If you belong to the type B blood group, you're directly descended from ancient nomads who migrated through Asia during prehistoric times, says the Blood Type diet creator, Dr. Peter D'Adamo. According to D'Adamo, the best way for you to lose weight and avoid autoimmune diseases like arthritis or lupus is to follow an eating plan that mirrors what those ancestors ate -- primarily game meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, including cabbage, and dairy products. Don't start the Blood Type diet until you've discussed it with your doctor. It may not be a healthy choice for all type B women.
D'Adamo says that cabbage is a beneficial vegetable for people with type B blood to eat regularly. This includes common green cabbage, red cabbage and Chinese cabbage like Napa cabbage. You can eat bok choy, another type of Chinese cabbage, up to two times a week. Whenever possible, D'Adamo recommends using organic cabbage, though fresh supermarket cabbage is an acceptable alternative.
The Blood Type diet is based on D'Adamo's premise that your inherited blood type has antibodies that will react with the lectin proteins in foods that weren't part of your ancestors' diets, resulting in medical problems. For type B people, the lectins in cabbage won't trigger the antibodies in your blood cells, says D'Adamo, and will supposedly promote weight loss. These claims aren't backed by scientific evidence, but cabbage is recognized by health experts as low-fat, low-calorie and a rich source of vitamin C and fiber. As a member of the Brassica family of vegetables, it also contains isothiocyanates, compounds that may help decrease your risk of cancer.
Type B people can shred cabbage and use it with other allowed vegetables in a stir-fry using olive oil, the oil that D'Adamo most recommends for people with this blood type. Other vegetables that are considered best for type B individuals on the Blood Type diet include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, carrots and beets. Serve the stir-fry on cooked brown rice, considered one of the most beneficial grains for people with type B blood, and paired with grilled or roasted fish. Type B people are advised to choose salmon, sea trout, halibut, cod, haddock or mahi mahi, but to strictly avoid sea bass and shellfish such as mussels or clams. The best seasonings for type B dieters following the Blood Type plan include ginger, cayenne, curry and parsley.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health associate Dr. Ingrid Kohlstadt says that, compared to how many Americans eat, the Blood Type diet is healthier since it emphasizes fresh produce, lean protein and unprocessed foods. However, the recommendations for the separate blood types, including type B, instruct followers to entirely eliminate healthy foods from their diets. For example, type B individuals are told to avoid all chicken, wheat and wheat products, corn and corn products and lentils. This could increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies, warns Dr. David L. Katz, and there is no proof that following this type of plan is any better at improving your health and promoting weight loss than a balanced diet.
Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis.