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Blood type and diet

By Cherice Bronte-Tinkew, RD

I have recently been asked about diets matching blood types. I know there are so many diets promoted these days for weight loss, preventing cancer or diabetes etc. and sometimes it’s hard to sift through the claims. Is the blood type diet to be taken seriously?

Blood type is the classification of one’s blood. There are four types: A, B, AB, and O. This diet was suggested by a naturopath which studies alternative medicine. The diet outlines very specific types of food based on a person’s blood type.

You may see a lot of different suggestions when searching for these diets, for example AB blood type persons are recommended seafood and green vegetables and to avoid chicken, or O blood type persons are recommended to eat more meats and avoid dairy.

Some studies are still inconclusive and show no relation to blood type and eating specific foods. The verdict is still not in for this diet.

Variety of foods are limited

Firstly, many fruits and vegetables are seasonal depending on where you live. The blood type diet recommends more options grown abroad and may not be readily available here in the Caribbean. There are recommendations for organically sourced foods as well. So especially if you are not an avid gardener, the organic recommendations are very scarce in the local markets and if they are, it comes with a higher price.

Expense and food availability

The environment plays a role when it comes to one’s diet. What if one cannot afford only seafood? This is why an assessment is always done by qualified people such as a registered dietitian to determine what can benefit you the most, based on food availability and budget.

Religious beliefs and other medical conditions which contradicts the diet

The diet does not consider if you have a specific religious belief or adhere to certain dietary practices. It does not consider if you are gluten intolerant or have a seafood allergy or have a medical condition such as heart disease.

It would be awkward for an O blood type person who is a vegan and told they must eat meat. The diet does not suggest balanced meals or quantities of foods which are important in weight management and reducing chronic lifestyle diseases.

It can benefit everyone if they add in more fruits, legumes and vegetables as suggested by the diet, but it should not be as strict as suggesting seasonal items or limiting them to organically grown items.

The Caribbean Six food groups are a great first step to ensuring you get a balanced diet. A registered dietitian can help with addressing one’s diet for certain medical conditions, food intolerances and allergies.

Staples, Fats and Oils provide energy. Choose high fibre foods in Staples to reduce weight and chronic lifestyle diseases. Choices for Fats and Oils should be low in saturated fats and free of trans fat.

Legumes and Food from Animals provide great sources of protein for building tissues and muscles. Fruits and Vegetables provide vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, potassium, and especially dark green leafy vegetables, contain iron for increasing red blood cell count.

Examples of each food group

Staples: whole grains, corn, cereals, oats, ground provisions, rice, plantain, green fig

Legumes: peas, beans, nuts, and seeds

Food from Animals: chicken, beef, fish, pork, turkey, milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs. Limit red processed or cured meats.

Fruits: paw paw, pineapple, mango, lime, banana, sapodilla, pommerac, portugal

Vegetables: bodi, pak choi, dasheen bush, pumpkin, tomato, cucumber

Fats and Oils: margarine, ghee, olive oil, avocado, soybean oil, butter, coconut milk


Cherice Bronte-Tinkew has been a registered dietitian for over eight years. She is the Secretary of the Board of Nutritionists and Dietitians and a member of the Tobago Association of Nutritionists and Dietitians.

For more information: Facebook and Instagram pages @JustCherNutrition.



Resources used:

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash