SIRT Foods - Just good foods?
Nutrition

SIRT Foods - Just good foods?

Posted

17 February 2016

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There’s a bit of a buzz around at the moment about SIRT foods, said to become the way of eating for 2016.

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In their book “The Sirt Food Diet”, authors Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten describe a way of eating that incorporates foods that are rich in special nutrients that supposedly have the same effect on our bodies as fasting.

In their book “The Sirt Food Diet”, authors Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten describe a way of eating that incorporates foods that are rich in special nutrients that supposedly have the same effect on our bodies as fasting.

These foods contain compounds, which activate proteins called Sirtuins, of which there are seven. The one causing the commotion is Sirt1. The research shows that this is activated when calories are restricted. So, you can see the thinking – eating “Sirt Foods” could potentially create the same effect as eating fewer calories or none at all. It’s all linked to a gene that kicks in when we fast that they refer to as the “skinny” gene. When this happens, the process of storing fat stops and genes that support cell repair and rejuvenation are switched on.

In terms of the role of exercise, the authors are certainly advocates of it, yet their claim is that eating this way means you would not have to work so strenuously to get results. Furthermore they actually claim working out too hard is damaging.

When you look a little deeper you can see that there is a huge amount of research happening on this subject, primarily from pharmaceutical and medical perspectives. There are links to curing cancer and diabetes, reversing degeneration of the brain and lengthening life in general. What is also evident however, is that there is much more work to be done.

There are also plenty of challenges to the diet theories. As far back as 2003 scientists were looking into reservatrol, a polyphenol in red wine (derived from the skins of red grapes) that was considered to be a sirtuin activator. The bad news was, to get any noticeable effect you would have to be drinking around 40 litres a day; not the healthiest of challenges!

But the good news about all this is that the theory is all about eating more of some fantastic tasting foods we are probably incorporating into a healthy eating regime anyway (though almost certainly not with dramatic weight loss effects). Here are some of the top foods in the list:

  • Kale
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Turmeric
  • Cocoa (& Dark Chocolate)
  • Green Tea (particularly matcha)
  • Red Onions
  • Strawberries
  • Walnuts
  • Coffee (black)
  • Medjool dates

In the book by Goggins and Matten, they make reference to diets around the world that are rich in foods from the list with some pretty compelling statistics that support the health claims they make. There are links to the Kuna American Indians in Panama and their consumption of cocoa, Mediterranean diets with their olive oils, turmeric and its role in Ayurvedic medicine and Asian countries that enjoy green tea.

The book features a range of recipes and a diet plan, which includes a week with meal substitutions with “Sirt Food” rich green juices, which, whilst it doesn’t refer to calorie intake, does seem like an overall reduction in such – which may be the driver behind the 7lb claim.

Regardless of this however, “Sirt Foods” are without any real doubt, great foods. Eating more of them would be both a pleasure and a benefit to most people. This may well be a fad diet disguised behind a denial of such, but regardless of the claims being suggested, encouragement to eat more of these things is a tick in my book.

References

https://www.caymanchem.com/app/template/Article.vm/article/2118

“The Sirt Food Diet” by Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten


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