Got a symptom but not sure what's causing it? Use our award-winning symptom checker to find out – it's free!

×
12th March, 20213 min read

What is the SirtFood Diet – and is it safe?

Medical reviewer:Dr Ann Nainan
Author:Kathryn Reilly
Last reviewed: 09/03/2021
Medically reviewed

All of Healthily's articles undergo medical safety checks to verify that the information is medically safe. View more details in our safety page, or read our editorial policy.

The SirtFood Diet is a relatively new diet fad that promises drastic weight loss, lower chronic disease risk, better memory and anti-ageing effects – to name just a few of its claims.

The sirtfood ‘movement’ started in 2017, when The SirtFood Diet book – written by UK nutritionists, Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten – was published. The diet focuses on eating 20 foods rich in a type of protein called sirtuins (hence the name ‘sirtfood’), which the authors claim can ‘switch on skinny genes’.

While the SirtFood Diet does promote eating some nutrient-rich foods, its advice on calorie reduction is extreme. Speak to your doctor before attempting the SirtFood Diet.

What is the SirtFood Diet food list?

The 20 recommended foods that make up the SirtFood Diet list are:

  • kale
  • red wine
  • strawberries
  • onions
  • soy
  • parsley
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • dark chocolate (85% cocoa)
  • matcha green tea
  • buckwheat
  • turmeric
  • walnuts
  • arugula (rocket)
  • bird’s eye chili
  • lovage
  • Medjool dates
  • red chicory
  • blueberries
  • capers
  • coffee

How does the SirtFood Diet work?

The SirtFood Diet follows 2 phases over 3 weeks.

In the first phase, calorie intake is reduced to between 1,000 and 1,500 calories a day. Food intake is made up of green shakes and limited sirtfood-rich meals.

In the second phase, calorie intake increases slightly – with fewer green shakes and more sirtfood-rich meals.

Once the initial 3-week programme has been completed, followers of the diet are encouraged to eat as many sirtfoods as possible and can repeat the 3-week programme as often as they feel necessary.

Does the SirtFood Diet work?

There are no published studies that investigate or show how the SirtFood Diet specifically affects weight loss, ageing or disease prevention.

Reducing calorie intake will lead to weight loss, but short-term fad diets don’t usually work for longer-lasting weight loss – the tendency is for people to regain any weight lost when they start eating normally again.

Is the SirtFood Diet safe?

Eating 1,000 calories a day is not generally recommended – it can result in poor nutrient intake and energy function and impair other important functions in the body.

Restricting calories can also slow down your metabolic rate, so you burn fewer calories every day – this can have a lasting effect on your metabolism. Besides hunger, other side effects can include tiredness and low mood.

There’s no harm in including foods from the SirtFood Diet food list in a balanced, healthy diet – many of them may have benefits thanks to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Key points

  • the SirtFood Diet involves eating 1,000 to 1,500 calories a day
  • eating as little as 1,000 calories a day is not generally recommended and can have side effects
  • speak to your doctor if you want to try the SirtFood Diet
  • foods on the SirtFood Diet are rich in proteins called sirtuins
  • sirtuin-rich foods are a healthy addition to a balanced diet
Was this article helpful?

Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.