Category: Blood Type Diet
Eventually this blog is going to be about a recently released study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, but I'm going to start with some personal experiences and observations
A month or so ago, there was a thread on the Forum about skinny jeans. People were challenging each other to get serious about losing weight and get into those magical jeans before the holidays. I wanted to scream, but resisted being argumentative at the time.
That thread brought back too many memories of the two years that my Darling Daughter spent in the clutches of an exercise and eating disorder. Once she recognized that she had bought into a lie, it took another two years for her to heal mentally and physically. At the time, I gave credit to God and the Blood Type Diet for keeping her from doing herself serious harm. The Blood Type Diet kept her focused on eating the healthiest foods during the time when she was not eating enough. God helped her to see that the root of all eating disorders is a refusal to accept that He made each of us in a precious and wonderful way. It goes against His will and against nature when we try to change our body type to look like a freak in a fashion magazine.
When I say skinny jeans, I'm not harping on a particular brand. I am talking about any style of clothing that makes girls and women feel badly about themselves if they do not have skinny legs and huge chests. This has been the style for way too long and it forces 95% of women to wish they could change themselves. Some women overeat out of frustration. Some women starve themselves to try to conform to an unreasonable standard. Some women, and I count myself in this group, make peace with their bodies and try to dress in a way that camouflages their shortcomings. Wouldn't it be better if we could all ignore the New York fashion gurus and be content with the way God made us?
I often get e-mails and read Forum posts from women who started the Blood Type Diet to lose weight and are frustrated because they are not losing fast enough. I believe this is because the BTD is far more important than a weight loss diet. This is a health building eating plan for the rest of my life. The reason I lost a little weight, but not an extraordinary amount of weight, is because if I follow the BTD I am building health. New York's idea of fashion is contrary to health.
If you eat the type and portions of food recommended on your food lists, you will gradually shed pounds - if you are really and truly overweight. You will eventually level off to an easily maintainable weight that is healthy. But you won't fit into pencil skirts or boy cut shorts.
Maybe that makes you think, "The BTD is not for me. I'm outta here." Before you go, you should read about a study published on January 1 by researcher Katherine Flegal. She did a study in 2007 that found that people who were a little overweight lived longer than people who were underweight. She was severely criticized. So she did another study with a much larger sampling of people. And she reached the same conclusion.
She does not recommend eating junk food. She does recommend exercising. She cautions that weight is not the only factor in longevity. Her study does shoot big holes in the myth that skinny is healthy and a low BMI guarantees a long life.
If you google her name and "weight" or "BMI" or "long life" or "death risk" you will find several newspaper and magazine articles. Make sure you choose one with the new study not the 2007 study.
You cannot change your body type. Any diet that tells you that you can is lying to you. If you want an eating plan that maximizes your health and moderates your weight, give the BTD a try.
Later this year I will celebrate my 10th year on the Blood Type Diet. Before the BTD I continually battled allergies. Nine months of the year I had post nasal drip. More mornings than not I woke with a scratchy throat. Certain foods gave me hives, and I sometimes had hives for no apparent reason.
I can't say I noticed a dramatic change in my allergies when I first started the BTD, but within a year I realized I was taking fewer antihistamines. I itched less, had fewer sore throats, bought less Kleenex. I eventually tried chocolate - a beneficial type O food, but one that had given me hives since I was a little child. No hives! I often treat myself to a square of unsweetened dark chocolate. You can't imagine how good that is unless allergies had prevented even a taste of chocolate for 30 years.
Last week I had an allergy attack. I know what precipitated it. Friday after Christmas I spent almost two hours mowing the grass on the back part of our lot. It has been really dry, so the lawn mower kicked up lots of dust. The grass needed to be mowed because it went to seed late this year, due to the drought. The mulcher was flinging seeds and dry stalks everywhere. The cedar trees were pollenating. We have very few cedars on our property, but they are prominent in the Hill Country and the pollen count was high.
By 8:00 that night my throat was hurting. At first was impossible to tell whether it was a cold, the flu, or allergies. I took both antihistamines and cold-eze that night. By the next night, when I had no fever and the symptoms returned as the antihistamines wore off; I was confident that this was allergies.
I added bromelain and stinging nettle from the BTD Encyclopedia allergy protocol and Vitamin C because it is good for so many things related to the immune system
My procedure for antihistamines is don't worry about the clock. Take the next dose when symptoms start to return. For six days I knew precisely when the previous dose was wearing off. Friday morning slipped by without my noticing the time. I've been off them now for more than two days with just a hint of drainage
What I'm now asking myself is "Why?" after so many years, why the return of allergies now?
Adelle Davis wrote that allergies are stress diseases. I think this may be the key. November and December were stressful. I didn't get enough sleep. I worried about things I couldn't control. I think my adrenal glands were tired and left me vulnerable to environmental factors that hadn't bothered me for several years
We are home from a four day Christmas trip to see my Honorable Husband's family.
His Mom continues to recover from her broken neck. On top of her fragile bones, she has also battled mild nausea. The nausea is serious because it makes her eat less. Then she doesn't have the nutrients for her bones to heal, and she loses weight. The sisters told me that she had been back to the doctor and he suggested taking her off of milk, tomatoes, and cokes. He told her to take ginger drops. She is much better.
I told them I wasn't surprised; that tomatoes, milk, and cokes were all avoid foods for Type As and that ginger was beneficial. They looked at me like I had two heads.
It is hard to have knowledge that would help people physically, but they are unwilling to receive it.
There is an analogy here to the Christmas story and Jesus whose birth we celebrate at Christmas time. Salvation is offered as a free gift to anyone who will receive it. But I had to understand that good works are not enough to get me into heaven, recognize that I needed a savior, and accept that Jesus' death took the punishment that I deserved for the wrong I have done.
It's pretty simple, really. It is knowledge that would help people spiritually, if they were willing to receive it.
If you want to feel better physically in 2013, investigate the Blood Type Diet with an open mind.
If you want to feel better spiritually in 2013, investigate the claims of Christ with an open mind.
In my earliest memories, my family ate eggs for breakfast. Sometimes we had them with bacon, sometimes with cheese, sometimes with biscuits. We all liked eggs. Then there came a day in the 60s when my Aunt Cora got a devastating medical test report. Her cholesterol was high. "Through the ceiling," my mother said. This was before medication was routinely prescribed for high cholesterol. The doctor said she was headed for certain death if she did not change her diet. The first thing that had to go was eggs. She stopped eating eggs. Stopped eating meat. Stopped eating shrimp. Her cholesterol stayed high. I'm guessing it was because of all the margarine we were eating in the 60's, but that's a different story. She never did get her cholesterol under control and she lived to be 2 months short of 90 years old. Except for her last year, she was active and mentally sharp.
The effect on the family was that we didn't eat eggs for breakfast anymore. Instead we had cinnamon toast, donuts, cereal, and honey buns. This was supposed to be healthier than eggs. Arrgh...perhaps this explains why I don't trust anything the establishment says about health.
After four decades of denigrating eggs, now they are back in style. Here are quotes from a recent article about a study from Surrey University that says eating eggs for breakfast can help you lose weight.
"Eggs keep one fuller for longer compared with other common breakfast foods, and are also better for people who want to resist afternoon snacks on biscuits, cake or chocolate," according to the researchers.
Prof Bruce Griffin, said: "This study provides yet more evidence that eating eggs at breakfast can help keep us feeling fuller for longer and may help people to eat less at subsequent meals, thus helping with weight loss."
The article refers to "the growing body of evidence to support eggs as a key ingredient of weight loss diets." It refers to a previous study that found that women who ate an egg for breakfast felt fuller and had less desire to eat other foods for the next 24 hours compared to those who ate a bagel (a breakfast of equal calories).
I'm not trying to lose weight. Thanks to the BTD, my weight has been stable at an attractive and healthy level for nine years.
However - I do have a sensitive digestive system and in the first year after the publication of the GenoType diet Dr. D wrote " Hunter: To help heal and regenerate your digestive tract, aim to eat seven to nine eggs a week" Again Dr. D was ahead of the establishment research studies.
I'm so far out of the habit of eating eggs for breakfast, that I'm not sure I could every go back. However, one of my favorite suppers is an egg and spinach frittata with a sweet potato on the side. I have this combination at least once a week.
I am sitting at my computer this morning with a bad feeling in my stomach, a feeling that I have not felt since 2003.
I'm not going to tell my nutritional history in this blog - I've told it many times over the years. But briefly, it was GERD - indigestion - a burning feeling in my lower esophagus and upper stomach - that led me to the BTD. Within a week of starting this diet, I was off of all medication, and within 10 days I was pain free. I had hoped never to have that feeling again.
This morning's pain is my own fault. DD has always tended slightly to constipation. Now that she has a desk job, that tendency has gotten worse. So she and I did some brainstorming. She eats a very high fiber diet - lots of seeds and nuts that are a good protein source for Type As. She drinks lots of fluid and gets plenty of exercise.
We bought some bran, because that is what Dr. D recommends for constipation in A's, B's, and AB's. She was reluctant to take it because even though it is recommended in the protocols, it is avoid on the food lists. I bought her some psyllium, which isn't listed on the BTD or GTD food lists. She said it helped a little, but not much.
All of the brainstorming I was doing with DD got me to thinking about myself. I loved the way my lower digestive system worked when I ate 2 Tablespoons of bran every day. I thought about trying an experiment. DD sent me home with a container of bran and a container of psyllium. I added 1 Tablespoon of bran to my breakfast one day and 1 Tablespoon of psyllium the next.
The immediate impact was a marked improvement in my already good bowel health. With colon cancer in my family, plus having had a precancerous polyp removed, I was delighted. I alternated the two fibers for several weeks, with no ill effects. Three days ago, I felt just a twinge of indigestion. It must be the bran, I thought. So I set the bran aside and took psyllium two days in a row. Yesterday the indigestion was a little worse.
At this point I should have gone on the BTD website and done some research. I would have read that Dr. D does not recommend psyllium for Type Os. I would have read comments from lots of Type Os who tried psyllium anyway and regretted it. Instead I focused on the good effect psyllium was having in my colon, and added it to my breakfast again this morning. Within 30 minutes I knew I had made a mistake. This time the pain is not a twinge, it is uncomfortable and annoying.
The good news is that I know I will feel better as soon as the psyllium has passed through my stomach. I will focus on beneficial foods and ghee that will heal the inflammation. My only regret is that I've already tried rice bran, oat bran, and flax seed. They help, but there doesn't seem to be a fibrous food that does for Type Os what bran and psyllium do for other types.
How many times do mothers tell their children, "If you do that, you'll break your neck." I know I said those words many times. I'll never forget the day when my Strong Son, a 7th grader at the time, came into the kitchen with his head cocked to one side. He had to confess that he had been jumping on his bed - something that was absolutely against the rules. He couldn't straighten his head. I took him for x-rays, and the radiologist was afraid to make the call. They sent the x-rays to a neurosurgeon who said his vertebrae were fine, but the muscles in his neck were in spasm. The doctor prescribed muscle relaxers, which didn't help his neck but had some weird side effects. So we stopped the medication and he wore a padded neck brace for several days. One morning he woke up and everything was back to normal.
