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Rating Alternative Diets for Seniors

The Eat Right 4 Your Type Diet for Seniors

This diet was developed by Dr. Peter D'Adamo, a naturopathic physician who maintains that your blood type is the key to weight gain as well as to health, disease, longevity, vitality, emotional strength, and personality.

Quick Take

  • Meal plans are based on the four basic blood types
  • Diet plans can range from vegetarian to one that encourages a lot of meat consumption, depending on your blood type
  • No calorie limits but a lot of forbidden foods
  • Complex and confusing lists of foods that are allowed and forbidden, depending on blood type and ethnic background

This Diet Is Best For

No one. There's no scientific evidence to support the diet's premise, so there's no reason for anyone to subject themselves to the dietary acrobatics required to follow it. And, despite its reputation as a weight-loss diet, it's not designed for people to lose weight.

Who Should Not Try This Diet

No one should try this diet. It's a waste of time and likely to be extremely frustrating.

The Premise

According to D'Adamo, your blood type (O, A, B, or AB) is a part of your biological heritage. Each blood type handles food differently and, therefore, requires a different diet.

Type O's, for instance, are descended from hunters and must be meat eaters to maintain optimum health and to lose weight. Type A's, on the other hand, are vegetarians. Eating foods incompatible with your blood type poses considerable health risks according to this theory.

But if you stick with the complicated do's and don'ts of the different blood type diets, you are supposed to be able to fight off viruses and infections, rid the body of toxins, and even prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

This diet is promoted for overall good health, with weight loss as a side benefit. D'Adamo also claims to have discovered a critical link between blood type and aging. By following the diet, he says, you will absorb nutrients as well as you did when you were younger and slow down the aging process during your entire adult life.

The Rationale

According to D'Adamo, certain foods contain compounds called lectins that, if incompatible with your blood type, deposit themselves in tissues and damage them. Eat a food containing lectins that are incompatible with your blood type, he says, and they will target organs and cause blood cells to clump together.

D'Adamo claims that weight loss is a natural side effect of following the appropriate blood type diet. In addition, he says that incompatible lectins interfere with the production of insulin and upset the body's hormonal balance, which in turn causes weight gain. D'Adamo claims to have tested virtually all common foods for blood type reactions; his findings are the basis for the diet.

Eating on the Eat Right 4 Your Type Diet

The menus vary greatly, depending upon your blood type. For example, Type O's are supposed to eat a lot of meat, but dairy products are all but forbidden. You would need to carry the book with you at all times in order to follow the plan with accuracy.

For example, Type B's can have salmon but not sea bass. Type O's are allowed blueberries but not blackberries. And the lists go on...and on...and on. It gets even more complicated with further breakdowns into separate diet lists for Type B's who are of Asian descent and Type O's of African ancestry.

What the Experts Say

D'Adamo provides complicated and detailed biologic explanations for the blood type connection. These explanations sound impressive but have little basis in fact. Timothy Gorski, M.D., associate editor for the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, says it's a cutesy theory that's more fiction than fact. He points out that AB blood typing is only one system for identifying blood types.

There are many other blood factors that make each person's blood profile unique, which are not taken into consideration. Other doctors take exception to the idea that lectin proteins in food cause the blood to clump in people who are not genetically suited to consume it.

They say that this kind of blood coagulation is so serious and life threatening that if this were a common phenomenon, scientists and doctors would be well aware of it. And, they say, D'Adamo has presented no photographic evidence of the difference between muscle fibers in people who are eating a diet that is "correct" for their blood type and people who are not.

The diet planning is so difficult, it's tough to determine if someone would actually lose weight. D'Adamo barely addresses exercise, and again, different suggestions are made depending on blood type. Planning around the dietary do's and don'ts becomes an almost impossible task in a family, where more than one blood type is likely to coexist.

You also could end up consuming less-than-adequate amounts of some nutrients and over-consuming others, depending on which diet type you follow.

Calorie quota: There is no limit on calorie intake. However, serving sizes sometimes vary according to the dieter's ethnicity and there tends to be a range to choose from. If you opt for the smaller servings, you'll probably lose weight.

Yes: Depends on your blood type

No: Depends on your blood type

Other similar diets: None

In the next section, learn about The Eating Well for Optimum Health for Seniors diet.

To learn more about senior health, see: