Wheat Free or Gluten Free? What Your Blood Type Tells You
Gluten free diets have become popular lately. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, spelt, and rye, and oats are often contaminated with wheat proteins from processing. Gluten-free oats have been grown and processed away from gluten-containing grains to avoid cross-contamination. Some people have Celiac Disease or non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, and need to remove all traces of gluten from their diets. Others may benefit from removing wheat from their diets, even if gluten itself is not the problem.
Sometimes people think they are gluten-intolerant when in reality they are lectin-intolerant.
Lectins are natural proteins found in foods that can react with blood type antigens. Simply put, lectins make things stick together. This can be beneficial as when lectins stick to waste products and make it easier to remove them from the body. But lectins can cause blood cells to clump together, increasing the chance for a reaction. Some lectins will attach to cells where insulin should go, preventing real insulin from doing its job. Or they can block a hormone from being released, or encourage the body to release a different one. They can make the liver or kidneys more sluggish. Lectins can be problematic, and over the years, I’ve seen thousands of patients’ health improve by eliminating negative dietary lectins from their diets.
Since there are blood type antigens found in the digestive tract, the negative effects of dietary lectins can cause inflammation in the gut and affect digestion. Some lectins make it into the blood stream to cause problems elsewhere in the body. Lectins are very blood type specific; there are foods that are toxic for one blood type, yet perfectly healthy for another, and this is why the personalized elements of the Blood Type Diet can make such a big difference. Lectin damage can be responsible for many of the health problems that make people consider a gluten-free diet, such as achy joints, fatigue, skin problems, and digestive issues.
Wheat germ agglutinin, or WGA, is a potent lectin found in wheat. Many people who think they’re gluten-intolerant may have problems with WGA instead. These individuals may do just fine with barley, rye, and/or spelt. The trace amount of wheat found in regular oats is not enough to cause problems for many people, including some who don’t tolerate wheat. This would not be true for individuals who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
The Blood Type Diet is designed to minimize the harmful lectins in your diet. Individuals with an intolerance to wheat may want to see if they can tolerate the gluten in grains that are beneficial for their type. Some people truly are intolerant to gluten and need to avoid it, while others find that it is the lectins in wheat, and not the gluten, causing their problems.
Sometimes the switch to a gluten-free diet worsens health. For example, a Blood Type B individual may stop eating white bread, and replace it with a gluten-free product containing corn, or a Blood Type O individual will chooses a product made with tapioca, which is an avoid food for them. By going “gluten free,” they actually added in other foods/ingredients that can have negative effects on their health. This is why it is important to remember that a one-size-fits-all gluten free food may not be right for you, and the key to your overall optimal health is personalizing your food and nutrition choices. And what is the simplest way to do this? Know your blood type.
THE FOLLOWING CHART HIGHTLIGHTS THE FOODS THAT CONTAIN LECTINS SPECIFIC TO EACH BLOOD TYPE, WHICH SHOULD BE AVOIDED.
Editors Note: For more information on lectins, please refer to our ariicle that excerpts the Lectins Chapter in the Eat Right 4 Your Type Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia by Dr. Peter D’Adamo with Catherine Whitney. View complete article and references