it takes the sugar chains in all three blood types to make blood Type AB.
The previous explanation of blood types should do more than give us a headache, while we try to picture these blood cells. It will, hopefully, explain why there would be a different chemical reaction between the various blood types and the different foods consumed.
There are certain "factors" called "lectins", which are various proteins found in foods. These lectins have "sticking" properties that affect the blood. When foods are consumed that are incompatible with a specific blood type, the lectins begin to cause a sticky/gluing (agglutinating) reaction with the blood cells, and in effect, interfere with the body's functions of normal digestion, insulin production, hormonal balance, and the immune system. Many scientific reports have addressed the effects of lectins on the blood cells. This is why it is important to avoid lectins that are not conducive to a specific blood type.
For example, a highly common lectin, called "gluten", is found in wheat. Different from soy, for some blood types (particularly Type O) this lectin binds itself to the lining of the small intestine, causing or aggravating intestinal disorders, such as colitis or Crohn's Disease.
In Dr. D'Adamo's words, "We are predisposed to certain strengths and weaknesses according to our blood types. We can maximize our strengths and minimize our weaknesses by knowing what our bodies need, and by feeding ourselves, and our families accordingly...Certain foods complement certain blood types. Other foods antagonize and debilitate particular blood types. By stressing the complementary foods and eliminating clearly antagonistic foods, you can promote the best possible balance for your immune and digestive systems."
In general, people with Type O blood respond best to high protein diets of meat, poultry, fish, and various fruits and vegetables. Usually grains, legumes, and dairy are not complimentary to blood Type O.
Type A's are well-suited to a primarily vegetarian diet. This would include protein largely being derived from soy, a small amount of fish, beans, legumes, grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Type B's include game meat, such as venison, and herd meat, such as lamb. Type B is not complimentary with chicken; however, dairy products are very beneficial. Vegetables and fruits are compatible with the blood, but certain grains, beans and legumes may not be. Type B tends to be the most varied of the diets.
Type AB can eat most of the foods that are good for Type A and Type B diets, individually; however, the non-complimentary foods from both groups need to also be avoided. Type AB is typically a vegetarian base, incorporated with some meat and dairy.
These are only general guidelines for the various blood types. Specific and detailed information is given in both books "Eating Right For Your Type" and "Cooking Right For Your Type". Dr. D'Adamo's food charts are easy reference for each blood type. He reports that "hundreds of thousands of people have discovered, eating right for your blood type can...result in immediate changes." Such as:
- weight loss
- normalizing insulin production
- eliminating troublesome digestive problems
- improve energy and stamina
- combat serious illnesses, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease
- lessen common viruses and infections
- eliminate toxins and fats that encourage obesity
- slow the cell deterioration process
Dr. D'Adamo believes there are "no absolutes in this book." He recommends that we need to first be open to changing our eating habits, and to be willing to try even a few basic steps. He also has a small section suggesting that combining (or "not" combining) certain food groups can be beneficial. To say the least, I have found Dr. D'Adamo's book to be logical and thought-provoking. His ideas are solid enough to warrant consideration by individuals concerned about their food selections and health.
'Cook Right For Your Type' is available at Dr. D'Adamo's bookstore at the following location: www.dadamo.com
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