knows that there are foods that we eat that agree with us and foods that don’t. We also know that some people are severely allergic to some
foods (peanuts, shellfish, etc.). We know that people have different blood
types. We know that only people with certain blood types can donate blood to
people with other blood types. Well, based on the work of Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo, ND,
all of these things are related and it is information you need to have to
get and stay healthy.
His book, Eat Right for Your Type (), basically states that antigens in our blood react
adversely to foods
with characteristics that are similar to blood types that our bodies are
not compatible with.
As you know, reactions to food can cause anything from an upset stomach,
gas and bloating to life-threatening allergic reactions. It
is only logical that we pay attention to the messages our bodies send out.
Two great quotes to consider:
“Let thy food be thy medicine” – Hippocrates
“The doctor of the future will give no medicines, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the causes of disease.” – Thomas Edison
The first steps to take toward a healthier diet are obvious - less fast
food, less fried foods and less food in general. The Standard American
Diet (SAD) is loaded with far too many calories, unhealthy
fats and sugars (especially high-fructose corn syrup). However, the foods we prepare at home may not
be as healthy as we believe them to be either.
Modern farming methods, pesticides and chemical fertilizers have all
robbed our foods of nutrients. The demand for "fresh" out-of-season
fruits and vegetables requires the harvesting of produce before it is ripe and
international shipping, further reducing the nutritional value of our
foods. Packaged and processed foods are even less healthy due to the addition of preservatives
and "artificial" ingredients. And then there are the genetically modified foods. I don't even want to hazard a guess as to the long-term effects they might have on our health.
So, to prepare the healthiest meals possible at home, start by
getting as close as possible to locally-grown organic produce. If you can, plant your own vegetable garden, like the
Another thing to consider, when listening to your body, is that you may be addicted to certain things (smoking, alcohol, carbs, fast-food, etc.). Over time, your body adapts and, when you discontinue these things, your body will exhibit withdrawal symptoms. Don’t interpret these reactions to mean you need to go back to your bad habits.
For instance, type II diabetes is usually caused by a poor diet that contains foods that cause the body to become less and less receptive to insulin. This creates cravings for things that cause the body to produce even more insulin, which actually increases the problem.
Instead, foods that cause the body to become more insulin-receptive should
be eaten – treating the cause rather than the symptom.
(For a long and detailed scientific explanation, click
Dr. Perricone's Weight Loss Diet (available on Half.com)
takes a food-based non-blood-type approach. He states that cellular
inflammation is the cause for everything from wrinkled skin to diabetes
and that a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods will make you
younger looking and will radically improve your health. (For a short explanation by Dr. Perricone on foods that
affect blood sugar, please click on the video below.)
The bottom line is that you must determine what your body is telling you and
why, keeping in mind that physical addictions can usually be corrected within
If you quit using anything you felt addicted to but continue to have cravings
for more than a few weeks, the addiction is now probably more psychological than
In 1998, I went on a low-carb diet. The first two days I was on
the diet, I had no energy at all and was
hungry all the time. My body had become dependent upon the sugars in my diet for energy.
However, by the end of the week, my energy level was back to normal and I was rarely hungry. After two weeks, I began enjoying things that I’d never really cared for
in the past – like
salad. Over the next two years, I lost 40 pounds and now can’t imagine ever going back to
a diet dominated by fries, breads and pastas.
While researching Eat Right for Your Type, I discovered that my blood type should stay away from
wheat. This would explain why it seemed easier for me to stick to a low-carb
diet than it does for others. Occasionally, I will recall how good certain things used to taste – like banana-pancakes with maple syrup –
but, after a bite or two, I know that I’ve broken my addiction to carbs
forever. This ultra-sweet breakfast literally leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
Here is one of the investigative roads I’m on now. A few years ago, I began bowling in a weekly league again. My left thigh muscles cramped up severely every week while bowling. At first, I just thought I was out of shape but, week after week, it continued and even got worse. I exercised more but that only helped a little.
Two years later, results from a routine blood test showed that my MCV count was a little high. I asked the doctor what that meant and he told me not to worry about it. I Googled it and discovered it could be causing my muscle pains and those pains may be relieved by supplementing with vitamin B. I bought a $3 bottle of vitamin B on a Sunday, went bowling the next Tuesday and the muscle pains were gone. Never wanting to just treat the symptom, I continued to research what the true cause might be. I learned that, as blood ages, it gets thicker, making it more difficult to assimilate nutrients properly.
Another year later, while attempting to donate blood, I
was told that I was nearly too dehydrated to give blood, which puzzled me because I make it a point to drink my eight glasses of water everyday. After
taking almost 20-minutes to donate a single pint of blood, I realized they associated dehydration with hemoglobin count and my MCV count was high. While donating blood, the nurse mentioned some people’s blood is so thick
that they have to have procedures done semi-annually to drain several pints of their blood, which forces their bodies to produce new thinner blood.
Putting all this together with the information on eating foods based on blood type, I concluded
that the answer to my muscle pain may be caused by some of the foods I was
eating. My body sees the blood exhibiting characteristics of certain foods as invaders and thickens cells
containing those properties for easier expulsion. Therefore, all I have to do is determine which foods are the culprits. Problem solved, right? Not exactly.
Starting with the conclusions made by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo, ND, I began testing foods. I discovered that bananas actually upset my stomach almost instantly, which is just the opposite of what
was supposed to happen for my blood type. So, again, the foods for blood type information
are just part of a bigger puzzle.
Next I looked at the
pH of certain foods and
began to see another
pattern. Maybe I need to eat foods for my blood type that are more acidic. It seems that things I ingest that are too neutral, including too much water, believe it or not, upset my stomach.
Another thing I learned along the way is that one possible cause for a vitamin B deficiency is low stomach acid production. Foods don’t get processed at the right time during digestion and, therefore,
a person doesn’t retain enough vitamin B from their food. So, I no longer drink
beverages like water or milk with my meals that would dilute or neutralize
acid and that has helped quite a bit.
Then it occurred to me that I should also look at the diet of my
ancestors. My father's parents emigrated from Portugal. After researching
the traditional Portuguese diet, it became clear that I've always liked
foods that are traditional Portuguese fare. Mind you,
my mother did not cook very many Portuguese dishes. So, my
preferences do not stem from the diet of my youth. Many seem to be
encoded in my DNA.
Dr. Elson M. Haas, MD spent four years transferring his knowledge of food
into Staying Healthy with Nutrition (available on Half.com).
So, now I must add these variables to the equation as well.
Most recently, I have added food combining (eating foods in the best
combinations for proper digestion) and eating foods that are correct
seasonally for my ancestry.
As you can see, this story does not have a conclusion. I am still looking for a few more
pieces of the puzzle but I thought this was a perfect story to tell. One, it shows that only you can take control of your health
and you need to listen to your body. Two, it shows that no one has all the answers. Three, it shows that there is no one-size-fits-all answer and
four, it shows the kind of information New Health Basics presents and why.
As always, I hope you found this article thought-provoking and helpful.
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