Eat For Your Body Type
The concept of body type is central to Ayurveda, and my experience with that tradition gives me a lot of confidence as to the value of diets for specific body types. Dr. D'Adamo has written a bestseller, Eat Right for Your Type. Naturally, this is a book that would interest me. In fact, I'm fairly confident that the idea of a nutrition program for each body type is scientifically sound and it is something I'd like to continue learning about.
The first time I became really familiar with Dr. Adamo was while doing some research on ghee - one of his FAQS popped up on Google. I respect that Dr. D'Adamo has his facts right about ghee -- most other doctors do not, and they don't even have a mind open enough to look at the current research or historical usage.
I would like to learn more about Dr. D'Adamo's nutrition program. However, my first forays into his work (beyond his ghee FAQ) were not confidence inspiring. In my opinion, blood type alone is not sufficient for determining nutritional requirements.
However, Dr. Fuhrman, in Eat to Live, provides a well-researched and very specific critique of Dr. D'Adamo's program. When I went looking for facts to support Dr. D'Adamo positions, I couldn't find many. Dr. D'Adamo himself doesn't offer much help for those of us who would like to see if he can counter Dr. Fuhrman's analysis. He says,
And then he doesn't offer any facts or other details to support the specific claims Dr. Fuhrman identified as being unscientific. (And Dr. Fuhrman seems to have ripped apart Dr. D'Adamo's central concepts.) As far as I can see, Dr. D'Adamo doesn't do anything except offer a few quotes about not responding to criticisms.
Finally, I noticed a small (or maybe not so small) factual problem on his website. I wonder how D'Adamo can claim,
Maybe he doesn't consider Ayurveda a science, and if that's the case then he will lose more of my respect. And maybe he has not heard of Roger J. Williams (Biochemical Individuality: The Basis for the Genetotrophic Concept - John Wiley & Sons, 1956). Either way, his web site's claim is not factual.
My research in support of Dr. D'Adamo lost its momentum as a result of his unsupported boast on his web site. However, maybe some of you reading this blog will pick up where I left off and help me gain back my respect for Dr. D'Adamo. (After all, if he isn't credible, I can't cite him in my ghee research. And I didn't cite him. But if he is truly a good scientist, I'd like to know and I'd like to be able to cite his books or publications in the future.) Who knows, maybe it will turn out that the claim on his web site was created by a web designer without Dr. D'Adamo's approval, and maybe he does have a lot of good scientific support for his nutrition theories.
However, for now, I'll stick to eating for my body type based on Ayurvedic principals. Ayurveda views each person as completely unique. Each person has a unique mind-body constitution as well as a unique set of environmental factors that influence their mind and body. Ayurveda takes all this into consideration when determining the appropriate diet for that individual.
Ayurveda also utilizes this knowledge in prescribing herbs (and other treatments) or even in recommending exercises and lifestyles. Ayurveda is a very comprehensive program.
When one becomes familiar with these principles, it is easy to tailor each day's diet to the specific conditions of the day. For example, I can adjust my diet for the weather. Doing so may be as simple as using a different spice mixture on my food. Utilizing Ayurveda is easy. It is also fun and natural, because the selection of foods is done via the sense of taste. (That said, Ayurveda isn't necessary trivial, so don't expect it all to make sense immediately. There are some deep concepts that might take a while to understand if you are new to Ayurveda). The biochemical reactions in my body are affected by the weather uniquely, so a program that can be this specific is quite powerful and advanced. I'm not sure there are any other modern nutrition programs with this level of sophistication.
To learn more about Ayurveda body types, here is a simple web questionnaire that you can play with. Don't take it too seriously, and don't be concerned if you don't get a clear-cut answer. The Ayurvedic body types are very sophisticated and very subtle, and you shouldn't expect a definitive answer without consulting a professional - just as you would not expect a definitive diagnosis without visiting a competent physician.