A number of years ago, a new type of diet concept became quite popular and several books were published regarding this “new” diet. Like any other kind of fad diet, this nutritional strategy certainly received a great deal of attention because it was new and based upon a concept in nutritional medicine which no one seemed to understand.
The concept was that you should eat certain foods—proteins, carbohydrates, and fats—depending on your blood type. In fact, just last week, a reader submitted a question to the FoodsForBetterHealth food experts, asking if this was true.
Here’s what you need to know. I think it’s important to realize that proteins are composed of subunits called amino acids, which are bonded together in chains. Now, there are various types of amino acids and the bond configuration can vary greatly. However, proteins are made of the same units of molecules and your body digests them the same way.
Digestion of proteins occurs in the stomach under acidic conditions where amino acid chains are broken apart from the protein. These large amino acid chains are further digested in the duodenum and ileum from the addition of enzymes which further break down the amino acids into polypeptides. Polypeptides are composed of smaller amino acid chains that are eventually separated into individual amino acids which are absorbed through the jejunum (small intestine) and sent to the liver for processing via the portal vein.
Now, regardless of your blood type, this is the way that all proteins are digested and assimilated into the body from your food. If you have blood type-O, this process of protein digestion and assimilation will occur in the same manner as if you had type AB blood. Whether you decide to eat a piece of chicken breast, eggs, or some top sirloin, the manner with which these proteins will be digested and utilized within your body will remain constant. The amino acids in your liver will be manufactured into new protein molecules or transported to various locations throughout your body like muscle cells for repair and regeneration. Remember, amino acids from the food you eat are used to make the enzymes which drive the thousands of chemical reactions that occur every second in each cell of your body.
The intake of high quality protein from poultry, fish, meat, eggs, dairy, seafood and whey can greatly influence your health status. Regardless of your blood type, a moderate amount of good quality protein should be consumed at each meal you.
Incidentally, from a research perspective, there are no reputable studies that I have found which have dealt with the relevance or significance of eating certain protein sources based on your blood type—this just might be some hype that’s getting attention for no reason!