Now I can smile when I think of that story. But my Honorable Husband's mother was not so fortunate.
A week ago she fell in her home and cracked two vertebrae in her neck. Fortunately she was not paralyzed. But she is in lots of pain. She was in the hospital for 5 days. During that time they observed that she was having trouble swallowing. After tests, they put her on a diet of pureed food and thickened liquids. No one knows whether the swallowing is a result of the neck injury or something unrelated.
She has terrible headaches. No one is sure whether the headaches are caused by the fall, the neck injury, or too few calories (because she does not like pureed food). She takes pain medication every 3 hours.
She was released from the hospital to a rehab center where she will get 3 months of physical and occupational therapy. She will also see a speech therapist who will work on her swallowing techniques. The therapists are optimistic about her chances for a full recovery - if she eats enough to keep up her strength and if she works hard in therapy.
HH and I went to stay with her in rehab for 6 days. He was there in the daytime. I was there at night and in the morning. That way we made sure we got to talk to all of the doctors and therapists.
Here are a few things I want to remember as I get older. Perhaps they will help you or someone you love.
* Don't be too ashamed or too busy to use a walker. HH's Mom is 91 and has arthritis. She has a walker. She uses it almost the time. But that particular day she decided to walk across the den without it.
* Pain medication is a mixed blessing. Without it she cannot make it through a therapy session. But there are side effects - noticeably anger and repetitive behavior.
* Nurses and nurses aides respond to kindness. When she smiles at them and says thank you, she gets better care than when she complains. She got better care because family was there to take on a lot of duties ourselves - like feeding her and standing by while she went to the potty.
* A strong, healthy 59 year old woman (like me) is not strong enough to support the weight of a helpless 91 year old. I had to call for assistance when she needed to be moved. I was very aware of the danger that I could wind up in the room next door if I was not careful with my own legs, neck, and back. Injuries can happen fast - and have serious consequences.
* It would be really, really hard to come anywhere close to the BTD diet in a hospital or nursing facility. Everything is sweetened - sometimes with sugar; sometimes with NutraSweet. The theory is that the patients will eat more if sugar is added to the food. There are wheat products everywhere. On the pureed diet, they smash up rolls, pancakes, noodles, cereal, and more. The pureed bread must be pretty bad - HH's Mom usually loves bread, but she refuses to eat it pureed. The thickener in the water and juice is made from corn starch.
Having experienced how much better I feel, and how much faster I heal when I eat right, I'm afraid I would seriously clash with hospital dietitians.
I am in a book club in my neighborhood. While most book clubs choose a book for everyone to read, we are different. We bring books that we have read and talk about what we liked and didn’t like. Then we lend our books to each other. The only rule is that the books have to have a positive message. The reason most of us joined this club is because we were weary of buying a best seller and finding it full of violence and bad language. I have lent out several of my BTD books to people who were interested.
Several of the ladies like murder mysteries, and a series of murder mysteries by Susan Wittig Albert is particularly popular. We all live in the Texas Hill Country, and the setting for these mysteries is an imaginary Hill Country town. We all like to cook, and the theme of the books is herbs. The heroine owns a herb shop and catering company. In addition to clues there are recipes and fun facts about herbs.
My two favorite genres are classics and historical fiction, but once in a while I get in the mood for a good mystery. Last month I borrowed one of Susan Wittig Albert’s books called Nightshade.
When I picked it up, I was thinking of the lovely purple flowers that grow in my yard. I wasn’t thinking of all of the foods in the nightshade family: potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, and bell peppers.
As I read the history of nightshades, I learned that many cultures have considered them all to be poisonous. Some modern nutritionists associate them with diseases like arthritis.
After the mystery was solved, I thought I would see what Dr. D. had to say about nightshades. Every type except Type A has nightshades that beneficial, neutral, and avoid. I couldn’t find any beneficial nightshades for Type A.
Potatoes are avoid for all types. For me (Type O) Eggplant is neutral, but I don’t really like it. Tomatoes are neutral. I eat them if I find them in a salad, but I don’t buy them. Green bell peppers and tomatillos are neutral. They are ok if they are cooked, but don’t like either of them raw. Red Bell Peppers and chili peppers are beneficial. I like both of them cooked and used as a seasoning, but I don’t like them raw.
The bad elements in Nightshades are compounds called alkaloids. Cooking reduces the alkaloid content by half. Perhaps that is why I instinctively prefer cooked peppers to raw peppers.
The pretty flowers that grow in my yard are called Deadly Nightshade. I’ve noticed that in dry weather the deer will eat almost anything green, but they do not touch the nightshade.
Interesting mystery and interesting food facts.
I am afraid I have been guilty of perpetuating what Dr. D, in one of his recent blogs, accused his detractors of saying
Here is his quote:
"(They say) the diets are dangerous. This statement is usually proffered by experts concerned that, by restricting certain foods by blood type, people will develop nutrient deficiencies. However, each diet variant (A, O, etc.) is a carefully engineered balance of foods that ensures full nutritional value."
When I started the BTD and got wheat and milk out of my diet, the improvement in my health was immediate, dramatic and permanent. Like most newbies, in had an insatiable desire to learn more. I began to read in the columns and later in blogs and on the Forum, that many Type Os were virtually grain free. Since there were no beneficial grains for Type Os, (except manna bread, which is more of a product than a grain) I decided to try it.
