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Is it good to be true? Here's everything you need to know about the Sirtfood Diet, from the science behind it to fresh recipe ideas to try

The Sirtfood diet has become as big in recent years as the Cabbage Soup diet, the 5.2 Diet and Dukan diet, popular with celebrities including Adele, Lorraine Pascale and Jodie Kidd. But is it yet another diet that promises too much, or can following a sirtfood eating plan really help you slim down and feel better?

Hailed as the only eating plan which actively encourages red wine and dark chocolate, it does all sound a little too good to be true. We’ve separated fact from fiction to bring you everything you need to know about the Sirtfood Diet.

What is a sirtfood?

What sounds like a snack lifted straight from a sci-fi movie, a ‘sirtfood’ is actually a food high in sirtuin activators. Sirtuins are a type of protein which protect the cells in our bodies from dying or becoming inflamed through illness, though research has also shown they can help regulate your metabolism, increase muscle and burn fat – hence the new ‘wonderfood’ tag.

What can you eat on the Sirtfood Diet?

Sirtfood diet

The Sirtfood Diet headline-grabbers are red wine and dark chocolate, because they both happen to be high in sirtuin activators.

Though obviously that’s not the whole picture and you won’t feel the effects by mainlining Merlot and Green & Blacks (more’s the pity).

The Sirtfood Diet plan focuses on upping your intake of healthy sirtfoods. These include the following: apples, citrus fruits, parsley, capers, blueberries, green tea, soy, strawberries, tumeric, olive oil, red onion, rocket and that old health-lover’s favourite kale.

Interestingly, another top sirtfood is coffee, which is welcome news if you’re fed up of being told to cut out caffeine. Countries where people already consume a vast number of sirtfoods include Japan and Italy, which are both regularly ranked among the world’s healthiest countries.

Is there a Sirtfood Diet plan?

Yes there is! For the first week you restrict your intake to 1000 calories a day, which includes consuming three sirtfood green juices and one sirtfood rich meal a day. The following week you up your intake to 1500 calories a day and consume two sirtfood-rich meals and two green juices. But in the long-term there is no set plan, it’s all about adjusting your lifestyle to include as many sirtfoods as possible, which should make you feel healthier and more energetic. See point 5 (below) for more details.

Who follows the Sirtfood Diet already?

The Sirtfood Diet already has a growing number of celebrity fans, including Adele, Jodie Kidd, Lorraine Pascale and Sir Ben Ainslie.

sirtfood diet celebrity fans

Who came up with the Sirtfood Diet?

A pair of authors and health consultants called Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten, whose focus has always been on healthy eating rather than weight loss. In their new book The Sirtfood Diet, the pair lay out a meal plan which involves drinking three sirtfood green juices a day accompanied by balanced sirtfood-rich meals, such as ‘buckwheat and prawn stir-fry’ or ‘smoked salmon sirt supersalad.’

Why is the Sirtfood diet good news?

Unlike other diet plans, which are specifically geared towards dramatic and unhealthy weight loss, the Sirtfood Diet is perfect if you simply want to boost your immune system, pack in some vitamins and feel a little healthier.

Sirtfood Recipes

If you’re thinking of trying the Sirtfood Diet, we’re here to give you a helping hand, with five tasty recipes from The Sirtfood Diet book by Aidan Goggins & Glen Matten.Contained within the book is a 7-day plan to lose an average of 7lb, although adding in Sirtfood recipes to your diet can help too, if you’d rather take a more relaxed approach.

The Sirtfood Juice

sirtfood diet juice

A good way to start is with The Sirtfood Juice – so we’ve thrown in the recipe for this to start you off as a bonus extra. The book advises drinking 3 juices and adding 1 meal for the first 3 days, then 2 juices, 2 meals for the next 4.Sirtfood Green Juice (serves 1)


  • 2 large handfuls (75g) kale
  • a large handful (30g) rocket
  • a very small handful (5g) flat-leaf parsley
  • a very small handful (5g) lovage leaves (optional)
  • 2–3 large stalks (150g) green celery, including its leaves
  • ½ medium green apple
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ level tsp matcha green tea


Mix the greens (kale, rocket, parsley and lovage, if using) together, then juice them. We find juicers can really differ in their efficiency at juicing leafy vegetables and you may need to re-juice the remnants before moving on to the other ingredients. The goal is to end up with about 50ml of juice from the greens.

Now juice the celery and apple.You can peel the lemon and put it through the juicer as well, but we find it much easier to simply squeeze the lemon by hand into the juice. By this stage, you should have around 250ml of juice in total, perhaps slightly more.It is only when the juice is made and ready to serve that you add the matcha green tea.

Pour a small amount of the juice into a glass, then add the matcha and stir vigorously with a fork or teaspoon. We only use matcha in the first two drinks of the day as it contains moderate amounts of caffeine (the same content as a normal cup of tea). For people not used to it, it may keep them awake if drunk late.Once the matcha is dissolved add the remainder of the juice.

Give it a final stir, then your juice is ready to drink. Feel free to top up with plain water, according to taste.

