Genotype Diet: Your Optimal Diet Based on Your Genes

Eating based on the particular type and arrangement of genes in your body is the best diet for you. This is known as your genotype. 

There are broadly six genotypes based on the lifestyles that our ancestors led over thousands of years: Hunter, Gatherer, Explorer, Warrior, Teacher, and Nomad. 

Once you identify your genotype pattern, a diet (a way to eat, not a losing weight plan) based on that genetic variant will benefit you greatly. Each genotype also has suggested physical activity goals to maintain body composition and stress levels.  


“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are,” wrote French lawyer Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in 1826.   

But is this statement correct? You might know of people who go on strict diet plans, and yet experience constant weight change throughout their lives. Or you might envy those who have no dietary restriction or diet intervention, and yet lose weight effortlessly. Those people who raise twins can vouch for the polar opposite genetic makeup when it comes to diet plans and physical activity. Even identical twins respond differently to the same foods.1 

The main focus of this article is to get you thinking about your perfect plate. It is possible to tailor your diet according to your genetic variation and its match with one of the six genotype diets.  With increasingly sophisticated gene testing, the future of food will be in personalised nutrition. Consequently, there should be no more general-purpose diet plans dished up by public health campaigns. 

The 3 most important takeaways are

  1. All of us have different genetic makeup (genotypes)
  2. We fall into one of the six genotypes (Hunter, Gatherer, Explorer, Warrior, Teacher, and Nomad)
  3. A diet and exercise plan based on your genotype can result in a healthier lifestyle.  

Obesity Genes

Gene Terminologies

Before we dig into the obesity genes, let us first understand the following terms:

  • A gene is the basic unit of inheritance that forms a small section of our DNA. Genes are passed down and have instructions for our characteristics like eye and hair colour. These genes are lined up one after another on structures called chromosomes.  
  • An allele is a distinct form of the same gene. We inherit two alleles for each gene, one from each parent. The alleles can be similar or different. Both alleles are found in the same position on a chromosome.
  • Genome is the entire genetic instructions found in a cell. In humans, the genome is made up of 23 pairs of chromosomes that contain about 3.1 billion letters of the code – As, Cs, Gs, and Ts.
  • Single nucleotide polymorphisms, called SNPs, are the places in the genome where it is different for each person. After every 1,000 letters of code, you’ll run into these differences. For instance, you might have a C but another person would have a T. SNPs are the most common type of genetic variation with more than 100 million SNPs found so far.
  • A genotype is the collection of genes. It can also refer to the 2 alleles that we inherit for a particular gene. That specific difference in sequence within an individual gene is called a genotype. Moreover, the genotypes are passed on through generations. 

Now that you have a better understanding of the terms, let’s look specifically at the genes that play a part in our weight. 

Fat Mass and Obesity-Associated Gene (FTO gene)

“What is food for one person may be bitter poison to others.” – Titus Lucretius Carus.

Some of us are resigned to the fact that we can no longer eat heartily without gaining significant weight and carrying a high body mass index (BMI). Moreover, we limit our dietary intake by sticking to low-fat, low-sugar, and low-calorie diets.

Yet, the lucky few can have a high-fat, and high-sugar diet without any weight issues or hormonal imbalances.

Could the secret to these differences be in the SNPs? In the As, Cs, Gs, or Ts?

A UK-wide study linked the “fat mass and obesity-associated” gene (FTO gene) to metabolic rate and energy regulation in the body.2 It found that the rs9939609 SNPs in the FTO gene region on chromosome 16 showed a highly significant association with the risk of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, the diabetes-risk alleles at the FTO gene had a strong association with increased BMI.

More recently, the same FTO gene was shown to influence body weight after a study group underwent bariatric surgery (surgery to make the stomach smaller).3 Not only was weight loss lower after 2 years of surgery, but weight regain was also higher and quicker in the FTO SNP (AA or AT genotypes).

What is a Genotype Diet?

A genotype diet is a way to eat based on simple measurements and blood type to group the human population into 6 basic groups. This idea comes from naturopathic medicine (a way of treating illness using natural methods). 

One of the pioneers in the genotype diet is Dr Peter J D’Adamo. He is a naturopathic physician who has strongly advocated this genotype diet. In the next section, we summarise his work in a table format.4-14

The 6 Genotypes


Brief Description:

  • Typically long-legged, total leg length greater than torso length
  • Superb metabolism among the six types

Diet Recommendation:

  • Pure paleo diet (unprocessed foods primarily based on meat, fish, eggs, and nuts)
  • Vitamin B and folic acid to optimise gene methylation (the process of keeping DNA integrity during replication)

Exercise Recommendation:

  • Vigorous exercise to release adrenaline, and maintain emotional balance

Blood Type:

  • O


Brief Description:

  • Shorter, with lower legs shorter than upper legs
  • Thrifty genes inhibit the activity of insulin-like growth factors

Diet Recommendation:

  • Lower fructose content in a low glycemic diet
  • Avoid wheat and dairy
  • Lean, organic meats, vegetables, and fruits to control weight

Exercise Recommendation:

  • Moderate activities(tennis, golf) and calming exercises(meditation and Yoga)

Blood Type:

  • O, B


Brief Description:

  • Low to medium body fat percentage
  • High metabolism
  • A large amount of muscle mass and muscle size

Diet Recommendation:

