The Bonus Years Diet Review

by The Diet Critic on November 28, 2019

bonus years diet reviews
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The Bonus Years Diet is a diet program that focuses on “7 miracle foods” that the creator of the diet says can improve your overall health and longevity. By making the seven foods promoted in this diet a part of your regular eating regimen, the claim is that you can extend your life by more than six “bonus” years.

The Bonus Years Diet is a book written by Dr. Ralph Felder, who is a trained chef and the chief of cardiology at a “major hospital”, according to the marketing materials. Co-author of the book is Carol Colman, a New York Times Bestselling author. 

The Seven “Miracle” Foods

This book focuses on seven “miracle” foods which the authors claim will add to your life 6.4 years if they are properly utilized. More specifically, they say that both men and women can live longer simply by properly incorporating those seven foods into daily food consumption.

  • Men can live longer – on average – by 6.6 years
  • Women can live longer – on average – by 4.8 years

The seven “miracle foods” that are the foundation of The Bonus Years Diet (in no particular order), and their supposed benefits are:

  1. Chocolate – Two ounces of dark chocolate daily lowers blood pressure levels due to high-antioxidant content.
  2. Fish – Eating three servings of fish per week can help to prevent heart rhythm disturbances and reduces cardiovascular disease by 14%.
  3. Fruits – Four cups of fruits and vegetables daily can lower cardiovascular disease by 21% because of their effects on reducing blood pressure.
  4. Vegetables – Same benefits as mentioned for fruits.
  5. Garlic – One clove of garlic per day can lower cholesterol levels and the risk of blood clots.
  6. Nuts – Two ounces of nuts per day decreases cholesterol levels and cardiovascular risk by 10%.
  7. Red wine – Drinking one glass a day lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by 32%.

The claim is that the lives of the dieters will not only be longer, but these people will also be at lower risk for cardiovascular disease, since they state that the foods are linked to lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol, as well as reducing blood vessel clotting and inflammation, while giving good cholesterol levels a boost.

The Bonus Years Diet book comes with over one hundred recipes and a meal plan that lasts thirty days. There is no calorie counting required in order for this diet to be successful, it is based solely on eating the diet that they claim to be the ideal healthy one. 

The Bonus Years Diet Pros

  • The seven “miracle” foods are linked to studies: The benefits of The Bonus Years Diet are that, if it lives up to its claims, it adds years to your life. The program was designed by a medical doctor and a chef. There is some medical research to support some of the concepts and ideas that are outlined in the book. The “miracle foods” do indeed have links in clinical studies to provide cardiovascular benefits. For instance, studies have found that regular consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with decreased risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and stroke. 
  • Weight loss could be a side effect – By eating a more nutritious diet that is portion controlled, but that is indeed delicious, weight loss could occur as a side effect. 
  • Good range of recipes – Many healthy recipes are provided to make it easier to know how to follow the meal plans that are provided. Several of the “miracle foods” are treat foods. It is comparable to the Mediterranean diet, which has received some praise and is quite popular.  

The Bonus Years Diet Cons 

  • Not really a diet for weight loss – Unfortunately, there is not a great deal of focus placed on weight loss. This is geared more toward health in general.
  • No scientific proof that following this diet is good for you – While the seven foods may have a few studies to back up some of the health claims, ultimately, none of these foods are “miracle” foods nor should they be thought of in this way. Moreover, there is no proof that following this diet will add years to your life. 
  • Eating the same food daily may become tedious – Though many of these foods are treat foods and delicious, many people struggle with eating the same ones every single day.

Prior to following this diet, it would be in your best interest to speak with your healthcare provider.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Christy March 13, 2012 at 7:49 pm

This is good for overall health and weight maintenance, but not for actually losing weight if you’re heavy.


Chad May 26, 2012 at 8:11 am

I lost a lot of weight with the Bonus Years diet. I don’t think that’s really the point of it, but it does work. I was obese when I started on the diet and I found that I was just eating so much healthier and better than what I had before, that slowly the extra weight started coming off. I wouldn’t say that it’s super fast for weight loss, but it does produce some gradual effect.


Antonio April 7, 2012 at 7:40 am

The bonus years diet is everything that it claims it is. It is an extremely healthy diet that helps you to give your body what it needs so that you can physically and mentally thrive. It’s not difficult to do, and when you get into the habit it becomes completely second nature.

Also, if you weren’t eating too well before, like I wasn’t, then you’ll find that after not too long on this diet, you’ll feel better overall. I found that I was springing out of bed in the morning, instead of dragging. I had a lot of extra energy and i was motivated for life. I just knew that my body was getting healthier and had everything it needs.


Henry September 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I couldn’t agree more. This has been life changing for me


Emily July 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I really like this diet. It feels wholesome and healthy.


Barbara August 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm

I absolutely agree with you. It’s not about losing weight or looking skinny. It’s about feeling like you’re doing something great for yourself and knowing that you’re on the right track for maintaining good health.


Russell October 27, 2012 at 11:06 am

What I found on top of what you’ve discussed is that even if you’ve never really cooked your whole life, you start to pick up some tricks and discover some new foods, until one day you find out that you’re actually preparing all of your meals and it’s not half as bad as you thought it was. At least, that was my experience.


Debbie February 9, 2013 at 4:10 pm

This just feels like a very real diet to me. It doesn’t have a gimmicky nature to it like so many of them do. It just is overall healthy and what we should all probably be doing in the first place. I didn’t actually like it too much when I first got started, but I swear that it grows on you and your enthusiasm only builds with time.


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