Lectins are present in all foods, even healthy ones, but they affect people in different ways. It has a lot to do with your blood type.
A 2018 overview of the lectins that lurk in the healthiest of foods
by Health Researcher Sue Visser
The “Blood Type Diet” is based on how our blood cells react with lectins in foods. According to Dr Petr D’Adamo, author of the Eat Right Diet, first published in 1998, “ignoring your blood type and how its lectins interact with the ones found in the food you consume is a recipe for disaster.” Recently lectins have come back into focus as instigators of all that ails us and some health Gurus are advising us to stop eating anything that contains lectins! Dr Mercola, for instance only tells half the story, assuming lectins only come from plants?
But the truth is that many different types of lectins are present in both plant and animal foods in varied amounts. We do not need to cut out all of the food groups or items that he and other food gurus list, because that would leave out most of our regular health foods. Even the Banting or ketogenic diets contain lectins that could harm certain people, depending on their blood type.
Not all blood types have a bad reaction to the same lectins so it is a case of:
“Jack sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean. So between them both you see; they licked the platter clean.”
What is a lectin? Lectins are anti-nutrients, chemical particles that bind to cell membranes and cause cells to stick to each other or to other substances and some of them are very harmful. They can also cause blood coagulation and upset your circulation. Plants and animals produce all kinds of lectins to prevent being eaten. The food we consume often contains harmful or disruptive lectins. Sprouted red kidney beans for instance, produce toxic lectins to stop the baby plants from being attacked by insects or foraging animals. Ricin is a lectin that is present in the castor oil bean seed and husk, but not the oil. Any animal that consumes the whole seed will die within minutes.
An informative 2017 article on the Superfoodly website provides a comprehensive study of lectins, but also fails to tell people that lectins are blood type specific.
Ideally, only the food with lectins that affect our blood type need to be considered. (Follow this link for more details about blood type , lectins and scretors.) Eliminating all food, both from plants and animals that contain lectins is not really the best strategy. That is why the original Blood Type diet can help you to simplify this dilemma. Your secretor status is determined by a separate gene to the one that affects your blood type. Blood type antigens that are present in blood, bodily fluids, digestive products, mucous and saliva will only affect the secretors (Se) – just over 80% of us. The non-secretor variant group (se) only has antigens that are present in the blood. Saliva tests can be done to determine if you have antigens in your saliva (secretor) or not (non-secretor).
The IgG and IgA blood tests used for food allergies only tell part of the lectin story because for blood type ABO secretors, saliva tests are also necessary. The IgG & IgA general food panel is a useful test in assessing food tolerance. It is more efficient than using a process of trial and error to eliminate offending foods and provides a detailed report of the reactions. It is useful to determine specific allergies an individual may have, especially to gluten. Rye may suit certain blood types for example, but not if the person is intolerant to gluten or has Celiac disease.
Dr D’Adamo’s updated studies on the behaviour of lectins that are blood type specific confirms that different blood types react to different foods. The current lectin scare needs to be put into perspective. Bread and tomatoes don’t suit everybody - neither do kidney beans and aubergines. Some people thrive on them, so why should everybody listen to the avoid-all alarmists? “Understanding the source of the lectin and the chemistry of the person consuming it is at the centre of eating right for your blood type.” (Dr Peter D’Adamo)
Prior to DNA testing, blood and saliva tests were used in forensic studies to identify people. ABO blood grouping is still useful for the initial stages of crime investigation or to identify human specimens. Semen, for instance will indicate the secretor status of its owner. The absorption-inhibition method that was developed in 1923 in Italy by Vitorio Sieacusa is still being used to determine the secretor status. In recent studies using the same method they found 83% of the subjects to be secretors of which 83.8% were females and 81% were male. Secretors are genetically more robust, they say.
There is an easier way:
HEALTHY HAPPY EATING for all blood types
The simplest way to begin is thus to check out the colour coded blood type lists I provide free of charge from our website at Nature Fresh. There are 8 lists: A, B, O, AB secretors and their 4 non-secretor variants. They are based on the original observations of Dr D’Adamo and serve as a general guideline. You can also consult his website for specific, up to date information. My full colour book is also a useful tool and provides recipes, ideas and a lot of natural health protocols: HEALTHY HAPPY EATING for all blood types by Sue Visser. It can be ordered online.
Following these blood type food and lifestyle recommendations for a month or two will help you to discover what your trigger foods are. I also provide a free beginner's guide to blood type eating that lists food that is generally agreeable for all blood types. This makes entertaining easier! A personalised, really agreeable diet will reduce your inflammation load, help you to lose weight and make you feel more energetic and simply fantastic!
You will be able to understand why blood type O-secretor can eat as many chickpeas as they like but lentils cause gas and bloating, unless they are sprouted. Sprouting breaks down many of the plant-based lectins in dried peas and beans but cooking does not. Fermenting them is also going to reduce lectin levels and makes soya products safer and more beneficial to consume. We don’t all have to cut out wheat as blood type A-secretor thrives on wheat products. For the rest of us, there is a direct link to inflammation that causes weight gain, indigestion, bowel disorders and so on.
Fermentation is one of the beast ways to reduce the lectin load, so you will find the article beslow very helpful. They are linked to resources and recipes to get you going. For instance, try making sourdough.