Here’s a theory for you. The ideal dietary regime for you is linked to your blood type. If your blood type is O you should follow a high protein diet (and eat meat); if your blood type is A you should follow a high carbohydrate diet (and be vegetarian). It’s a theory, I must emphasize that, but I like the idea that there are at least four ideal dietary regimes; you just have to work out which is right for you. There is no “one-size-fits-all” diet suitable for every human on the planet, and maybe what’s right for all of us is linked to blood types.
Humans are omnivores. Historically, as a species, we have shown that we can eat just about anything. Our diets have been adapted according to what’s available. If your ancestors lived near the sea they ate fish. If they lived inland (in what is now the American mid-west for example) they hunted and ate animals. If they lived in a peaceful, fertile environment they grew and ate grains and then as the years (and centuries) went by farmed livestock to provide milk and meat.
I have a book in front of me called “Eat Right 4 Your Type” by Dr Peter D’Adamo with Catherine Whitney. It’s on Amazon if you want to check it out (here’s a link to the UK site, and that “Look inside!” feature gives you a good sample, as usual).
I can’t tell for sure whether its advice works for me because I don’t know my blood type. If the theory is correct I assume that I’m Type O. The dietary regime that I have worked out (by trial and error) that makes me feel healthiest is closer to the Type O suggestions than anything else. I have never been able to go more than a week without animal protein (and am privileged to be able to afford it, unlike people in some parts of the world). There seems to be something in lamb or mutton (chops or steak) that I need in my diet. If I go too long without it I feel like there’s something missing (and I get headaches). If there’s some combination of non-meat products that can meet the same need I haven’t been able to work it out. Eggs help a bit, smoked salmon sometimes feels like it’s providing whatever element is missing, but other red meats like steak don’t. And roast leg of lamb doesn’t meet the same need either.
Many of my friends are vegetarian – one of my drinking buddies has never eaten meat or fish in his entire life – and I appreciate the two strongest arguments for going vegetarian: to avoid cruelty to animals, and because it takes so much more land, water and other resources to grow animal protein than to grow crops. In environmental terms there is more justification for keeping sheep than most other farm animals: they will grow where nothing else will, even crops. You can find sheep living in the Australia desert, in Iceland or on windswept Yorkshire moors. I console myself with this while grilling my lamb chops.
There’s something else in “Eat Right 4 Your Type” that makes sense to me. Food types are divided into 3 categories: Highly Beneficial, Neutral and Avoid. Eat more of the stuff that’s Highly Beneficial, and Avoid the stuff that isn’t. It’s a principle we could adopt in other areas of our lives. Are there enough people in your life who are Highly Beneficial to your well-being? Are there people in your life that you should really Avoid but haven’t been able to, for one reason or another?