Eat Right For Your Type

by Khushboo on April 15, 2013

Hello there!  I couldn’t post a blog today without another huge CONGRATULATIONS to my cousin sister KK & brother-in-law-to-be Mangal on their recent engagement….if the weekend is anything to go by, the fun is just beginning ;)!

KK & Mangal

The other day I flicked through a book which has sat on my bookshelf for the past few years: Eat Right For Your Type The diet explains that blood type is the key that unlocks the door to the mysteries of health, disease, longevity, physical vitality and emotional strength. This is primarily because our blood type influences every area of our physiology on a cellular level. Ultimately individuals are encouraged to make dietary, exercise, and supplement choices based on whether they are blood type A, B, AB, or O.  The book goes on to categorize of foods as Highly Beneficial, Foods to avoid, and Neutral depending on the blood group in question.

When I first read the book in 2008, I got on board with it.  Although my main motive for doing it was weight loss, I was looking forward to experiencing benefits beyond the scale .  As someone with blood type B, that meant cutting back on all wheat products (Bye bye bread, cous cous, pasta), more eggs and oatmeal, less chicken and tomato-based foods to name a few.

blood type

During the month I followed it to the letter, I didn’t feel any different nor did I lose weight I hoped.  The only thing I lost was my mind.  Eating healthy is one thing, but eating healthy based around food restrictions is something completely different. As I skimmed through the book again last week, I couldn’t help but wince.  While the blood group diet might work for some, there are 3 main reasons why it’s not for me:

1) For starters, it’s a bit too generic for my liking.  Ironically enough, the cover contains the following words

“The individualized diet solution to staying healthy, living longer, and achieving your ideal weight”

Each one of our bodies are individually designed and our needs extend beyond our blood type.  While blood might determine the way we absorb nutrients, so many other organs and bodily parts are also involved in digestion & absorption.  It’s far too simplistic to say that a person’s body won’t respond well to certain foods merely based on his/her blood.  Also with over 7 billion in the world, a plan based on 4 different diets (i.e. blood type A, B, AB, & O) hardly sounds individualized to me.

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2) There are numerous off-limit foods which unnecessarily deprive individuals of certain nutrients.  For example dairy & grains are off-limits for O’s.  I’m sure you’re all aware of the calcium value in dairy which is necessary for healthy bones and the fiber content in wholegrains which promote heart health.  An O-type person should actually physically experience symptoms from such foods or have an actual intolerance before taking it out of his/her diet.

3) Regardless of your health status, nutritional needs, and goals, food should nourish you both physically & mentally.  By no means am I the epitome of perfect health but I’ve never felt better.  After years of trying different foods, combinations, diets, eating schedules, etc I think I’ve finally reached a point where I am better informed of what my body thrives on and am eating what I enjoy.  Based on my usual diet, that includes both foods which are allegedly highly beneficial and foods which I “should” avoid:

  • Oatmeal- Highly Beneficial
  • Apples-Neutral
  • Eggs- Highly Beneficial
  • Peanut butter- Avoid
  • Chickpeas- Avoid
  • Chocolate- Neutral
  • Cinnamon- Avoid
  • Rye bread- Avoid
  • Chicken- Avoid
  • Salmon- Neutral
  • Carrots- Highly Beneficial
  • Zucchini- Neutral
  • Almonds- Neutral
A snack I should apparently avoid....whoops

A snack I should apparently avoid….whoops

Books & eating plans like the blood group diet are available at a dime a dozen and new “discoveries’ are constantly going to come about.  If you try it and it works, great…but don’t get carried away with thinking such guidelines are the ‘be all end all’. Ultimately it comes down to trial and error, and eating a healthy diet should never have to be so trivial.   The next time I personally worry about my blood type is if I’m in ever in need of a transfusion or choose to donate blood.

What do you think of the Blood Group Diet?

What foods make you feel your best? 

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Allison @ Life's a Bowl April 15, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I’ve never heard about this diet and I’m glad I haven’t – there are so many fad diets that claim this and that… When so many no-no’s and restrictions are around I think it makes us crave those things even more.

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Khushboo April 15, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I couldn’t agree more…restrictions are just a bad idea period!

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Reena April 15, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Hi Khushboo,

I love peanut butter! and i know you do 😀
Do you recommend any particular brand?? that is ofcourse better than something and “healthier”

Thanks!
p.s. love your blogs!

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Khushboo April 15, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Thanks Reena! I usually use Skippy Natural but am open to using any brand of natural peanut butter for the most part. In general look out for a peanut butter with a minimal ingredient list and doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils.

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ritika April 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm

hey remember a couple of months back i was asking you about this diet… and i am 100% with you on this – such diets are absolutely misleading (mostly) . what are your thoughts on cashew butter… was reading an article the other day, which said it’s a healthy butter :-O

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Khushboo April 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm

As long as it contains minimal ingredients, any kind of nut butter is great :)!