Sirt Muesli (serves 1)

sirtfood diet sirt muesli

If you want to make this in bulk or prepare it the night before, simply combine the dry ingredients and store it in an airtight container. All you need to do the next day is add the strawberries and yoghurt and it’s good to go.


  • 20g buckwheat flakes
  • 10g buckwheat puffs
  • 15g coconut flakes or desiccated coconut
  • 40g Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 15g walnuts, chopped
  • 10g cocoa nibs
  • 100g strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 100g plain Greek yoghurt (or vegan alternative, such as soya or coconut yoghurt)


Mix all of the above ingredients together (leave out the strawberries and yoghurt if not serving straight away).

Aromatic chicken breast with kale and red onions and a tomato and chilli salsa (serves 1)

the sirtfood diet chicken


  • 120g skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • juice of ¼ lemon
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g kale, chopped
  • 20g red onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 50g buckwheat
  • For the salsa
  • 130g tomato (about 1)
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
    5g parsley, finely chopped
  • Juice of ¼ lemon


To make the salsa, remove the eye from the tomato and chop it very finely, taking care to keep as much of the liquid as possible. Mix with the chilli, capers, parsley and lemon juice. You could put everything in a blender but the end result is a little different.

Heat the oven to 220ºC/gas 7. Marinate the chicken breast in 1 teaspoon of the turmeric, the lemon juice and a little oil. Leave for 5–10 minutes.Heat an ovenproof frying pan until hot, then add the marinated chicken and cook for a minute or so on each side, until pale golden, then transfer to the oven (place on a baking tray if your pan isn’t ovenproof) for 8–10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, cook the kale in a steamer for 5 minutes. Fry the red onions and the ginger in a little oil, until soft but not coloured, then add the cooked kale and fry for another minute.Cook the buckwheat according to the packet instructions with the remaining teaspoon of turmeric. Serve alongside the chicken, vegetables and salsa.

Sirtfood bites (makes 15-20 bites)

sirtfood diet sirt bites


  • 120g walnuts
  • 30g dark chocolate (85 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces; or cocoa nibs
  • 250g Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • the scraped seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1–2 tbsp water


Place the walnuts and chocolate in a food processor and process until you have a fine powder.
Add all the other ingredients except the water and blend until the mixture forms a ball. You may or may not have to add the water depending on the consistency of the mixture – you don’t want it to be too sticky.

Using your hands, form the mixture into bite-sized balls and refrigerate in an airtight container for at least 1 hour before eating them. You could roll some of the balls in some more cocoa or desiccated coconut to achieve a different finish if you like. They will keep for up to 1 week in your fridge.

Asian king prawn stir-fry with buckwheat noodles (serves 1)


sirt food diet asian king prawn stir-fry


  • 150g shelled raw king prawns, deveined
  • 2 tsp tamari (you can use soy sauce if you are not avoiding gluten)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 75g soba (buckwheat noodles)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 20g red onions, sliced
  • 40g celery, trimmed and sliced
  • 75g green beans, chopped
  • 50g kale, roughly chopped
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 5g lovage or celery leaves


Heat a frying pan over a high heat, then cook the prawns in 1 teaspoon of the tamari and 1 teaspoon of the oil for 2–3 minutes. Transfer the prawns to a plate. Wipe the pan out with kitchen paper, as you’re going to use it again.

Cook the noodles in boiling water for 5–8 minutes or as directed on the packet. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, fry the garlic, chilli and ginger, red onion, celery, beans and kale in the remaining oil over a medium–high heat for 2–3 minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then simmer for a minute or two, until the vegetables are cooked but still crunchy.

Add the prawns, noodles and lovage/celery leaves to the pan, bring back to the boil then remove from the heat and serve.

Strawberry buckwheat tabouleh

the sirtfood diet strawberry buckwheat tabouleh


  • 50g buckwheat
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 80g avocado
  • 65g tomato
  • 20g red onion
  • 25g Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 30g parsley
  • 100g strawberries, hulled
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juce of ½ lemon
  • 30g rocket


Cook the buckwheat with the turmeric according to the packet instructions. Drain and keep to one side to cool.

Finely chop the avocado, tomato, red onion, dates, capers and parsley and mix with the cool buckwheat. Slice the strawberries and gently mix into the salad with the oil and lemon juice. Serve on a bed of rocket.

All recipes taken from The Sirtfood Diet by Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten published by Yellow Kite (£7.99, Amazon.co.uk). See more light recipe ideas in our simple summer salad guide.the sirtfood diet plan for health & weight loss

If you want to give the Sirtfood diet a go but you’re short on time (or kitchen skills), the company behind the diet have launched a delivery service that gives you the option to follow the plan, minus all the chopping.

Pssst…. Have you heard of Lifebox, ideal for handy low calorie snacks

We all know how hard it can be to avoid those tempting sugary snacks in the office or the urge to tuck into something not so virtuous in front of the TV after a stressful day. Which is why we’ve teamed up with Lifebox on their Winter Skin Edition box,  featuring 20 tasty and nutritious snacks and drinks worth over £65.
The Lifebox Winter Skin Edition made by Marie Claire is £36 and available now on lifeboxfood.com/marieclaire – snap it up before it’s gone!

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