Adrienne Youdim MD, FACP

Why Everyone Is Talking About the Sirtfood Diet

The new trending diet lets you eat chocolate and red wine and has celebrity followers like Adele. But is it too good to be true?

From article in Shape Magazine
By Shannon Bauer
Dr Adrienne Youdim contributor

Jan. 25, 2017

In the 2015 pilot study (conducted by Goggins and Matten) testing the effectiveness of sirtuins, the 39 participants lost an average of seven pounds in seven days. Those results sound impressive, but it’s important to realize this is a small sample size studied over a short time. Weight-loss experts also have their doubts about the lofty promises. “The claims made are very speculative and extrapolate from studies which were mostly focused on simple organisms (like yeast) at the cellular level. What happens at the cellular level does not necessarily translate to what happens in the human body at the macro level,” says Adrienne Youdim, M.D., the director of the Center for Weight Loss and Nutrition in Beverly Hills, CA.

What foods are high in sirtuins?

The book contains a list of the top 20 foods that are high in sirtuins, which sounds more like a trending food list than a new, sophisticated diet. Examples include: arugula, chilies, coffee, green tea, Medjool dates, red wine, turmeric, walnuts, and the health-conscious favorite—kale. Dr. Youdim notes that while the foods being promoted are healthy, they won’t necessarily promote weight loss on their own.

What are the benefits?

You will lose weight if you follow this diet closely. “Whether you’re eating 1,000 calories of tacos, 1,000 calories of kale, or 1,000 calories of snickerdoodles, you will lose weight at 1,000 calories!” says Dr. Youdim. But she also points out that you can have success with a more reasonable calorie restriction. The typical daily caloric intake of someone not on a diet is 2,000 to 2,200, so reducing to 1,500 is still restricting and would be an effective weight-loss strategy for most, she says.

Are there any precautions?

This plan is strict with little wiggle room or substitutions, and weight loss can only be maintained if the low caloric intake is also maintained, making it difficult to adhere to long-term. That means any weight you lost in the first seven days is likely to be gained back after you finish, says Dr. Youdin. Her main concern? “Limiting protein intake with juices will result in a loss of muscle mass. Losing muscle is synonymous with dropping your metabolic rate or ‘metabolism,’ making weight maintenance more difficult,” she says.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Dr. Youdim would not recommend this diet. There are other ways that you can reduce calorie intake without being so restrictive in the foods that you eat. With that being said, the diet is not necessarily “unhealthy” so she wouldn’t necessarily caution against it if a patient found success.

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sirtfood diet Nutritionist Beverly HillsWhy Everyone Is Talking About the Sirtfood Diet

New trending diet . . . too good to be true?

Article in Shape Magazine. Dr Adrienne Youdim contributor.

 

 

 

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