Archives for: October 2002, 12
I eat out often. This means I have to ask lots of questions and make compromises. The one thing that is not clear to me when I choose one "avoid" over another is whether potency is a factor. I know that it must be, because a minute quantity of castor bean lectin can kill you.
So, when I have to choose between a hamburger with a sesame seed bun (both "avoids" for or a steak with black pepper (an avoid), how do I know which is worse, the pepper or the sesame seeds and bun? Spices, I know, are often potent for their volume. Is a half-teaspoon of cinnamon worse than one of peanut butter, and how do they compare to eating a whole tomato, a chicken leg or bowl of chili (pinto beans)? Thanks.
PS: Corn: corn syrup, dextrose, popcorn, cornmeal, corn-on-the-cob, are any of these more or less potent?
Depending on how you prefer to make decisions, there are two approaches available:
(1) Live Right 4 Your Type lists the worst avoids in the "Dietary Strategies" paragraphs of each blood-type chapter, under "Avoid Foods that are Type X Red Flags." You mentioned five of the seven for Bs, by the way. Avoids not listed there can be considered less harmful than the handful of "red flag" foods.
(2) Turn it around. Most foods are good for you. For the purpose of this discussion, I'll assume you're a secretor. Any restaurant offering steak with pepper will make you a plain steak instead. Same goes for the hamburger on the sesame bun. Truthfully, you never have to make a compromise, or choose between avoids.
Make it easier on yourself. Rather than focusing on which avoid is better than another, act on the principle that avoids aren't food. Hey! Why eat stuff you'll have to pay for twice?? They do tend to manage to sneak in from time to time anyway, with no decision-making necessary on our part. ;-} Look at the effort & energy you're spending on following this food plan! Let it do its work for you. Don't let avoids work your last nerve. They're not the centerpiece of this diet, and they don't deserve the energy.
Some people do this by packing a double "eat-out" list, showing beneficials and avoids. They focus on choosing the beneficials, asking for simple preparations (grilling, steaming, baking) when they eat out. If a food is not on either list, call it neutral and use it for fill-ins. After a while, you'll know your list by heart -- especially if you get into the habit of trying the less common foods among the beneficials and neutrals that restaurants offer more of these days.
For every blood type, there's far more to eat than not to eat. When eating out, the list of "instead of's" is endless, so I'll mention just a few of the basic ones: oil & vinegar instead of commercial salad dressing (you lucky Bs can ask for some freshly-grated parmesan); lamb or rabbit or venison - even goat! - instead of pork; kidney or lima or navy or fava beans instead of pintos; almonds in place of peanuts; juice, not sodas (chock full of chemical sweeteners, the dreaded corn syrup among them). (While you're at it, dig into a baked potato with butter and sour cream, and think of me. :-}) This surely beats haggling with ourselves over stuff that's not good for us in the first place. Better for the mind, better for the body. And a lot more fun, whether you're dining out for business or pleasure.
In sum, the blood type diets are about food that is good for you, not a test of how you withstand deprivation or a way to complicate a central function in life. The most productive decision-making process for BTD'ers is in the realm of establishing what's easily available where you eat, and figuring out how to expand that horizon according to your situation. If approached this way, these diets can free you to spend your energies in productive and enjoyable ways, in good health.