Friday, November 05, 2010

B Positive, Diet and Paleo/Primal Nutrition

 I switched to paleo nutrition in February 2009 and saw immediate results in terms of well being, weight loss and general health. In a nut shell I basically stopped eating processed foods and their additives(sodium, sugars and presevatives) along with all grains, legumes, starches and dairy.

 Fast forward to today. Approaching my paleo anniversary I have stuck to the diet(albeit with occasional cheats) and had a very successful cycling season and have managed to eliminate and/or control my chronic muscle and joint pain. It has been a successful transition to a healthier WOE(way of eating).

 Researching  the premises of paleo nutrition I discovered the Eat Right For Your Type(ERFYT) diet formulated by Dr.D' Adamo - a WOE designed to optimize the correct foods for your blood type essentially by avoiding food anti-nutrients that have a negative effect upon overall health and wellbeing. Since the majority of North Americans are Type O the similarities of paleo nutrition and ERFYT are near identical. That might explain why both WOE's have experienced such positive results. The question that arose in my mind was what my blood type was and how following paleo was condusive to my health?

 This prompted me to face my deep seated fear of needles and volunteer to give blood via the Red Cross clinics at my workplace. Not only did I conquer an irrational phobia but I also would eventually know my blood type. Today my donor card arrived in the post and I am B Positive. Considered rare my blood type comprises only 7.6% of the Canadian population.

 B Positive - A History

 "Blood Type B developed in the area of the Himalayan highlands, now part of present day Pakistan and India. Pushed from the hot, lush savannahs of eastern Africa to the cold highlands of the Himalayan Mountains, Blood type B may have initially mutated in response to climactic changes...."
"The small numbers of Type B in Western Europeans represents western migration by Asian nomadic peoples. This is best seen in the easternmost western Europeans, the Germans and Austrians, who have an unexpectedly high incidence of Type B blood compared to their western neighbors...."
B Positive - Foods to Eat

  I had assumed that my success following paleo meant that I was probably Type O and was surprised when I opened my letter from the Canadian Red Cross. That said once I considered my current WOE and cross referenced to the foods suggested for Type B's under D'Adamo's ERFYT I was rather surprised.

 I have suffered from joint and muscular pain for most(all) of my life. My siblings have all been diagonosed (or been symptomatic )with various (suspected) autoimmune issues and(possible) food intolerances. Accordingly Type B's.....

"The primary challenges that can get in the way of optimum health for Type B include a tendency to produce higher than normal cortisol levels in situations to stress; sensitivity to the B specific lectins in select foods, resulting in inflammation and greater risk for developing Syndrome X; susceptibility to slow growing, lingering viruses - such as those for MS, CFS, and lupus; and a vulnerability to autoimmune diseases..."

That is definitely interesting and suits my MO perfectly. How does the food list for ERFYT match my paleo diet and weight control?

"For Type Bs the biggest factors in weight gain are corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts and sesame seeds. Each of these foods affect the efficiency of your metabolic process, resulting in fatigue, fluid retention, and hypoglycemia - a severe drop in blood sugar after eating a meal. When you eliminate these foods and begin eating a diet that is right for your type, you blood sugar levels should remain normal after meals. Another very common food that Type Bs should avoid is chicken. Chicken contains a Blood Type B agglutinating lectin in its muscle tissue. Although chicken is a lean meat, the issue is the power of an agglutinating lectin attacking your bloodstream and the potential for it to lead to strokes and immune disorders. Dr. D'Adamo suggests that you wean yourself away from chicken and replace them with highly beneficial foods such as goat, lamb, mutton, rabbit and venison. Other foods that encourage weight loss are green vegetables, eggs, beneficial meats, and low fat dairy. When the toxic foods are avoided and replaced with beneficial foods, Blood Type Bs are very successful in controlling their weight."

Go figure. Following paleo nutrition I have eliminated(for the most part) "corn,wheat, legumes,tomatoes(and other nightshade veggies). I have cheated on peanut butter and other seeds other than sesame(pumpkin and sunflower). In my defense seeds are paleo....right? They are considered paleo but often come with an moderation. According to ERFYT these are to be avoided....

"•Nuts/Seeds: filbert; poppy seeds; pumpkin seeds; sesame butter (tahini); sesame seeds; sunflower butter; sunflower seeds."