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Min April 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm

You’re right…the title crack me up! The word individualized is even highlighted!! No grains or dairy for type O?!? Are you kidding me? I’m Asian..I need my brown rice and calcium ;). Since when did eating get so difficult? Just eat in moderation. No deprivation.

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Khushboo April 15, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Haha you know there’s something wrong when freakin’ brown rice is deemed as “off limits”.

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. April 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm

I’ve never read the book, but I’ve heard about the blood type diet and thought it was pretty funny. Actually, what’s probably funniest is that my mom thinks it’s actually legit because it sounds so scientific, but what she probably doesnt know is that a lot of studies have been done that debunk it. I definitely don’t think that anyone can give us a perfect example of a diet that will work for us – it’s all about experimenting with different things and figuring it out on our own. And while I feel like I’m constantly doing that, I do know that yogurt, plenty of fruit, animal protein, and a good amount of carbs is what works for me.

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Khushboo April 15, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Animal protein definitely suits me better too. I just tucked into a bowl of yogurt, cereal and applesauce (oh so delicious) as I’m trying to wean back yogurt in small amounts!

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Picky Nicky April 15, 2013 at 5:24 pm

My anatomy teachers spoke about this a while ago, he said it’s bullshit 😛

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Khushboo April 15, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Your anatomy teacher is a smart man 😉

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles April 15, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Avoid cinnamon? and Chickpeas (ergo: hummus)? Nope, refuse.
I’ve heard about that diet and I’ve always thought that it’s a little odd…I just don’t see the connection between blood type and diet. And I wouldn’t be able to follow it right now even if I wanted to because…I actually have no idea what my blood type is. I remember asking my mom a few years back and she didn’t know either.

As for what works for me: lots of eggs/whites, animal proteins, a decent amount of carbs (sweet potatoes, oats, and rice being the go-tos), fats in the form of nut butters, olive/coconut oil and avocado. Keeps me satisfied and happy!

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Khushboo April 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Our diets are pretty much on par :)! I’ve definitely noticed that my body prefers animal protein over plant-based proteins!

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Parita @ myinnershakti April 15, 2013 at 6:15 pm

I agree with you that these types of diets/diet books are a dime a dozen. They sound great in theory but (like you said) how can 4 “types” of diets fit over 6 billion people?! Not possible. I wish people would promote healthy eating in a different, much simpler way – eating foods in their natural state, making sure to get some good fats, including protein in every meal…and of course, a square (or two) of dark chocolate every night.

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Khushboo April 15, 2013 at 6:56 pm

It’s books/plans like that which healthy eating seem difficult and daunting! As you broke it down, eating nutritiously doesn’t have to be complicated!

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Honey What's Cooking April 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm

I wouldn’t fall for the Blood Group Diet, it is way too generic. I think it’s just better to eat healthy for most meals, and I do believe in eating fewer carbs and more protein. It does work for the most part. Feel good foods – I love avocados, banana, oatmeal, salmon, cooked green veggies.

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Khushboo April 15, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Along with not overdoing it with carbs, I find that the type of carb makes a huge difference for me. I love pasta but can’t eat it daily…carbs like quinoa, oats and sweet potato, on the other hand, always make me feel great!

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Meghan @ After the Ivy League April 15, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Oatmeal is highly beneficial…but its perfect pairing of peanut butter should be avoided? No way haha. I totally agree with your approach, any diet based on restriction is a dangerous one. Eating what you crave and what makes you feel good is the way to go. Although I am kind of interested in finding out my “avoid” foods out of curiosity’s sake! Can’t remember what my blood type is though haha

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Khushboo April 15, 2013 at 9:59 pm

If you ever remember your blood type, let me know & I’m happy to look up some of your “avoid” foods :)!

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Kit April 15, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Have you tried eating according to Ayurveda body types? I still don’t know whether I’m a Pita or Kapha!

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Khushboo April 15, 2013 at 9:58 pm

I haven’t tried it, nor do I know my Ayurverda body type ;)!

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Sara @ Nourish and Flourish April 15, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Congrats again to KK and Mangal! What a beautiful couple—they’re exuding so much happiness!

I’ve heard of the Blood Type Diet, but I’ve never looked into the details. Had I read this book five years ago, I’m certain I would have jumped on board and eliminated all foods deemed “bad” for O blood! I have no idea if there’s any merit behind the “Eat Right for Your Type” science, but even if there is, I still stand by eating intuitively–that is, learning how our bodies respond to foods by trial and error. I’ve found that wheat and dairy bother me, but I include dairy in small amounts because I enjoy it. 🙂

Some foods that make me feel my very best include: leafy greens, sweet potatoes, avocado, fatty fish (like salmon and trout), nuts, eggs, ginger, and dark chocolate. In fact, I’m pretty certain that I’d feel amazing if I ate those foods, and only those foods, every day! The problem is that I’m too much of a foodie–I love food and *need* variety. 😉 I’m willing to deal with tummy troubles if it means I get to enjoy my favorite ice cream!