It seemed to work. I had a little rice bran in my breakfast mix, and on most days that was all the grain I ate for eight years. I felt good, my weight was stable, I had lots of energy, my immune system was working. This appeared to be the way for me to go. I have blogged about this many times and have encouraged other Type Os to do the same. Shame on me!
After my colonoscopy last summer which found two polyps, one of them the precancerous type, I wrote a blog about reevaluating my diet. Susana sent me this quote from Dr D.
"Grain and legumes are about the only sources of phytates, which are anti-oxidant mineral chelators. There are pros and cons to phytates (some people would argue that they block mineral absorption) but they do have fairly potent anti-cancer effects in the colon, which in the case of GT1 Hunters is a bit of an Achilles heal."
Since then I have been adding grain back into my diet. I compared the grains that were neutral on the BTD with the grains on the GTD that are beneficial for either Hunters or Gathers. Those are the grains I am focused on.
I am pleased to say that my weight has not increased with the additional grain. The only change I have noticed is that the craving I had for nuts is diminished. This has let me get my nut portions more in line with Type O recommendations.
I plan to go back through my blogs and edit out all references to grain free. And if I see references on the Forum advising Type Os to be grain free, I will counter them as adamantly as I do references to avoiding neutrals.
As Dr. D said in his quote at the beginning of this blog.
“each diet variant (A, O, etc.) is a carefully engineered balance of foods that ensures full nutritional value."
Yesterday I got an e-mail from a missionary friend that says one third of Thailand is flooded. One third! I try to bring this into some personal frame of reference, but I can’t. One third of the US under water. One third of Texas under water. Even one third of Houston, Dallas, or San Antonio under water. It is inconceivable to me.
My missionary friend writes that even in the face of losing their own homes and jobs, Thai Christians are out in boats trying to help their neighbors.
The first thing that struck me when I read this was that a disaster of this magnitude has barely been reported in the US media. The news here is focused on stirring up class warfare and destroying people’s characters.
The second thing that crossed my mind was a question. What are those newly homeless people eating? My husband and I regularly send money to agencies like the Salvation Army and the International Mission Board World Hunger Fund to assist in disasters like this.
Obviously in a disaster Blood Type Diet considerations must be set aside. After a flood, or earthquake, getting safe food is the primary consideration. In famine stricken countries just getting enough calories to maintain life is of primary importance. A Type O in Somalia is not going to ask if there is wheat in the slice of bread they are given at a shelter.
But beyond disasters, I am sometimes concerned that the BTD could easily become a diet for the rich and elite. When beef is not good enough for a Type O, it must be grass fed beef. Or when rice is not acceptable, it must be non-GMO brown rice. Or when fresh fruits and vegetables are snubbed in favor of certified organic fruits and vegetables. I think this is wrong.
Unemployment has been high in the US for an extended period of time. I am seriously sympathetic because I am underemployed myself. If families cannot make the BTD work at an ordinary grocery store, then frankly it isn’t going to help very many people.
I will continue, in my blog, to apply BTD principles to people on a budget. And I will continue to give to organizations who deliver both food and the good news of Christ to those in need.
In my e-mail this morning was an advertisement for a book. The subject line was “Is wheat making you fat?” That caught my interest.
Based on the information in the ad, this author reached the same conclusion as Dr. D about wheat and weight loss. However, instead of associating his findings with blood types, he has written a one size fits all diet book.
I pity the people who read the book. If they are Type Os they will indeed lose weight when they eliminate wheat. I certainly did. Wheat is the quintessential avoid food for Type Os. But when they reach their goal and go back to their normal diet – the way typical dieters always do – they will gain the weight right back. Another frustration; another diet book on the shelves of a used book store.
If they are Type A, they will also lose weight. While wheat is neutral for Type As, eliminating wheat is also listed as a weight loss key this blood type.
For Type Bs, Live Right 4 Your Type says that Eliminating Corn and corn products would be the top priority for accelerating weight loss. But the second point says, “Eliminate wheat. Although Type Bs don’t have as much trouble with wheat gluten as Type Os, you should definitely avoid it if you want to lose weight.”
My quick search didn’t find a definitive statement about Type ABs, wheat, and weight. But I did find a general statement from Dr. D that says, “In my experience, Type AB is more A-like than B-like when it comes to most chronic conditions…Overall, Type ABs can do well by following the diet and prescriptions in this chapter – and by observing the therapeutic guidelines outlined for Type A.
So, whatever your blood type, if you just want to lose weight – avoid wheat. Dr. D was way ahead of this author in identifying that simple truth.
But if you want to build your overall health and maintain normal weight for the rest of your life, you will need more than a weight loss book. The BTD would be a really good place to start.
I have blogged at other times about my journey from totally unhealthy eating, to being a health food nut, to the Blood Type Diet. One of the books that had an impact on my health food stage was Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition by David Reuben. His father died of colon cancer and he wanted to protect himself from that disease. His research said a high fiber diet was the best way to do that. He introduced me to bran and wheat germ which I ate for years. While his plan kept my bowels moving, the wheat worked against me as a Type O, and eventually led to indigestion.
When I started the BTD in 2003 I had to find alternate fibers to avoid constipation. I knew that colon cancer and colon polyps were also part of my genetic history. I applied Reuben’s high fiber research to the BTD.
I had my first colonoscopy in 2005. While the experience was terrible, the results were excellent. No polyps.
When I had my 2nd colonoscopy this year, I expected good results again. I did not expect two polyps, and I sure didn’t expect one of them to be pre cancerous.
