Category: On The Diet
Many thanks, Heidi, for taking the time to answer our questions in such detail. I am a 47 year old male Type-A secretor with one of those "hair-splitting" food questions (we "A-types" are famous for our attention to detail) that nevertheless has been nagging me for some time. Peanut oil is listed as a Type-A AVOID "artherogenic" (artery clogging) fat, while Peanut Butter, which seems to contain significant amounts of this oil, is listed as Type-A BENEFICIAL. I love natural, unsalted, additive-free peanut butter and I enjoy it daily, but I'm wondering if I'm setting myself up, over the long run, for a Type-A susceptibility to cardiovascular problems. Do you have any words of wisdom that might persuade for-or-against eating peanut butter because of its oil content? Would the regular use of extra virgin olive oil help moderate the harmful effects of fatty peanut butter? Blessings... Mark
Hello, Mark! ;-)
The food list item "peanut oil" does not refer to the naturally-occurring oil in peanuts (and peanut butter). It refers to the manufactured product, usually extracted using high heat or chemical processes -- then stored on shelves without refrigeration until (and after) purchase. The primary home and restaurant use of this oil is in high-heat frying.
While commercial establishments are required by law to repeatedly test their oil to ensure it is "safe," TV alone provides plenty of chefs who use this oil and others in extremely hot pans and fryers, billowing smoke. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ("PAHs") formed in this process have been implicated in several forms of cancer (especially stomach cancer). So, from my reasoning, if everyone chose an organic peanut oil and used it in small amounts to flavor dishes, I'd be happy. Luckily, the blood type diets are smarter than I am.
Os and Bs avoid both peanuts and peanut oil because of the peanut lectin. Secretor ABs derive more benefit from the lectin in peanuts than the nonsecretors do, but the oil drops to neutral for both of them, rather than avoid for either, since their ability to handle fats is somewhat enhanced by their B genetic heritage.
For As, it is a secretor avoid and a nonsecretor neutral -- because the A nonsecretors have a slight advantage in breaking down the oil components in this case. I know the comparative intestinal alkaline phosphatase issue among the blood types has not yet been confirmed in thorough detail, and I can't help there. But the relative avoid status of peanut oil between secretor and nonsecretor As appears to lie in the effect of its triglyceride structure upon cholesterol levels and arterial plaque formation in type A, with nonsecretors being less vulnerable to this effect than secretors are.
I hope this provides more food for thought! and thank you for writing!!
I have type B blood. Following the blood type diet, I eat cheese on a routine basis. I've noticed that "string" cheese is listed as an avoid for all blood types while mozzarella is okay for all. Checking food labels, I have discovered some "string" cheeses that contain only low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella. Others contain things like vinegar, or processed "cheese food". While avoiding the latter, I snack on the low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella "string" cheese. I have no problem digesting this cheese although I do experience plenty of digestive problems when I eat chicken, tomatoes, peanuts, corn, shellfish, or just about any other "avoid" food. Is the avoid judgement on string cheese based on testing the versions with ingredients like "cheese food", or other questionable additives? ~ Patrick
The string cheeses tested way back in Eat Right days were observed to contain the additives you mentioned, along with any number of other chemicals in some brands. It was rare to hear of a variety of string cheese which didn't have these problems, hence the original avoid status.
If the brand you like has only mozzarella on the ingredients list, it's perfectly fine for you ~~ even better if it's a medicine-free product from ranged cows. enjoy!
Hello! I'm type O and get migraines - which seem to be brought on at least in part by not eating enough protein or not eating soon enough after I begin to get hungry (carbo cravings are a major challenge!). Twice in the past couple of days, I've gotten very shaky and felt hungry again about an hour after eating what I would consider to be a very solid O meal -- strip steak and either broccoli or a large romaine and spinach salad. Any idea what might be causing this, and what I can do about it? Also do you have suggestions for a 'rescue' protein snack that might be easy to have handy at work? Would walnuts and dried fruit work to stop the shakes? I like the new format with three people to ask questions of : ) Thanks, Jane
I am an orthomolecular nutritionist based in Barcelona (Spain). I have introduced the concept of "blood type and diet" with my patients and the results are wonderful. However, I have observed that couple of my patients are suffering from arthritic pains and severe lower back pain after 5-6 weeks (more or less) following the diet, although, on the other hand, they feel fantastic overall. Could this be "cleansing" symptom? Something like a "healing crisis"? These are symptoms they have suffered for years in the past, but now they say the pain is really bad. MANY THANKS FOR YOUR HELP -- Cala
I'm wondering if people tend to feel worse before they feel better when switching to the blood type diet as "toxins" are leaving the body? I've been eating for my type - O non-secretor - for the past 3 weeks and I've noticed an improvement with some things but I've also found that I've been quite tired and lethargic. Any ideas you have on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Amber
Unexpected hunger, cravings, migraines, and renewed discomfort near old injuries can be symptoms of detoxification of the digestive tract, as well as signs that your metabolism is "changing gears" in response to the altered proportions of proteins and carbohydrates. The blood type diets have been reported to produce these effects, and while they are indicators of good work going on, the symptoms canbe pretty uncomfortable. They fade as the body settles into its new balance.
Os with cravings for the old starches & sugars can benefit from supplementing with l-glutamine or tyrosine. 5HTP is good for this purpose as well, and it can help keep migraines at bay. Ginger, quercetin & cayenne pepper alleviate the inflammation associated with the onset of migraine headaches. "Deflect-O" is most noticeably useful during the first few months on the diet, as it provides some beneficial protein sugars and has a settling effect on the bowels. Sugar and most grains act as serotonin stimulants. Take them away, and cravings can result. Bladderwrack, kelp and other seaweeds can provide the glucose your brain may be missing when you switch away from a high-carb diet.
It's a good idea to avoid stimulants such as coffee, black tea, various over-the-counter pep pills -- the adrenaline release can mimic hypoglycemia, and drive you to eat when you're not really hungry. Additionally, most of us are not accustomed to digesting our food efficiently, and may not feel as "full" on this diet as on the old diet, or for not as long. This resolves itself in time, as you shift from short-term sugar metabolism to longer-term energy from proteins and vegetables.
For a carry-along snack, you could make jerky at home from red meat or turkey --just have your butcher cut it into thin strips, marinate in a salted/spiced liquid, and dry it in a low oven, dehydrator, or in the sun. Or, pack a bag of walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries or other low-sugar fruit, sprinkled with sea salt. Maybe I'm weird! but I've found wakame and other seaweeds make a surprisingly tasty snack all by themselves. See what your HFS has on offer. :-)
It's not uncommon to see a flare-up of an old injury or sensitivity in the first few weeks or months. Lectin-damaged joint and other interstitial tissues can begin to rejuvenate. There may be a loosening and softening of hardened connective tissues, and as the patient feels better, the unaccustomed physical movement now possible can bring up new (or old) discomforts. Slow and steady win the day in this regard! A good EFA mix is heaven for the joints. Very mild stretching in the affected area, along with a basic strengthening regime for the central muscles of the body, can speed healing in the body and lightening of the spirit.
Gentle, regular exercise; sauna, steambath or whirlpool; and plenty of pure water will hasten the sometimes uncomfortable adjustment period, and bring on the sought-after strength and vitality a bit more quickly. "Gentle" is the watchword ~~ slow, easy steps rather than abrupt leaps, especially if your symptoms are severe. A kind and forgiving attitude toward yourself as you move gradually toward your goals can ward off discouragement, and incremental movement is a safer -- not to mention more pleasant -- way to proceed on this life-changing journey.