Happy Monday, Khushboo! xoxo

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Khushboo April 16, 2013 at 10:14 am

Tummy troubles are worth it if there’s good ice cream involved ;)! It’s great that you know what foods make you feel best, especially when you want to keep your tummy woes at bay!

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Alex @ therunwithin April 15, 2013 at 10:46 pm

I was told early on to follow the blood type diet due to all my stomach problems but I never did.i wish I had given it a try though

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Khushboo April 16, 2013 at 10:13 am

If you ever try it, it would be interesting to hear your results. 🙂

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dixya@food, pleasure, and health April 15, 2013 at 10:52 pm

I agree completely on these things with you and rest of the girls here. It might be useful to few people but honestly, these books are written with no long term scientific research or anything. I think fresh, balanced diet, intuitive eating, and exercise is the way to go unless there is allergies or disease that needs special attention. you posts are so interesting as always. Happy Monday friend

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Khushboo April 16, 2013 at 10:13 am

Thanks Dixya..I’m so glad to hear that you enjoy my posts :)!

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Tara @ Sweat like a Pig April 16, 2013 at 12:02 am

That sounds so interesting! It’s good you’ve reached a point where you know what does and doesn’t work for you. I don’t even know what blood type I am, but I’m hoping it’s O because that means Paleo is the right decision for me haha 😉

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Khushboo April 16, 2013 at 10:15 am

Haha I wonder how many Paleo followers are blood type B…as apparently dairy is highly beneficial for that group :)!

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Sarah @ Feeeding th Brain and Body April 16, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I have never heard of this book or diet before, but I found it really interesting to read your review. I think the best way to figure out ones own individual foods to thrive off of is through observation and a little experimentation. I’m thinking there must be so many factors beyond just blood type. 🙂 Great review!

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Khushboo April 16, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Thanks Sarah…and I’m glad we share the same view :)!

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Abhilasha @ High on Life! April 16, 2013 at 9:31 pm

This diet surely does not pass on a good vibe! I would think 100 times before actually putting it to practice!
Food that makes me feel the best are plain yogurt, mangoes, oranges, and chocolates!! (not sure if they come in the category of food! 😉 )

Good post!

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Khushboo April 16, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Chocolate for the win :)!

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Brittany April 16, 2013 at 10:32 pm

I’m glad you mentioned that it really is trial and error. Diets are not a one size fits all kind of thing, and ultimately you have to get your hands dirty to figure out what works best for YOU as an individual!

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Khushboo April 16, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Amen 🙂

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Alexis @ Hummusapien April 16, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Avoid peanut butter? How tragic! Love your views on this book… you definitely have to do your research these days when it comes to healthy lifestyle books. I would have to say that fruit makes me feel my best…it’s just so fresh and delish!

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Khushboo April 16, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Same goes for vegetables…why go on a cleanse when you can naturally detox with fruits & veggies!

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Liz @ I Heart Vegetables April 17, 2013 at 2:25 am

Hmm that book sounds weird. Like why would cinnamon be avoided?! Sounds a little crazy!

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Khushboo April 17, 2013 at 10:46 am

When spices are deemed off limits, you know it’s a bit of an extremist approach!!

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P April 17, 2013 at 8:19 am

The fad diets they come up with are insanely hilarious. How in the world did he come up with that idea? Blood types differ by what antigens blood cells display on their surfaces/antibodies you produce…how is that supposed to affect what you eat? 😛

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Khushboo April 17, 2013 at 10:47 am

Your guess is as good as mine 🙂

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Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets April 18, 2013 at 3:15 am

I actually heard about the blood type diet and did a little investigating, although I never read the book. It recommended a lot of foods I don’t enjoy and said I should avoid a bunch of foods I do enjoy, which are actually healthy (hello peanut butter) so I scratched the whole concept pretty quickly.
Much like you, I’ve learned to eat real, whole foods, indulge occasionally, enjoy your food, practice balance and it will all work in the end. As a matter of fact, I feel better than I ever have, and after 15 years of trying to lose weight, I’m finally at the same weight I was in high school and have been since July. So I’m not even trying to lose weight anymore. It’s all maintenance for me now, and I love what I eat and I don’t feel deprived at all. It seems so simple to me, yet billions of dollars are spent on quick fixes which aren’t really sustainable.
P.S. You rock.

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Khushboo April 18, 2013 at 10:08 am

Love your approach and the fact that you’ve found a way to to maintain your life….without cashing out several dollars or brainpower ;)!

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Allie April 18, 2013 at 3:45 am

This just made me realize I have no idea what my blood type is…probably something I should know. And no PB?? Now that is NOT a reasonable or maintainable lifestyle change ;D

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Khushboo April 18, 2013 at 10:11 am

Sometimes ignorance is bliss :)!

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