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Should I follow the Sirtfood diet plan? - Is it safe, healthy and effective?

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Should I follow the Sirtfood diet plan? - Is it safe, healthy and effective?

What is the Sirtfood diet?

Hailed as the reason for Adele’s dramatic weight loss, the Sirtfood diet is still hitting headlines, but should you try it? The Sirtfood diet encourages people to eat foods that are high in a group of phytonutrients called polyphenols. The idea is that these polyphenols will increase the work of specific proteins called sirtuins. Sirtuins help in the regulation of metabolism, inflammation and ageing. They also enhance your body’s ability to burn fat and help regulate metabolism. Both of these processes are important to achieve weight loss.

What the diet says you can eat?

‘Sirtfoods’ rich in polyphenols include apples, soybeans, kale, blueberries, strawberries, dark chocolate (85%), red wine, matcha green tea, onions and olive oil, among others.

The Sirtfood diet uses two phases over 3 weeks. The first phase (week 1) starts with 3 days of an energy restricted diet (4,200 kJ per day), made up of a Sirtfood green juice and 1 Sirtfood meal. Days 4-7 aim for up to 6,300 kJ per day, made up of 2-3 green juices and 1-2 meals. The second phase (weeks 2-3) aims for an energy intake of 6,300-7,500kJ, including three Sirtfood meals, one green juice and one or two snacks. After the 3 week diet, the aim is to follow a balanced diet, with a focus on including primarily Sirtfoods and green juices.

What are the reported benefits?

  • Eating polyphenol rich plant food will definitely increase your intake of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, which are all essential to achieve a ‘balanced’ diet

  • For people seeking to lose some weight, the initial energy restriction will result in some weight loss initially

  • The Sirtfood diet limits energy-dense, ultra-processed foods, which helps reduce your risk of chronic diet-related health problems

What are the downsides?

  • The initial rapid weight loss that typically occurs in phase one will include some loss of water and glycogen from your muscles and liver, rather than being all body fat. This means that the scales can go back up once the water and muscle glycogen are replenished

  • The first phase includes a major total energy intake restriction likely to trigger rapid weight loss. This can trigger some side effects like gallstones or liver inflammation in people with underlying health conditions. Hence a medical review by your GP and supervision and support of qualified health professionals is recommended

  • Some of the recommended foods may be difficult to locate in Australia, or may be expensive

  • The Sirtfood diet is not supported by scientific evidence from human intervention studies, rather it is based some lab based studies in animals

The bottom line:

The Sirtfood diet relies on anecdotal evidence, and raises some alarm bells when checking it against our checklist for spotting a fad diet. The Sirtfood diet promises quick and dramatic results, and makes claims based on personal testimonials. While it may help to achieve weight loss in the short term, for longterm health and wellbeing, a ‘balanced’ intake of nutrient rich foods that meets nutrient requirements is recommended.

Your Personal Healthy Eating Quiz

What you eat or don’t eat affects how you look, feel and perform. Take our short quiz to find out what foods you could introduce to help you be your best.

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What is healthy eating?

Eating healthy is making sure you enjoy a wide variety of foods from each of the five major food groups daily, in the amounts recommended. The five major food groups as recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating are:

  1. vegetables and legumes/bean
  2. fruit
  3. lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes/beans
  4. grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
  5. milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat.

Foods are grouped together because they provide similar amounts of key nutrients and eating a variety of foods from the list above helps to promote good health and reduce the risk of disease.

How do I improve my diet?

If you want to improve your diet you have come to the right place. By completing the Healthy Eating Quiz you’ll receive instant personalised feedback and a report on your diet quality to highlight any areas where you can improve your overall eating habits. Your score is based on the frequency and variety of the foods consumed from the five major food groups mentioned above. No Money No Time can help you improve your score by providing tips, goals and suggestions. On top of this we will provide quick, cheap and healthy recipes as well as credible answers to diet hacks, myths and FAQ’s.

Is my diet healthy?

Dietary habits are different between people. Some people choose to follow a particular diet (i.e., Keto diet or vegan diet) while some have to make changes due to certain food restrictions or health conditions. If you want to know if what you usually eat is healthy, then do the Healthy Eating Quiz today to give you the answers in less than 10 minutes.

Why is healthy eating important?

Your HEQ score and personalised feedback report is based on the frequency and variety of healthy core foods you usually eat. This is important because no single food contains all the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Some foods are higher in nutrients than others and people who have a lot of variety in the foods they eat are more likely to be healthy and to stay healthy. In other words, if you can eat a large variety of vegetables as opposed to only 2-3 types of vegetables, the benefits are much greater. This type of diet also helps you to feel better, think better and perform better during your usual daily activities.

Take the Healthy Eating Quiz