What do you think of the concept of certain blood types needing different types of protein?

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I have been reading the book "Eat Right For Your Type" by Dr. Peter D'Adamo and I think he has some interesting ideas. My question is are you familiar with the book? And what do you think about certain blood types needing more meat protein than others? I am asking this because I am an O+ blood type who is a vegetarian. Dr. D'Adamo recommends red meat for O blood types and a lot of fish. Do you have any comments?


I have not read Dr. D'Adamo's book, but I am familiar with his ideas. I can't comment on whether his theories are "true" or not, because I have no way of knowing that for certain. No one does.

I do think the theory/concept is generally plausible and interesting, and may indeed have some bearing on why some people are more comfortable with certain diets than others.

I also think that people can eat a healthy diet and be generally fit whether or not they eat animal products. However, I think most evidence shows that vegetarian diets are healthier for most people. I have chosen to be vegetarian, primarily for ethical and environmental reasons, about which I feel strongly but which involve issues other than those addressed here. I feel extremely healthy, strong and contented (both physically and emotionally) eating no fish, meat or poultry. But I wasn't a vegetarian when I first wrote BodyFueling and all other things being equal (meaning one is generally doing everything else healthily), one can eat a reasonably healthy diet without being totally vegetarian.

I do personally feel it is unlikely that anyone can be optimally healthy eating *massive* amounts of animal products--like, as the bulk of the diet. If someone feels better eating small amounts of animal products (poultry, fish, red meat, etc.) then, while I can't endorse it ethically or environmentally, from a health point of view it's fine if well-chosen and well-prepared (organic feed, no hormones, no antibiotics, etc.).

It's the "all other things being equal" part that I think is key. The real point, to me, is this: I think there is more to a healthy diet than just whether or not someone eats meat. I think there is a danger in people focusing too much on this One Thing--or the dozens and dozens of other One Things that people tend to zero in on--as "The Answer to the Healthy Diet."

There is not just one element that makes or breaks a person's diet or health. Not meat content, not fat content, not any one thing. It's all of a piece. A vegetarian can eat an extremely high fat diet or starve herself (purposely or unwittingly) or eat lots of sugary candy. A meat-eating person can do the same--or not. I believe that the issue of whether or not to eat animal products is an important one to consider, but it's not the only issue. The key is, what else are you doing?

Even if you choose correctly for yourself on this issue, it's still important to: choose the appropriate "healthy" fats and avoid bad-for-you fats; get enough complex carb to fuel you; get enough protein for tissue repair (but not the huge gobs some diet books are hyping now); eat frequently enough to keep the tank full and avoid muscle breakdown; try to choose organically grown foods when possible and avoid toxins, chemicals, and artificial or "fake" foods; get plenty of fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals; limit refined foods, processed and junk foods, and sugar...and I could go on. The point is, you can eat meat or not eat meat, but if these other issues are not addressed, are you really going to be healthy and "have the Answer?" I think not.

That's why what *I* try to do is get people thinking about and understanding a range of relevant dietary issues--an understanding of fat, protein, carbs, frequency of eating, relationship of eating to exercise, and so on--so that the overall picture can be healthy and well-rounded.

My advice to you and to anyone who asks "should I follow this approach?" is this: do what feels right to you on this issue. If your diet is excellent in all other areas, but you feel something's missing, perhaps this is the missing link. But don't expect eating the right amount of meat for your blood type to compensate for a diet that is poor in other areas.

If you're a vegetarian and have always felt healthy and energetic, but now this book makes you worry you should change everything, I'd say stick with what you are doing. I wouldn't worry that you're "doing it wrong" if you feel really good and are happy with what you're eating and feel it works for you. If you feel good, you shouldn't suddenly doubt your own instincts because a book--any book--says it's "wrong" for you. "Type" diets do come and go, and I find the best approach is to go with the basics that are established as being really healthy, and let your body's health and fitness tell you the rest.

~ Robyn Landis

NOTE: For more on fad diets, also see "Exiting The Zone" Myth Bust, the "Confused About Carbohydrates?" Myth Bust. and the "South Beach Diet" Myth Bust as well as Experts Talk Carbs.

NOTE: Vegetarianism is also briefly discussed on pp. 110-112 of Robyn Landis's book Herbal Defense.

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