 Chicken was an interesting discovery. Even on paleo I rarely ate chicken. I just never really craved it as a food stuff. I love turkey and lamb became a staple even though I never ate it prior to assuming a paleo WOE. It was interesting to see that chicken is to be strongly avoided following ERFYT and that  turkey,cold water fish, eggs, green vegetables and lamb are considered beneficial.I had adopted all of these as my paleo "staples" over the past year.

"Foods that encourage weight loss - Green vegetables; red meat such as lamb, mutton and rabbit; liver; turkey; pheasant; eggs/low-fat dairy products, including eggs from chicken; seafood, especially deep ocean fish such as cod and salmon, also flounder, halibut and sole; licorice tea. (Licorice tea is great to sip after a meal, as this will prevent hypoglycemia); soy foods; olive and flaxseed oil; oatmeal; oat bran; millet; rice bran; spelt; puffed rice.

Is it coincidence or random luck that much of my paleo diet also corresponds to the principles of ERFYT and Type B. I am a firm believer in listening to ones body and cannot help but think that through trial and error I have narrowed down my food choices to reflect those foods that best suit my metabolism and wellbeing. I don`t think that paleo and ERFYT WOE`s are flawless concepts that are suited to everyone rather I follow the perception that each individual  must determine the foods(and lifestyle) that best suits their wellbeing.It seems to me that most modern WOE`s are all dancing around the same concept just at different POV`s.

I suspect I will do some experimentation over the winter. I eat coconuts and shell fish and seem to do well on them despite them being banned on ERFYT for type B. I avoid oats,dairy and rice on paleo despite them being OK according to D`Adamo for type B. I dont like soy. I have tried soy products in the pass and just do not like them.To me that speaks volumes. Would I reintroduce dairy into my diet based upon my aparent genetic disposition for them....probably not but the allure of butter and probiotic yogourt is appealing.That said I will try eliminating (conflicting) foodstuffs then reintroducing them to determine if there is any negative-positive biofeedback.At the end of the day let your body dictate what it likes and dislikes and abide by the decision. Stay tuned!

Quoted portions compliments of ERFYT(Dr.DÀdamo)

Post Script - An interesting rebuttal of the blood type diet.

Update - April 2013


My paleo WOE has switched to  more of a Primal approach as I now include high fat dairy, specifically butter, fermented cheeses, Greek/Balkan style plain yogourt and (coffee) cream.(FTR - I totally disagree with low fat dairy. It`s just wrong). After time I have determined that they do not cause me weight gain or result in other issues as I initially thought. In fact I suspect gluten exposure and sugar consumption were probably responsible and I make a concerted effort to avoid or limit both gluten and.sugars.

I have also come to the conclusion that pork is not an optimal food for me and that regular consumption usually comes with side effects. I now avoid or limit pork products with bacon considered an occasional treat. Oddly enough pork shares the (supposedly) same agglutinating lectin as chicken which validates theory, at least on a personal level.

Potatoes are contradictory for me. They are nightshade vegetables and can/do cause me some joint and muscle pain if I eat them in excess. There is definitely a personal "tipping point" that I need to avoid stepping over. That said I find them, as a dietary starch, very satisfying. I do alternate between potatoes and sweet potatoes (not a nightshade vegetable) for variety and both remain dietary staples.

Intermittent Fasting

I have also switched to an intermittent fasting regimen as I believe when we eat is as important as what we eat for health and wellbeing. Generally I adhere to a 17 hour fast with a 7 hour eat window schedule during the week but with some flexibility on the weekends due to sporting activities. Occasionally I will throw in a longer 20+ hour fast and conversely a far shorter one by eating in the morning. Its all about maintaining a flexible metabolism, strengthening the body from hormesis and gaining the benefits of autophagy.


Sarah said...

Hello there. Like you, I too, followed a paleo/primal diet. I too, am a B+ Canadian. I am currently toying with the idea of trying the BTD because sometimes I feel like I'm 'missing' something from my diet. My love potato's and rice. I don't like avocados and tomato's (coincidentally, both on the 'beneficial' and 'avoid' lists for B types.) I was never a big milk drinker, but I've always liked and felt that I did better with fermented foods (again, a B trait). And as much as I love bacon, it gives me heartburn (an 'avoid' item) and as much as I like chicken, sometimes I have difficulty SWALLOWING it (again, an avoid). I also was recently checked for celiac disease because gluten bothers me so much (another B avoid).I think there may be some truth behind this diet. Either way, I agree that if we just listen to our bodies, we can learn a lot about ourselves.

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