I left the clinic with diet recommendations from the doctor. Since then I have been looking at his recommendations, the Blood Type Diet, the GenoType Diet, and Dr. D’s Cancer Prevention book.
The diet from colon doctor says that while fiber is important for other colon conditions – it doesn’t help polyps. Here is his list of things to do to reduce polyp formation.
* Reduce red meat intake to only 2 times a week or less.
* Eat more fruits and vegetables
* Calcium supplementation 1,200 mg per day
* Don’t smoke
* Be physically active.
* Maintain normal weight
* Take one baby aspirin a day.
* Study results on alcohol are mixed. Some studies show alcohol increases colon cancer, other studies show red wine may reduce cancer risks.
I already do most of what is on list yet my colon health declined. Why?
I eat more fruit & vegetables than I did before the BTD. I take more calcium than is recommended. I get selenium in my multiple vitamin, plus I eat many selenium containing foods. I have never smoked. I exercise 5-6 days a week. My weight is normal for my height, and lower than average for my age. I don’t drink wine, but I eat a lot of black and red grapes.
That leaves red meat intake and aspirin where there are conflicts between the anti-polyp diet and the BTD.
I am not going to take the aspirin. I have seen in myself and in my father what happens when type O’s take Vitamin E and aspirin as preventive measures. It leads to increased bruising and longer clotting times. My Type O blood is already thin enough. I will leave the aspirin for thick blooded Type As.
Red Meat – this is the tough one, because at first glance it seems to be in opposition to the BTD. Food portions in the Little Books – which I always reach for first since they are so easy to use, are: Lean red meat 2-5 ounces 4-6 times per week. Poultry 2-5 ounces 2-3 times per week.
Because red meat makes me feel so good, I had gone toward the high end of the scale eating 4-5 ounces 5-6 times a week. Since getting my lab results on the pre-cancerous polyp, I have made a slight adjustment. I am weighing my beef and eating 3-4 ounces. For lunch and dinner on one day I have fish and poultry. The next day I have fish and beef. Once or twice a week I substitute 3 eggs for a one of those portions. This puts me having beef about 3 times per week.
I looked at the portions in Dr. D’s Cancer Prevention book. There is a slight difference between it and the Little Books. In the Cancer Prevention book, he groups beef and poultry together saying to eat 2-5 ounces 6-9 times a week. My new plan is right in line with that recommendation. The book also contains a two page explanation of Dr. D’s position on beef and cancer. It is worth reading if you have concerns in this area.
Another slight conflict between the Dr. D and anti-polyp diets concerns apples. I used to eat an apple a day. After the GTD came out, I cut back to 1 or 2 apples a week. The Cancer Prevention book says apples are frequent neutrals. I am not eating an apple a day, but I am increasing my apple intake significantly.
I had taken myself off of almost all grain. There are no beneficial grains for Type O except manna bread, and the recommended portions for grains are 1 serving 1-6 times a week. I felt good with 0-1 servings. I am thinking that may be too extreme. I am trying to reincorporate 1 portion of neutral grains 3-5 times a week.
I won’t have another colonoscopy for 5 years. That is a long time to wonder whether my new program will succeed in preventing polyp formation.
For about 8 months I have been experimenting with legumes. Dr. D. is adamant that beans are not an adequate source of protein for Type Os. My experiences before the Blood Type Diet trying to be a vegetarian completely confirm his scientific studies for me.
However, because I do not eat very much grain, I am sometimes not full at the end of a meal, and I suspect that some days I do not get enough carbs. It is very frustrating to enjoy a well-planned beneficial meal, but still feel a craving for something more. All too often the something more would be a bowl of trail mix. As I ate the nuts, I knew that though they were beneficial or neutral, I was eating too many for a Type O. About nuts, Dr. D says “You certainly don’t need them in your diet, and should be very selective in their use as they are high in fat.”
Because legumes are so beneficial to my Type A husband, I began cooking a crock pot of beans every week. I used them in casseroles with rice and other vegetables for him. I ate them as a side dish. I found that they were very filling, and they satisfied the need for carbs that I sometimes felt.
The BTD recommends 1 cup of legumes 1-3 times per week. I had been on the low end of that range eating 1 serving per week or less. I moved to the high end eating ½ cup of beans 4-5 times per week. At home I eat only beneficial or neutral legumes. If we go out to eat Mexican food or Barbeque, pinto beans are sometimes the best choice available. For instance if the choice is pinto beans or potato salad, I take pinto beans.
One day I was reading on the Forum and saw a post by Equipro. She had reached the same conclusion I had about beans. They weren’t a good protein source for Type O, but they seemed to be a good side dish and a good source of carbs.
Last week I was at the store looking at dried beans. I saw a bag of Anasazi Beans. The package makes all kinds of wonderful claims about them. They were one of the few crops cultivated by the cliff dwelling Indians that built Mesa Verde. Anasazi was not on the BTD food list I keep in my purse, but I took a chance and bought a bag.
When I got home I looked them up. They are not rated - which technically makes them neutral. However, in Dr. D’s Lecster Lectin Database it says that though they are related to pinto beans, “Anasazi beans contained less soluble and bound condensed tannins compared to pinto beans … The lectins of anasazi beans were classified as non toxic and those of the pinto beans as toxic types.”
I’m probably better off to cook legumes that are beneficial for both HH and me - fava beans, black eyed peas, adzuki beans, and great northern beans. But anasazi beans once in a while will be beneficial for him (since pintos are beneficial for Type As) and variety for me.
I went to Google News tonight looking for financial news. It must have been a big day for research result releases. Here are tidbits from stories that had BTD and women’s health connections.
This study contradicts the popular notion that soy isoflavones will prevent bone loss in menopausal women. I wish I knew the blood type breakdown of the women in the study. Soy is a neutral food for Type Os, but it is beneficial for Type As. I once read that isoflavones were supposed to help menopausal women, so I tried mixing some of my Type A daughter’s soy protein powder in with my breakfast. It didn’t settle with my stomach, so I abandoned the idea. I tried the tablets for a while, but didn’t notice that they had any effect on me at all.
I should have listened to Dr. D. In the Menopause book he writes, “Essentially carnivores when it comes to protein requirements, Blood Type Os should minimize consumption of beans and legumes…An exception for menopausal women may be soy beans. They contain isoflavones that help minimize symptoms, build up bone, and protect the heart.” Then he lists them as neutral, the same as he does in all the other books.
The recommended dose of calcium for women over 51, is 1200 mg per day. I actually take a little more than that since I don’t eat dairy. This study indicates that the lowest fracture risk was with women taking 750 mg per day. The study also indicated that women who wait until they are older to start taking calcium do not decrease their fracture risk.
Interestingly, the Menopause book lists calcium last on the list of bone supplement protocols. Dr. D. suggested 1,000 mg. He puts Horsetail, Manganese, Vitamin A and Boron as more important than calcium. Looks like I may be wasting money taking as much calcium as I do.
Dr. D lists Flax as a beneficial food for Type Os of all ages. I eat it for the fiber and the essential oils. I didn’t know that it contained plant estrogens that were supposed to help hot flashes. The study contradicts the hot flash theory, and said that it had no more impact on hot flashes that a placebo.
This was the most peculiar of the studies. The very drugs that many women take to prevent osteoporosis are linked to fractures of the thigh bone. I have had my bone density checked twice, and I am not showing any signs of osteoporosis, so I haven’t taken any of these drugs. I’m glad I haven’t.
A lot of popular theories about menopause and osteoporosis were shot down today - if you believe the studies are completely accurate. I will continue taking calcium, but not as much. I will eat flax for its other benefits. I’ve already stopped taking soy, and I don’t plan to take the osteoporosis drugs.
Weight bearing exercise is looking like a really good choice for women my age. I’m halfway expecting to read a study about that tomorrow.
Traditional wisdom says that weight is directly related to calories. If you take in more calories than you burn off; then you gain weight. If you burn off more calories than you take in; then you lose weight. I have never found that to be true for myself.
When my Honorable Husband and I were first married we were together all the time. We ate the same things; we worked at the same office; we socialized and exercised together. He stayed trim and lean with no effort at all. I struggled to keep from gaining weight.
I remember one night in particular preparing a dinner of spaghetti, salad and garlic bread. He ate a heaping plate of noodles topped with homemade meat sauce, a big salad, and two pieces of garlic bread. I poured meat sauce over my salad and thought, “This is NOT fair.”
The memory of that evening was one of the things that made it so easy for me to accept the Blood Type Diet and the reality that wheat and Type Os are irreconcilable enemies.
Another event occurred last week that reaffirms my doubts about traditional wisdom and calories.
The ladies in our Bible Study class decided to have a salad luncheon on Saturday. I took a turkey salad made with apples, craisins, and walnuts. That way I knew that the Type Os, including myself, would get plenty of protein. I had expected that there would be lots of green salads, and maybe a fruit salad or two.
Boy, was I wrong. There was one green salad, one fruit salad, and one tuna salad. All of the other salads were beautiful gelatin salads loaded with sugar, whipped cream, fruit, and…calories. Except for one plate of crackers, there was no wheat in the room.
I decided that while too much sugar is bad for anyone, sugar is not avoid. I stayed away from the crackers but I tried every one of those gorgeous salads. The recipes may have said salad, but they all tasted like dessert to me.
If I eat so much as a cookie or one piece of pizza, the very next morning my scale will tell me that I’ve gained 3 pounds. Those three pounds (a direct result of a small amount of wheat) will stay with me for 2-3 days.
The morning after eating all that sugar, I got on the scale with fear and trembling. I hadn’t gained any weight. The next morning I got on the scale again thinking that perhaps it took 36 hours for the sugar to circulate around looking for a fat cell to latch onto. But again my weight was stable.
I’m sure if I ate that much sugar every day, week in and week out, that I would gain weight. However, if I ate that much sugar every day, I would begin to have other health problems that would be a worse than my jeans fitting too tight.
Reality for me is in the Type O Little Book. My weight loss key is “wheat, corn, navy beans, lentils, cabbage and dairy.” Wheat is listed number one. Traditional wisdom can say what it will, but BTD trumps calories in this Type O body.
One more story from the luncheon. There was a reading basket in the bathroom, and right on top was one of the BTD Little Books. I asked our hostess if she followed the Blood Type Diet. She said, “No, someone gave me that book, but I’ve never read it.” I was sad. It’s like seeing a dusty Bible on a coffee table. Truth is in the house, but unless the book is opened and read, it has no impact.
First impression: What was God thinking when he made a pomegranate? Seriously, you cannot cut into this fall fruit and believe in evolution. The pomegranate didn’t just happen. Someone with an imagination created it.
Second impression: Do not attempt to eat a pomegranate without instruction. My sister, who lives in Europe, has talked about how much they enjoy pomegranates. When I bought my first one this fall, I emailed her and asked how to eat it. She told me to look it up on the internet. What?!? How complicated can eating a piece of fruit be? She was right. I looked at several internet sites but liked this one the best.
