This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer for more info.

blood_type_diet

QUESTION: “Greetings Dr. Neal, I have subscribed to your podcast for over a year and have learned so much and was hoping you could answer the following question on The Blood Type Diet. The last thing I saw documented about this diet was in 2017 and that the diets proposed for each blood type would be a good choice no matter what blood type you have, but I wanted to know if there was any recent research to determine if dieting based on blood type has any real science behind this approach? Or is it just another fad diet?”

DR. NEAL: Thank you for your question. And, thank you so much for your kind words and for subscribing to the show. I appreciate you.

So, here’s the deal with the Blood Type Diet: it’s a fad. It is interesting that we haven’t heard anything about it recently.

As you mentioned, research examining whether this diet improves health has basically stopped. That was actually my first clue that this was likely a passing fad.


Listen to Dr. Neal address this topic on Episode 1113 of the podcast Optimal Health Daily.


What’s The Blood Type Diet About, Anyway?

The Blood Type Diet seemed like a promising idea on the surface. Studies looking at blood type and disease risk found that certain conditions are associated with a person’s blood type. So, it seemed natural that blood type may also influence how we absorb and metabolize foods.

In 1996 and 2004, books were published claiming that our blood contained clues from our ancestors – clues that could help us live a healthier life. And, by following a diet for your specific blood type, you are eating as your ancestors would have. And, by knowing which diseases are more common in those with specific blood types, you can reduce your risk for developing diseases (like cardiovascular disease and cancer), while at the same time, helping you feel more energetic.

Here's an example: the author of the blood type diet book claimed that those with type B blood would benefit from consuming dairy products. Why? Because it is believed that this blood type came from those that are descendants of nomadic tribes. And, nomadic tribes would have bred livestock and therefore relied on their milk for survival.

Again, interesting idea, but does the science support this theory? Sadly, no.

The Evidence

When we look carefully at the diets for each blood type, they all have something very interesting in common: they’re mostly plant-based and they discourage the consumption of highly processed foods. There’s plenty of scientific evidence showing the health benefits of following a plant-based diet.

So, here’s the question we need to ask: is eating according to your blood type potentially helpful? Or, is that swapping out burgers and fries for kale and quinoa is helping people feel better and reducing their risk for disease?

Well, there were 4 published studies examining the effects of following the blood type diet and they were poorly designed. Interestingly, one published study was conducted by someone that was about to write a book on the benefits of a blood type diet. Conflict of interest much?

Another study found that in some folks, they felt worse after following the blood type diet – their food allergy symptoms flared up. Even so, I always like to look at meta-analyses – this is where researchers look at a bunch of published studies all at once before making conclusions.

One of the most cited meta-analysis concluded… ready for it?

“There is currently no evidence that an adherence to blood type diets will provide health benefits.”

The authors of this meta-analysis go on to provide a word of caution. They say that any claims about the health benefits of blood type diets are not supported by scientific evidence.

Pretty strong words.

What To Do?

So, again, until more studies are conducted, we can confidently say that a blood type diet is a fad.

It’s possible that if someone follows this diet and begins to see positive health benefits, it may simply be because they have begun to eat more nutritious foods. They may have swapped out highly processed foods for plant-based foods which is why they feel better. And, don’t get me wrong, this is fantastic.

But, it’s likely misleading to give credit to the blood type for this.

Because, again, any claims about the health benefits of blood type diets are not supported by scientific evidence.


Listen to Dr. Neal address this topic on Episode 1113 of the podcast Optimal Health Daily.


mm

Neal Malik

Dr. Neal Malik ("Dr. Neal") is currently a professor at California State University, San Bernardino. Before this, he served as Department Chair at Bastyr University California. Dr. Neal has also published peer-reviewed scientific research and presented at national conferences.Send in your health related question and Dr. Neal will answer it on the Optimal Health Daily show!
Minimalism Tips for Family Cheat Sheet

Minimalism Tips for Family Cheat Sheet

Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on minimalism tips for family members. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and life tips!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Join my weekly newsletter for life tips, quotes, and free tools to optimize your life (and make my day)!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Minimize Your Wardrobe: Inspiration File

Minimize Your Wardrobe: Inspiration File

Enter your email to get our free Inspiration File on minimizing your wardrobe. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and life tips!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Checklist: How to Declutter Sentimental Items.

Checklist: How to Declutter Sentimental Items.

Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on decluttering sentimental items. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and life tips!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

5-Day Email Course - Get Started with Minimalism

5-Day Email Course - Get Started with Minimalism

Enter your email to join our free 5-day ecourse on getting started with minimalism. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Checklist-How to Declutter Paper

Checklist-How to Declutter Paper

Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on how to declutter paper. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Checklist - How to Declutter Books

Checklist - How to Declutter Books

Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on how to declutter books. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Checklist - How to Help Kids Learn to Declutter Toys

Checklist - How to Help Kids Learn to Declutter Toys

Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on how to help kids learn to declutter their toys. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Checklist - Bare Minimum of Items for Moving

Checklist - Bare Minimum of Items for Moving

Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on the bare minimum of items you need when moving. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Checklist - Why Personal Finance is Important

Checklist - Why Personal Finance is Important

Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on why financial literacy is important. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Cheat Sheet - How to Overcome Money Fears

Cheat Sheet - How to Overcome Money Fears

Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on overcoming money fears. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Bonus - Debt Payoff Tracker PDF

Bonus - Debt Payoff Tracker PDF

Enter your email to get our free PDF debt payoff tracker. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Cheat Sheet - How To Stay Motivated When You Feel Stuck

Cheat Sheet - How To Stay Motivated When You Feel Stuck

Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on maintaining your level of motivation. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Cheat Sheet - What Should I Do After A Deep Tissue Massage?

Cheat Sheet - What Should I Do After A Deep Tissue Massage?

Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on what to do after a deep tissue massage. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Cheat Sheet - Tips for Sitting at a Computer All Day

Cheat Sheet - Tips for Sitting at a Computer All Day

Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on tips to counter sitting at a computer all day. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Cheat Sheet - How Do I Stick to a Budget?

Cheat Sheet - How Do I Stick to a Budget?

Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on tips to stick to your budget. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Expert Tips - How to Get Over a Breakup

Expert Tips - How to Get Over a Breakup

Enter your email to get our free PDF with expert tips on getting over a breakup. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Expert Tips - How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Expert Tips - How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Enter your email to get our free PDF with expert tips on how to stop comparing yourself to others. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Expert Tips - 10 Health & Fitness Quotes

Expert Tips - 10 Health & Fitness Quotes

Enter your email to get our free PDF with health and fitness quotes from Optimal Health Daily episodes. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Cheat Sheet - Toxic Relationships

Cheat Sheet - Toxic Relationships

Enter your email to get our free PDF with tips on how to spot -- and get out of -- a toxic relationship. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration, quotes, life tips, and more!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

A Brand New You

Join our weekly newsletter for life tips, quotes, and productivity tools to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

OLD Podcast: Library

OLD Podcast: Library

Enter your email to get your password to access our handy library. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and life tips!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

5-Day Email Course - Get Started with Personal Finances

5-Day Email Course - Get Started with Personal Finances

Enter your email to join our free 5-day ecourse on improving your personal finances. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Journaling Worksheet - PDF

Journaling Worksheet - PDF

Enter your email to get a sample of our journaling worksheet PDF with quotes and templates based on Optimal Living Daily episodes. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!