Atkins. Dukan. Paleo. Juicing. For decades, celebrities have attributed their svelte physiques, up-beat energy, and healthy guts to an array of eating regime.
Some have turned to faddy quick-fix diets that are as dangerous as they are temporary (see Kim Kardashian ahead of the 2018 Met Gala). Others have claimed that they avoid certain foods (for example, sugar, dairy, gluten) due to an alleged food intolerance, digestive problem, or allergy. And yet others seemed to have embarked on longterm lifestyle changes that are both sustainable, promote healthy body-fat ratios and come with a variety of other bonuses.
But how does one separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to eating plans?
The latest A-lister to open up about her diet is newlywed Hailey Bieber (formerly known as Baldwin), who recently revealed she follows something called the 'Blood Type Diet.'
She told Women's Health: 'I do eat meat, but I try to stick to lighter meat like chicken and turkey – I have trouble with my iron levels so I have to eat meat and couldn’t be veggie.
'But I do eat by the blood type diet as I think it makes a lot of sense and a difference when you really stick to it.'
Hailey boasts over 15.8 million Instagram followers, a collaboration with Adidas, and increasing media interest as a result of her recent marriage to Justin Bieber - so anything she recommends is likely to be taken up by thousands of followers, with real relish.
As a result, we thought it was time to find out a bit more about the Blood Type Diet. And, more importantly, question whether it really is a health way of eating?
WHAT IS THE BLOOD TYPE DIET?
The Blood Type Diet came to the public's attention in the 90s when American naturopathic physician, Peter D'Adamo published a book titled Eat Right for Your Type.
In the book, D'Adamo claims the body's response to food is directly linked to your blood type. As a result, he says that each blood type merits its own set of rules about the foods you should and shouldn't eat.
The Blood Type Diet claims to help people lose weight, improve digestive health, and improve general well-being.
The physician's website explains: 'Knowing your blood type is an important tool for understanding how your body reacts to food, your susceptibility to disease, your natural reaction to stress, and so much more.
'A single drop of blood contains a biochemical makeup as unique to you as your fingerprint.'
WHAT FOODS SHOULD YOU AVOID?
Here's what D'Adamo recommends for each blood type, according to the diet:
Type O blood
A high-protein diet heavy on lean meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables, and light on grains, beans, and dairy. Various supplements are also recommended to help with stomach problems and other medical issues people with type O he claims often have.
Type A blood
A meat-free diet based on fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, and whole grains. D'Adamo claims people with type A blood have a sensitive immune system so should opt for organic and fresh foods, ideally.
Type B blood
Avoid corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Chicken is to be avoided in preference of green vegetables, eggs, certain meats, and low-fat dairy.
Type AB blood
Focus on tofu, seafood, dairy, and green vegetables. D'Adamo alleges type AB blood tend to have low stomach acid and should also avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoked or cured meats.
IS THE BLOOD TYPE DIET A FAD?
To put it bluntly, yes.
'It's based on pseudo-science without any scientific basis,' consultant dietitian and British Dietetic Association spokesperson, Sian Porter, tells ELLE UK.
Porter says the diet often helps people feel better because the majority of it, regardless of the blood type, depends on an increase in vegetable intake, cutting out refined grains, processed meat, caffeine, and alcohol. Essentially, followers of the diet are changing, and cutting calories from their daily food intake.
'Often if people increase their protein, they'll feel fuller,' she explains. 'People lose weight on the Blood Type Diet because, one way or another, it's basically restricting what you eat.'
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF THE BLOOD TYPE DIET?
We all know to consult the advice of a medical or nutritional expert before cutting out any food group or product.
However, Porter notes the real danger with D'Adamo's diet is that it's quite 'prescriptive about what foods you should be cutting out, without necessarily recommending substitutions'.
'For example, if you’re cutting out dairy - which is normally part of your diet - you need to replace it with other calcium containing foods to balance the lack of calcium,' she says.
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'Being told to switch to organic foods and supplements you don’t need could not only make your weekly shop expensive and harder to socialise, but also dangerous for your overall health.'
SHOULD WE FOLLOW THE DIET?
Porter advises 'no'.
'Not many people know their blood type, but there's no need to rush out to have a test in order to follow this guide,' she says. 'Your GP will most likely be very hacked off to find out you've booked an appointment to find out your blood type only to do this diet.'
Meanwhile, Web MD notes that as processed food and simple carbs are to be avoided on the diet, it's possible it may aid in some weight loss. However, any loss has not been linked to a specific blood type. There's also no research to prove the diet aids digestions or increases energy levels.
While Hailey's following of D'Adamo's diet may not be advisable, Porter does say she's 'correct in eating an iron-rich diet that's balanced' if she suffers from iron deficiency.
It's rare that celebrity-promoted eating plans are ever the sole cause of eating disorders (which are more often than not as a result of complex psychological conditions).
'Though the exact cause of eating disorders is unknown, it is generally believed that a combination of biological, psychological, and/or environmental abnormalities contribute to the development of these illnesses,' reads Eating Disorder Hope's website.
However, we can't deny the influence A-listers have in the way we buy, what we believe, and how we live. As a result, we should always remain vigilant and educate ourselves properly with the help of medical experts before following any diet or eating plan promoted in the media.