Fad diets can be enticing with their “too good to be true” quick weight loss claims. The newest craze is the Sirtfood Diet. This diet is based on sirtuins, which are proteins found in the body that regulate functions such as metabolism, inflammation and lifespan. Certain foods may be able to increase sirtuin levels in the body and are dubbed “sirtfoods.” Many sirtfoods are plant based and include kale, red wine, soy, dark chocolate, matcha green tea, walnuts, arugula, blueberries and coffee. The Sirtfood Diet combines sirtfoods with calorie restriction and claims to lead to rapid weight loss while maintaining muscle mass and protection from chronic diseases.
Is there enough evidence to support the Sirtfood Diet claims? Sirtfoods are good for you. These foods are high in nutrients, full of healthy plant compounds and associated with health benefits. But the evidence on the health benefits of increased sirtuin levels is preliminary and not confirmed in humans. So whether sirtuins can lead to weight loss, reduced inflammation and longer lifespan is unknown.
Although sirtfoods are healthy, like most diets focusing on just a handful of foods, it cannot meet all of our body’s nutritional needs. The calorie restriction is considered excessive and is not recommended. The rapid weight loss is due to the excessive caloric restriction and is mainly water weight. The weight loss is not long lasting and typically gained back after the diet ends so results are short-term at best.
Bottom Line: Do your research on all new fad diets. Sirtfoods are healthy and should be included in your diet, but this particular Sirtfood Diet is yet another fad diet that does not have enough evidence to back up its claims.
Written by: Christina Jung, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern
Source 1: Healthline
Source 2: CBS News