  • Food, vitamins, and medicine allergies
  • Caffeine sensitivity
  • Avoid carcinogens like tobacco smoke
  • No fava beans (broad beans)
  • Detoxifying diet
  • Folic acid, B12 and iron

Exercise Recommendation:

  • Moderate to vigorous exercises

Blood Type:

  • Any blood type but often Rh-negative


Brief Description:

  • Programmed for over-activity
  • Egg-shaped head, tall and long-legged
  • Warriors have the highest fecundity among genotypes

Diet Recommendation:

  • Drug resistance
  • Avoid red meat (especially well-done meat)
  • Seafood, tofu, dairy, and green vegetables for weight loss

Exercise Recommendation:

  • 3 days of intense physical exercise followed by 2 days of calming exercises

Blood Type:

  • Mainly A, AB


Brief Description:

  • Small bone size, high metabolism
  • Visible tendons and ligaments underneath the skin
  • Torsos and legs about equal length
  • Tolerant genotype (not prone to inflammation and allergies)

Diet Recommendation:

  • Avoid simple sugars and carbohydrates
  • Eat plant-based antioxidants (Flavonoid class)
  • Replace meat and potato with soy proteins and grains

Exercise Recommendation:

  • High activity levels

Blood Type:

  • A antigen blood type (A1, A2, A1b, A2B)
  • Usually Rh-positive


Brief Description:

  • Low to medium body fat percentage, medium to large bone size, a medium to high metabolism, a large amount of muscle mass, and muscle size
  • Taller at higher altitude
  • Torso length is usually equal to their total leg length
  • Not prone to obesity, diabetes, or cardiovascular diseases

Diet Recommendation:

  • No chicken as it contains lectin
  • Corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils cause weight gain
  • Green vegetables, mutton, rabbit, venison, and low-fat dairy

Exercise Recommendation:

  • A balance between meditative activities with more intense physical exercise like tennis, golf and hiking

Blood Type:

  • Blood type with B antigen (B and AB)


Personalised Approach

According to Dr. D’Adamo, once toxic foods are replaced with a genotype diet, you would be successful in controlling your weight. In his work, he points out the unique SNPs for each genotype. 

Holistic Approach 

The genotype diet makes changes to your diet plan and physical activity based on your genetic inheritance. Choosing the right foods and activity levels specific to your genotype will help you achieve general well-being and weight loss. 



Although genotype is inherited, a phenotype is the product when your genotype interacts with various environmental factors. Hence a diet solely based on genotype is neglecting the effect of modifiers (e.g. nutrition, obesity).15

Nutrient Deficiencies

Omitting an entire group of food like dairy or grains might lead to deficiencies in important vitamins and minerals. 


There is no “one size fits all” diet for us. Each of us is unique based on our genes. Therefore, we must know our genotype and have a lifestyle that matches it.


  1. ZOE Ltd. American Society of Nutrition 2020 – First findings from the PREDICT studies [Internet]. [place unknown]; 2022 [cited 2022 Mar 21]. Available from:
  2. Frayling TM, Timpson NJ, Weedon MN, Zeggini E, Freathy RM, Lindgren CM, et al. A common variant in the FTO gene is associated with body mass index and predisposes to childhood and adult obesity. Science[Internet]. 2007 [cited 2022 Mar 21];316(5826):889-894.doi:10.1226/science.1141634.
  3. Rodrigues GK, Resende CM, Durso DF, Rodrigues LA, Silva JL, Reis RC, et al. A single FTO gene variant rs9939609 is associated with body weight evolution in a multiethnic extremely obese population that underwent bariatric surgery. Nutrition[Internet]. 2015 Nov-Dec [cited 2022 Mar 21];31(11-12):1344-50. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2015.05.020. 
  4. [Internet]. [place unknown].The explorer epi-genotype;2019 Dec 2 [cited 2022 Mar 21]; Available from:
  5. [Internet]. [place unknown].The nomad epi-genotype;2019 Dec 2 [cited 2022 Mar 21]; Available from:
  6. [Internet]. [place unknown].The warrior epi-genotype;2019 Dec 2 [cited 2022 Mar 21]; Available from:
  7. [Internet]. [place unknown].The hunter epi-genotype;2019 Dec 2 [cited 2022 Mar 21]; Available from:
  8. [Internet]. [place unknown].The teacher epi-genotype;2019 Dec 2 [cited 2022 Mar 21]; Available from:
  9. [Internet]. [place unknown].The gatherer epi-genotype;2019 Dec 2 [cited 2022 Mar 21]; Available from:
  10. [Internet]. [place unknown].Blood type and your health;2019 Dec 2 [cited 2022 Mar 21]; Available from:
  11. [Internet]. [place unknown].Blood type o;2019 Dec 2 [cited 2022 Mar 21]; Available from:
  12. [Internet]. [place unknown].Blood type a;2019 Dec 2 [cited 2022 Mar 21]; Available from:
  13. [Internet]. [place unknown].Blood type b;2019 Dec 2 [cited 2022 Mar 21]; Available from:
  14. [Internet]. [place unknown].Blood type ab;2019 Dec 2 [cited 2022 Mar 21]; Available from:
  15. Ordovas JM. Genotype-phenotype associations: modulation by diet and obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring)[Internet]. 2008 [cited 2022 Mar 11];16 Suppl 3(Suppl 3):S40-S46. doi:10.1038/oby.2008.515.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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