Sirtfood diet is a diet that is based on including as many polyphenol rich foods as possible. Polyphenols from food cause the sirtuin to activate – proteins called “youth genes” and “slim genes”, which are intended to promote weight reduction, well-being and health. Sirtuins can have beneficial effects on the body, but there are no human studies that would confirm their slimming effect.
Sirtfood diet – a new fashionable way of eating
The sirtfood diet is a way of eating developed by two graduates of the University Of Surrey, England, who have earned a Master’s degree in food science – Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten. Their plan involves combining caloric restriction and drinking green cocktails with an increased participation in the diet rich in sirtuin activators.
Sirtuins are a type of protein found in mammals that are potentially important for life quality and longevity. They have even been called the “longevity genes” and the “slim genes”. The great interest of sirtuin researchers began at the beginning of the 21st century, when it became apparent that their increased concentration was related to the prolongation of yeast vitality. Authors of sirtfood diets have made use of scientific reports and based on them have developed a plan, which they have included in the book “The Sirtfood Diet” published in January 2016. Since then, the diet is gaining in popularity, especially because of celebrities that use it.
Sirtfood diet – recommended products
According to the authors of the diet, the key principle is not what you should leave off the menu, but what products you should add to it. The sirtfood diet is based on vegetables, fruits, spices and nuts rich in polyphenols, which activate the action of sirtuin in the body, resulting in better energy utilization, faster fat burning and cell protection against aging and disease.
The 20 most powerful sirtuin activators include:
- C Bird’s eye chilli peppers,
- Celery with leaves,
- Extra virgin olive oil,
- green tea,
- Medjool dates,
- Red chicory,
- Red onion,
- Red wine,
As a result of the chef’s authors’ collaboration, a cookbook has been created offering sirtfood recipes, such as sirt muesli, chicken breast with kale, red onion and tomato and chilli salsa, walnut truffles and dates. Many people who try different diets may be satisfied that the long-term sirtfood diet is not restrictive and allows and even recommends incorporating red wine and bitter chocolate with more than 85% cocoa content in the diet.
Sirtfood diet – rules
The sirtfood diet implies a strict diet plan only for the first three weeks of the diet. At a later stage you should not focus on the calorific value and macronutrient ratio of your diet, but on choosing products that are best for your health.
Although the authors point out that calories on a sirtfood diet are invalid, the first step of the diet is to set great restrictions. The diet starts with a three-day serving of 1000 calories. It contains three green cocktails which can be prepared using kale, celery, rocket, parsley, green tea and lemon, as well as one full meal suggested by the book’s authors. Then for the next four days, the menu is 1500 kcal and consists of two cocktails and two meals rich in sirtfood per day. You can lose three kilograms in the first week.
The second stage of the diet lasts 14 days, which consists of eating three meals a day and drinking one cocktail. According to the authors, this guarantees a steady decrease in body weight. After three weeks, no specific diet plan is in place, and you should only make sure to eat as many sirtfood products as possible. During the diet, the last meal should be eaten before 7PM and the interval between meals should not be less than 1.5 hours. It’s important to give up products commonly considered unhealthy: sweets, fast food, instant products and white flour.
Authors of sirtfood diets argue that it’s not only a diet that helps you lose weight, but a healthy way of eating, which should become a lifelong diet because it allows you to look better, have more energy and feel healthier. It’s also recommended as an ideal solution for people who love food.
Stages of sirtfood diet
|1-3 day||1000 kcal; 3 cocktails + 1 meal|
|4-7 day||1500 kcal; 2 cocktails + 2 meals|
|8-14 day||No kcal restriction; 1 cocktail + 3 meals|
|15+ day||No strict recommendations; as much sirtfood products as possible|
Does the sirtfood diet really help with losing weight?
Goggins and Matten conducted an experiment, which shows that physically active people using sirtfood diet lost an average of 3 kilograms a week without losing muscle mass. Some people even noticed an increase in muscle mass, and all participants reported a significant improvement in their well-being.
Dietitians, however, are sceptical about the outcome, as losing fat is a long-term process, and reducing the body’s content by 3 kg in such a short time is virtually unrealistic. They suggest that weight loss was largely due to the loss of glycogen and associated water. Additionally, the use of 1000 kcal and 1500 kcal diets by exercisers will always lead to weight loss and the effect is mainly due to calorie reduction rather than eating sirtfood products.
Of course, the use of a polyphenol-rich diet is very beneficial to your health and certainly will not harm anyone. Polyphenols have a very broad positive effect on the body, which has been confirmed by numerous scientific studies. However, it is thought that incorporating them into the diet will not cause weight loss and to achieve the effect you need to combine sirtfood products with reducing calories. According to experts, the slimming effect of the diet is mainly the first week, which imposes a calorie restriction.
Sirtuins, which are activated in the body by polyphenols, can accelerate metabolism and promote fat burning. They participate in the fats and glucose metabolisms and play a major role in extending the life of cells associated with insufficient energy supply. These reports sound very promising, but so far little research has been done to confirm the slimming effect of sirtuin, and all were made on mice, yeasts or human stem cells. There is no research done on humans that would confirm the effect of sirtuin on body weight.
The importance of sirtuin for health
Sirtuins play a big role in the processes of aging and life-length regulation. They participate in the replication and repair of damaged genetic material, the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, deactivate oxygen free radicals, and under appropriate conditions slow down the aging process. Sirtuins are activated when using a low-calorie diet that provides 30-50% less energy than the body needs. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that some polyphenols, such as red wine resveratrol, have the same effect as poor diets. Research on the use of sirtuin and the substances that activate them is ongoing in the treatment of diseases related to the elderly age. The beneficial effects of sirtuin on fat loss may be due to their effect on blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity (excess of circulating insulin promotes the conversion of glucose into adipose tissue). Reduced insulin secretion in response to glucose in the presence of sirtuin was found in mouse studies. The increased intensity of energy production processes as a result of sirtuin activation was also noted.