How to eat a pomegranate
If you cut into a pomegranate without knowing what to expect, you will make a mess and probably throw the whole thing in the trash.
Third impression: Delicious. I ate the seeds with a spoon. There was a burst of sweetness, followed by a satisfying crunch. I kept them in a covered container, eating a few spoons every night as I cooked dinner. One pomegranate lasted four days.
This pomegranate did bring back some of my frustration with the differences between the GTD and the BTD. On the GTD, pomegranates are black dot for Hunters, and toxic for Gatherers, Teachers, and Warriors. That sounds like they would be bad for my family of Type Os and Type As. However on the BTD pomegranates are neutral for both Type Os and Type As. They are rated Superbeneficial for Type Os on Dr. D's Cancer Prevention Diet.
I decided that I would consider them a beneficial food for my son and myself. I probably won’t give them to my husband and daughter.
I got my hair cut, and the first thing my stylist said was, “I’ve gone gluten free and organic.” I’m sure I’ve mentioned the BTD to her at other appointments. We talk about everything imaginable. I reminded her that I was wheat free - in fact nearly grain free* - but that I didn’t do organic. Then we started comparing diets.
She is doing a program that is recommended by the gym where she exercises. I asked about her blood type, and she didn’t know, but her preferences in food and exercise lean toward Type O.
She is trying lots of new recipes. She let me taste a quinoa dish that was very good. Before she cooked the quinoa, she added golden raisins, craisins, and orange juice. When I make it, I will substitute pineapple juice, which would be better for Type Os and Type As. I really think my husband will like quinoa prepared this way.
There are things I like about her new diet, however, it disappoints me that it is just another diet that tries to squeeze every one into one mold. Eating is not a “one size fits all” proposition. A diet must treat people as individuals with different metabolisms and food needs. No matter how intriguing a new diet idea sounds, I filter it through BTD food lists.
* No longer grain free. click here for more info
I have a facebook friend who is having stomach trouble. I thought I would just post the link to a blog about how and why I started the BTD. After several searches, I realized that I’ve told about my experience in bits and pieces, but I’ve never written the whole story the way that I tell it in person when people ask.
I knew absolutely nothing about nutrition when I was growing up. Seriously, they didn’t teach health in school back then, and I was in college before I knew the difference between a carbohydrate and a fat. When I was young I ate meat, bread and dessert. Ok, I also ate apples, carrots, and prunes, but that was about all. The all-you-can-eat dessert bar in the freshman dorm was my undoing. I grew out of all my clothes. I bought a diet book at the grocery store and learned that everything I ate was high calorie and all the low calorie foods were the ones I didn’t like. I forced myself to eat vegetables and found out that I liked them. Thus began my yoyo years. I would eat what I wanted until my clothes were snug, then cut out the desserts until my weight went down.
When I had been married a year, my husband and I went to spend a few days with his aunt. She and I both love to read, and one night I looked at her bookshelves for something entertaining. I found Adele Davis’s book “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit.” It was a whole new world for me. I saw myself and my abominable eating habits on every page. I became a Health Food Nut. My poor husband, who had married a typical American girl, found himself plunged into the world of whole grains, no preservatives, vitamins, and very little sugar.
There were lots of really good things about being a Health Food Nut. My weight stabilized – no more yoyo dieting. My allergies got better and my resistance to infection improved. My skin and hair looked great, and I had a lot more energy.
But about the time I turned 40, I began to have indigestion. It started out mild, and I tried all of the home remedies recommended by Health Food advocates and vitamin companies. I got worse. By the time I was in my late 40s, I was uncomfortable a lot of the time. Having tried everything I went to my doctor. He put me on prescription medications – I believe he tried three different ones – but none of them worked. He sent me to a gastro specialist.
The specialist took my history and admitted that I ate healthier than any of her patients. She said, “I’m going to do an upper GI scope and this is what we’ll find. Your sphincter muscle is loose. We’ll go back and tighten it up and you will be fine.” I woke up from the scope and she said, “Actually your sphincter muscle was a little tighter than normal. But your stomach is very red and inflamed. I took a biopsy, and this is what we’ll find. You have the bacteria that causes ulcers. We’ll put you on antibiotics and you’ll be fine.” Her nurse called back in a few days and said the biopsy was normal. “Then why,” I asked, “am I in pain all the time?” Diet and stress, said the nurse.
I hung up the phone in frustration. I stormed around the house complaining to God. For more than 25 years I had eaten healthier than anyone I knew. I had done everything that was recommended for indigestion and GERD. The only stress in my life was that my stomach hurt all the time. Eventually I calmed down, and could listen to God’s still small voice. I drove to the Health Food Store where I had shopped for years. The owner, who I had hoped to talk with, was not in, so I began to look through the indexes of the books that were for sale. I didn’t know what I was looking for exactly – just something I hadn’t tried yet.
After looking at several books and returning them to the shelf, I followed an index reference to a page that said if your blood type was O you were more likely to have indigestion. Hmmm that was interesting. I was Type O. I kept reading. The two worst foods for Type O were wheat and dairy. That really had my attention. For more than 25 years I had eaten wheat germ, wheat bran, and yogurt for breakfast every morning. If this book was right, no wonder I had indigestion. First thing every morning I was dumping into my stomach the two worst foods for my blood type. What was this book? I looked at the front cover, and it was a book about the Blood Type Diet by Peter D’Adamo.
