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.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, usually resolves itself with the blood type diet, with an emphasis on getting adequate dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, and potassium -- and staying away from refined grain and sugar.
In type Os, high cholesterol and triglycerides arise in conjunction with WHEAT rather than MEAT. Why? Because the wheat lectin loves to attach to insulin receptors on fat cells, and hates to let go. Kind of like the wrong key jammed into a lock. Blood levels of insulin, and subsequently cholesterol and triglycerides, elevate in response. The lectins in corn, potatoes, and many beans and legumes are to be avoided for the same reason.
85-90% of our blood cholesterol is manufactured in the liver. Cholesterol is essential for normal neurochemical function, and yes: too-low cholesterol carries its own set of health risks. So, a healthy liver is the first cause of well-balanced cholesterol. If liver function has been weakened by any one or more of the many prescription drugs which carry this side-effect, or by alcohol abuse, poor diet -- even a habitually angry outlook on life, believe it or not! -- cholesterol synthesis can rise or fall out of the normal range.
Usually, a minimal weight loss -- only 10 to 15 pounds -- will produce a sharp drop in triglycerides. Cholesterol levels, too, respond to weight loss; a 10% reduction is common when obesity is resolved. Type Os have a slightly higher normal lipid range than other types, and while Elaine's readings aren't quite in the "worry zone," I think that separating grains from proteins in meals, or alternatively following a no-grain plan, may turn this trend around within a month. A supplement that has proven highly and speedily effective in lowering cholesterol is red yeast rice. 1200 mg per day (1/2 teaspoon) is the dosage.
It is often a difficult mental adjustment for type Os who may have been told for years to eliminate meat and eat more grain to get healthy, now to learn that the opposite is true. If that's what your diet has been like, Rhonda, your results fit the profile. :-( Don't worry! The good news is that hypertension often responds well to dietary intervention, and these particular changes are toward simpler food and an active lifestyle.
Meat, and the appropriate essential fatty acids (EFAs) from oils, nuts and wild fish should replace that old way of eating. If you can drop ALL the grain for the time being and fill up on beneficial vegetables, you will speed your progress. Starting an exercise regime under the supervision of your doctor will provide vast benefits to you. By the way, using an herbal extract of Stone Root (Collinsonia canadensis) can help increase the strength and flexibility of your veins and arteries -- a concern for people with hypertension. Spend a week on the diet, and compare your blood pressure with today's reading. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
My best wishes to you, ladies, and thank you for writing!
Follow-up on the oatmeal regimin for BP reduction (one serv. of oatmeal daily). I saw my doctor about a month ago; BP remains in the normal range with Zestril dosage cut to 2.5 mg. I have not attempted to discontinue it yet. I did get another benefit from the oatmeal though, as total colestrol dropped from 167 to 137. So, now I'm now contemplating cutting the Lipator dosage. Phil
WHOO-HOO! Well, what a great report. I'm going to start referring people to Phil's Oatmeal Therapy!! Now... that Lipitor has got to be phased out so you can hang on to what's left of your cholesterol there! 137, she's a mite too low, especially for type O! What did the doc say about shaving off the Zestril, too? Is there a lower dosage (or several interim dosages) you can step down to? You're well on your way to being prescription free! Thank you so much for the update!!
I am a 57 year old, A+type male. I have been frequenting Asian grocery stores in the Sacramento (CA) area for Soba noodles (eat like a Japanese, and all that). I have purchase several different imported brands. I was very disappointed to find out, upon reading the ingredient labels that the first ingredient is wheat and the second is buckwheat in most of them. I have only been able to find one brand in which the first ingredient is buckwheat, howver, the second ingredient is wheat! (Orchids brand) I have even found one brand of soba noodle that has no buckwheat in it at all, just wheat. Is there any Soba noodle that is 100% buckwheat? As a matter of fact, it is almost impossible to find any pasta that does not have wheat as one of its ingredients. Clark
Sheesh, I have to say I'm kind of surprised... what the heck's up with Sacramento? Clark, ya gotta whip those stores into shape. ;-) Back in June of this year, I did some buckwheat snooping for a Japanese food fan, and came up with the following: Yamagata Jyuwari Soba is 100% buckwheat, sold in Asian specialty food stores. Mitoku Organic is another brand, and is available online. Just do a websearch for their name, and choose where you’d like to buy it. Clearspring is yet another. Or talk to the manager of your HFS and ask if he can get a clue over there and order 'em up. [Note added: EDEN, an international brand, makes 100% buckwheat soba. :-)] Good hunting!
Hi Heidi! A quick question about green tea. LR4YT says that it reduces the effect of harmful polyamines. Would green tea in capsule form have the same effect? The label on the bottle says that it contains 95% polyphenols. I've been on the diet for 2 years and I'm very happy with the results (type O non-secretor) Thank you very much for your help. Ilze
Greetings, Ilze! If you don't care for the tea, then the capsules are just fine! Take them with lots of water ~ or maybe something warm like tea or broth. And I'm so happy you're pleased with your results! Makes my day... thank you! :-D
Dear Heidi this is no question, but a BIG THANK YOU for your quick reply to my worries on glycerine. You are right, this vine scandal was on glycol, and I remembered when I saw you saying that... Again: THANK YOU VERY MUCH for this help! I will keep looking for this veg-gly here around (in Germany, and as soon as I find a brand or a common name I write it to you for your European/German community. Have a wonderful Advent Sunday (we celebrate the Third Advent today - there are four Advents Sundays before Christmas...) :-))) Eva
:-D That's great, Eva ~ I look forward to your report! And for the rest of you glycerine hounds, here's a note from Vicki & Orion:
WHEW!!! Thanks, Vicki & Tiny Hunter-Star! Don't worry, I haven't forgotten that kamut pie crust recipe I owe you! coming soon to a column near you. :-) and GREAT tips on glycerine sites ~ just great! ~~:-D