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."
Food trends in 2016
Food trends in 2016
1/11 Celeriac root
We had a kale obsession in 2015, but 2016’s vegetable sine qua non is predicted to be the knobbly celeriac root. Celeriac milk (Tom Hunt at Poco in Bristol serves it with winter mussels and wild water celery), celeriac cooked in Galician beef fat (from Adam Rawson of Pachamama, hot new chef in the capital) and salt-baked celeriac (to be found in Matthew and Iain Pennington’s kitchens at The Ethicurean in the West Country) are just a few examples.
2/11 Middle Eastern food
The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook (£24.95, Phaidon) by grand-dame Salma Hage, author of the bestseller The Lebanese Kitchen (whose halva is pictured here), is out in April
© Liz & Max Haarala Hamilton
3/11 Non-alcoholic cocktails
Grain Store mixologist Tony Conigliaro has created Roman Redhead, a riot of red grape juice, beetroot, pale ale and verjus, and Rose Iced Tea (black tea, rose petals, anise essence, pictured here)
The discerning will be slurping Hepple gin – from chef Valentine Warner and cocktail guru Nick Strangeway – which is punctuated with bog-myrtle nuances
5/11 Argyll and Bute
Restaurant followers are getting in a froth about Pam Brunton in Scotland, who opened the Inver restaurant in Argyll and Bute to acclaim last year
6/11 Andy Oliver’s Som Saa
One of the most eagerly awaited restaurants of 2016 will be the permanent incarnation of Andy Oliver’s remarkable pop-up Som Saa opening very soon in east London. Oliver, who worked at Thai god David Thompson’s Nahm in Bangkok, raised a whopping £700,000 through crowdfunding, and is renowned for his piquant Thai flavours and obsessive attention to detail, including in his home ferments and DIY coconut cream
© Adam Weatherley
Another ruminant in vogue is venison, with Sainsbury’s doubling its line for 2016. It provides a protein-packed punch, with B vitamins and iron, and it’s low in fat. Its entry into the mainstream is in part thanks to the Scottish restaurant Mac and Wild, just opened in London, whose Celtic head chef Andy Waugh (who also runs the Wild Game Co) has been touting it as street food for years (his venison burger pictured here)
From Brett Graham’s The Ledbury to Angela Hartnett’s kitchens at Lime Wood Hotel in the New Forest, Cabrito is the go-to goat supplier among the chef cognoscenti (roasted loin of kid pictured here) – but this year, domestic cooks can get in on the action, as Sushila Moles and James Whetlor of Cabrito offer their meat through Ocado
Mike Lusmore / mikelusmore.com
Coffee sage George Crawford is launching the much-anticipated Cupsmith with his partner, Emma. Crawford believes that 2016 is the year purist coffee will finally meet the masses; Cupsmith’s mission will be to make craft coffee as popular as craft beer on the high street. The company roasts Arabica beans in small batches, improving its quality – but sells it online, at cupsmith.com, in an approachable way: expect cheerful packaging and names such as Afternoon Reviver Coffee (designed for drinking with milk – no matter how uncouth, most of us want milk) and Glorious Espresso
10/11 120-day-old steak
Hanging meat for extremely long lengths of time has become an art. In Cumbria, Lake Road Kitchen’s James Cross is plating up 120-day-old steak (pictured here). The beef is from influential “ager” Dan Austin of Lake District Farmers, who is currently investigating the individual bacterial cultures that go into this maturing process
11/11 Lotus root
Diners can expect root-to-stem dining - cue the full lotus deployed by the Michelin-starred Indian Benares in its kamal kakdi aur paneer korma
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.Reuse content