I bought the book. I went cold turkey in the diet that very day. In a week I was off of all medications. In 2 weeks my pain was 95% gone. The last of the pain was vanquished with ginger. I have been pain free since 2003, with rare exceptions when I stray from the BTD and eat more than a token amount of wheat and dairy.
This is my story. I believe that God heard my prayers that day and led me to the BTD. It is not an easy diet to follow. The American diet is incredibly wheat based, and sugar is addictive. But after you get used to feeling good all of the time, you begin to realize that the BTD is not really that difficult after all.
My husband and I have gone to the same family practice doctor for 31 years. He has had an ideal balance being conservative about running tests and performing procedures yet staying up to date with the latest medical developments. I have found him to be wise and intuitive. He has weathered several crises with us, and delivered both of our babies. While he did not believe the Blood Type Diet, he admitted that it had worked for me, and he did not discourage me from following it. He is about the same age as my Honorable Husband. When we moved, we planned to make the long drive back to his office until he retired.
Recent political developments caused us to change our plan. HH turns 65 in the fall, and is mandated by our insurance company to go on Medicare. We have been warned that in the small community where we live, it is hard to find a primary care doctor that is accepting new patients, and almost impossible to find a primary care doctor that accepts new Medicare patients. We decided that we might be better off to establish ourselves with a local doctor now, before the big birthday.
HH began calling doctors that accept our insurance. The rumors were true, most doctors were not accepting new patients. Of the ones that were, some of the phone interviews revealed attitudes that HH did not like. The list got pretty short. Yesterday we had an introductory appointment with a potential doctor.
I could not be more pleased and more excited. She is as conservative as our previous doctor. She is an empathetic listener. When I got to the part of my medical history that dealt with GERD, I told her about all of the tests I had had, and how none of the medications had worked. I said that the first week on the BTD led to dramatic improvements, and that my pain was gone after two weeks.
She listened with great interest. She was familiar with the concept of the BTD, but didn’t know the specifics. She has been researching milk and immunity problems, and wanted to know what the BTD said about milk. She looked at my cholesterol numbers and observed that my bad cholesterol was very low, so the only way to get my total cholesterol (215) down would be to reduce my good cholesterol, which would affect my outstanding ratio. Obviously, she said she didn’t want to do that. She encouraged me to keep eating and exercising the way that I am.
The funniest moment came when she pressed the skin on my ankles to see if I was retaining fluid. She said, “The bottom half of you does not match the top. Your wrists reveal very small bones, but your ankle bones are large.” I told her that I was very much aware that I had two conflicting body types and that my daughter was built the same way. I decided not to go into the GTD and how the conflicting body types had made it hard for me to settle on a GenoType and impossible for DD to figure hers out.
Her meeting with HH was every bit as successful as mine. We left the office with a new local doctor, who assures HH that she will not kick him out when he turns 65. It’s hard to leave a doctor who knows us and our history so well, but I think we are going to get along with our new doctor just fine.
I was grinding flax seed yesterday morning, and I spilled some. I stopped to pick them up and put them back in the jar. I believe those seeds were created for a purpose – either to sprout and grow new plants, or to become nourishment for someone like me. It seems a shame for them to be swept into the trash and wind up compacted at a land fill.
I felt the same way this morning when I scraped every edible bite of mango out of the skin. Down in some tropical country, a plant did a great deal of photosynthesis to produce that mango. It didn’t seem right for me to waste any of it.
When I pause before a meal to thank God for my food, I am overwhelmed by His abundance. I want to enjoy it, but not to be careless or extravagant. I delight in the variety of tastes and textures. I am amazed that the knowledge about what foods build health and what foods contribute to disease has changed me so much in the past seven years.
I don’t ever want to take for granted God’s provision, the plenty we have in our economy, or this amazing diet based on blood types.
I have an analogy about avoids, that may be useful. Don’t take it too far! Dr. D didn’t say this. But it does give insight into how our bodies work. And it may help explain why some people seem to tolerate more avoids than others.
I’m back home from a week of travel – three days with my sister working on estate matters, three days with my daughter moving her things to next fall’s apartment. My sister’s Type O husband suffers from gout. He watches his diet carefully hoping to prevent an attack, and at the onset of symptoms he takes medication to stop the attack before it becomes debilitating.
He recently wound up at the doctor’s for a shot. He told his doctor that he didn’t understand why he was having the attack, that he had been very careful what he ate. The doctor asked if he had changed his physical activity recently. He said yes, he could think of several things, moving some furniture, running to catch a train, and walking more than usual.
She explained that physical activity can allow the crystals that cause gout to shake loose from where they have been harmlessly sticking and cause an attack. The crystals causing the current attack could have been formed when he compromised his diet weeks or months ago. The increased physical activity caused enough of them to break loose into his blood stream and cause pain.
I thought about the comments I’ve received from my recent blog about “just a little bit” of avoids. Some people cannot tolerate any avoids. Some, like me, can handle a little bit. Some, especially young people, may not notice any effect at all.
Fortunately, I don’t form painful crystals. But I’m wondering if the concept could hold true for the BTD. I never had trouble with wheat or dairy products when I was young. The problems started after I turned 40. Could I have been building up little bits of inflammation or irritation in my early years, and suddenly it reached critical mass in my body and the symptoms started? Even now, when I think I am tolerating a little bit of avoid, could I be accumulating toxins that in a time of physical or emotional stress will break out and cause pain?
The pathology of gout and the BTD is not identical at the cellular level. But I think an analogy between the two might be useful in understanding why some people respond to avoids differently than others, and why in times of stress I notice symptoms that don’t seem to correlate to what I have eaten that day.