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    Archive for the ‘blood type diet’ Category

    You Ask, I Answer: Lectins

    I was wondering if you had any views on the health impact of lectins in food, assuming the food has been properly prepared.

    I’ve had difficulty finding anything reliable or well referenced.

    — Anonymous
    Jersey, Channel Islands

    Lectins are certain proteins — and natural insectides! — found in a variety of foods, including legumes, grains, dairy products, and some vegetables.

    When consumed in certain quantities, they can cause severe gastrointestinal distress. It is also theorized that long-term lectin consumption can raise the risk for certain types of cancers.

    However, cooking renders lectins inactive, so you are only vulnerable if you tend to eat certain foods (such as legumes or rice) in raw or undercooked forms.

    Peter D’Adamo, author of The Blood Type Diet, blames lectins for a myriad of health problems.

    According to Dr. D’Adamo, lectins can cause red blood cells to stick together and form clots if they are eaten by someone with a certain blood type.

    While lectins have been implicated in the clogging of arteries in some animal species, we do not know if that effect is replicated in humans.  If it were, though, it would not be limited to humans of one particular blood type.

    Again, unless your diet is very high in raw legumes, grains, and dairy, I don’t think you have a reason to be too concerned.

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    In The News: Author Needed for Diet Book, No Experience Necessary

    The Los Angeles Times has a nice little roundup of the latest diet books.

    I was beyond disappointed to see that none of the ten books mentioned are penned by a Registered Dietitian — or even a nutritionist, for that matter.

    Instead, we have organizational gurus, “creativity experts”, computer programmers, psychology professors, and models taking the reins.

    Look, I’m staying off the catwalks and away from HTML coding.

    AKA: I respect your turf, you respect mine… we clear?

    All joking aside, this is precisely why nutrition is misconstrued as a “confusing” subject where guidelines are “always changing.”

    Dietitians have always agreed on general guidelines (cut calories to lose weight, watch sodium and added sugars, cut back on saturated fats, etc.)

    It is everyone else trying to get a share of the weight loss market– with no proper credentials or academic background, but with plenty of unsubstantiated theories — who’s causing all the confusion.

    Even Peter D’Adamo — creator of the overly imaginative “blood type diet” — is back, this time with specific diets for six different “genotypes” (to find out which one you are, you need to consider the length of your index finger, among other physical measures.)

    The only one of these ten books I take seriously is Dean Ornish’s The Spectrum, which encourages readers to make lifestyle changes and habit rehauls to accomplish their health goals, using credible research — and plenty of nutrition knowledge — to make this important point.

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    Say What?: The Blood(y Nonsense) Type Diet

    The “blood type” diet is the creation of Peter D’Adamo, who is not a nutritionist, but rather a naturopathic doctor.

    According to him, the secret to staying healthy and slim is by eating according to your blood type (whether that be A, B, AB, or O). D’Adamo states that while some foods are healthy for one blood type, they can be downright dangerous for another.

    According to D’Adamo, for example, Type O’s should eat high amounts of meat and avoid grains, as this blood type can be traced back to our oldest hunting ancestors. Type A’s should stick to a vegetarian diet, but Type B’s and ABs, who are related to nomadic tribes, can eat a little of everything in moderation.

    Anthropologists were up in arms when this diet first came out, since there is no reason to believe that prehistoric humans, who according to D’Adamo all ate vast amounts of meat, followed the exact same diet.

    D’Adamo continues by claiming that eating the wrong foods for our blood types results in a very serious condition known as agglutination, wherein red blood cells clump together, blocking blood flow and not allowing some cells to get the oxygen they need.

    According to D’Adamo, this is all due to lectins, proteins found on the surfaces of foods that are extremely dangerous when eaten by the wrong blood type.

    I can’t help but wonder — if we’ve all been unknowingly eating from all the food groups and going against our blood type needs, why aren’t some of us keeling over after just a few years of eating supposed toxic food (like whole grain breads) on a daily basis?

    Furthermore, many of these catastrophic statements (i.e.: when a type A person drinks milk, agglutination happens immediately) are never explained. How much milk are we talking about? A sip? A cup? How many times a week?

    Regardless, lectins are by no means a health concern. Not only do most of them disappear with cooking, our digestive system also destroys them (a factor D’Adamo’s lectin research completely fails to take into account).

    This part of his theory reminds me of that now infamous e-mail forward that went around in the late 90s, explaining that a penny submerged in a glass of Coca-Cola for 24 hours disintegrates, “so imagine what it does to your insides!” Yeah, except a penny doesn’t have gastric acids that prevents those same chemicals in soda from destroying our intestines overnight.

    More reasons as to why this diet is just a ploy to get you to spend money? The blood types D’Adamo uses is one of severeal ways of classifying human blood. This diet would be the equivalent of someone creating meal plans based solely on your eye color. It’s irrelevant, scientifically inaccurate, and a complete gimmick.

    I also find it especially noteworthy that no matter what your bloodtype, D’Adamo recommends cutting out processed foods, added sugars, and junk. It doesn’t take a genius to recommend that as a way to quick weight loss.

    At the end of the day, the “Eat For Your Blood Type” diet is just a reduced-calorie diet (some of the diet plans clock in at just over 1,000 calories – who WOULDN’T lose weight?) with a new premise.

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