Sirt diet: What is the latest food craze involving red wine and chocolate?

"Sirt foods" are believed to boost health and aid weight loss

The Sirtfood Diet, which includes dark chocolate and red wine, is the regime that everyone is talking about in 2016.

So-called "sirt rich foods" work by activating proteins in the body called sirtuins. These regulate biological processes such as aging, cellular death, inflammation and metabolism, and protect cells from dying when they are under stress.

According to researchers, sirtfoods mimic the effects of fasting and exercise, can increase the speed of weight loss, and counterbalance the effects of junk food. 

The diet has so far attracted positive attention for its inclusion of red wine, especially pinot noir, dark chocolate that is at least 85 per cent cocoa, and coffee, which is ideally black. 

Other foods include blueberries, parsley, turmeric, walnuts, rocket, soy, green tea, celery, chilli, kale and apples. Buckwheat, capers, extra virgin olive oil, turmeric and red onion are also classed as sirt foods.

Authors and nutritionists Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten, who wrote The Health Delusion which criticised the health supplement industry, are behind the new book The Sirtfood Diet.

But they didn’t intend to write a weight loss book, as they stress the importance of fitness and wellbeing - not dieting.

The authors trialled their healthy eating programme full of sirtfoods on 40 gym-goers at the prestigious health club where they both work as consultants at in South Kensington, west London. The programme reportedly costs up to £1,475, according to the Evening Standard

Each of the participants lost 7lbs in seven days and reported higher levels of energy. 

Mr Goggins told The Times: "The original trial was all about stimulating rejuvenation and cellular repair.

"We had no concept that the average weight loss would be half a stone.

"Because there was a degree of calorie restriction, we knew that people would lose weight, but this was way beyond what we had imagined."

The top 20 sirt foods make up the basis of many healthy diets from around the world, according to Marie Claire. Such countries include Japan and Italy, which have some of the lowest levels of obesity in the world.

The diet has already taken off with high-profile figures in sport and food, according to Mr Goggin’s website. Converts such as Olympic gold-medallist Sir Ben Ainslie, BBC TV chef and model, Lorraine Pascale, and heavyweight boxer David Haye use the diet. 

However, a study in the Journal of Physiology "showed that excessive consumption of sirtuin-activators could undermine the positive effects of exercise, such as lowered blood pressure and better cholesterol scores," The Telegraph reported.

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