The Sirtfood Diet is regaining some prominence after Adele posted a salad recipe based on the diet, leading spectators to believe ‘sirtfoods’ may be responsible for the singer’s 100-pound weight loss.
Blogger ‘The Modern Nonna’ recorded the recipe for Adele’s sirtfood salad, with Ingredients including kale or lettuce, celery, apples, toasted walnuts, honey and lemon.
The simple, low-calorie, and nutrient-dense salad recipe consists of a variety of ingredients high in sirtuin activators, a group of proteins dubbed ‘sirtfoods’. The diet first emerged in 2015 following a study on the proteins that suggested a high concentration of dietary sirtuins, in combination with calorie restriction, can boost metabolism, lower systemic inflammation, and even promote longevity.
According to a 2021 Marie Claire article, sirtuins are known to “protect the cells in our bodies from dying or becoming inflamed through illness, though research has also shown they can help regulate your metabolism, increase muscle and burn fat.” Research on sirtuins has fueled claims that so-called sirtfoods help tap into the ‘skinny gene’, allowing dieters to improve weight loss, energy, sleep, and skin while eating the foods they love, according to Plant Based News.
Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten, Masters in nutritional medicine and authors of The Sirtfood Diet book, claim the diet can help dieters drop as much as 7 pounds in one week. According to Plant Based News, the authors said their motivation has been on nutritional health before weight loss, and they describe the Sirtfood Diet as an upgrade from the Mediterranean diet.
Many dieters are pleased to find coffee, red wine, and dark chocolate considered as sirtfoods. As reported by Marie Claire, other foods high in sirtuin activators include:
- Citrus fruits
- Olive oil
- Red onion
Of the many benefits Goggins and Matten attribute to sirtfoods is that consuming a diverse range of plant-based ingredients not only helps dieters lose weight, but improves overall vitality.
So, how does one follow the Sirtfood Diet?
The diet consists of three phases, all of which are characterized by maximizing consumption of ‘sirtfoods’ by drinking a specific blend of sirtfoods in juice form and consuming solid meals consisting primarily of sirtfoods. The diet consists of a strict three-week regimen, as noted by Marie Claire. In the first phase (days 1-3), dieters limit their intake to 1,000 calories per day. In phase 2 (days 3-7), dieters limit their daily caloric intake to 1,500. Finally, in phase 3, dieters limit their caloric intake to 2,000 per day.
How healthy is the Sirtfood Diet?
Perceived benefits of the Sirtfood diet include weight loss, overall health improvement, lower systemic inflammation caused by illness, and improved longevity. The theory that a diet high in sirtuin-rich ingredients can turn on one’s ‘skinny gene’ is not backed by significant research, although foods high in sirtuin activators are generally high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant-based, making them nutritious choices to include in one’s diet.
On the other hand, the list of ‘sirtfoods’ is relatively short and omits some food groups entirely. In terms of food variety and calorie intake, the Sirtfood diet is highly restrictive.
Because the Sirtfood diet protocol calls for around half of the calorie intake recommended for healthy adults by the National Health Service, this diet may be dangerous for certain populations, such as diabetic or highly-active individuals.