Bonus Years Diet

The Bonus Years Diet is written by Ralph Felder, a physician whom is also a trained chef, and Carol Colman, a New York Times Bestselling author.

The diet is centered around seven miracle foods that can improve your health and longevity. The authors claim that by incorporating these foods in your diet regularly you can extend your life by an average of 6.4 years. These are the bonus years.

Bonus Years Diet Basics

The Bonus Years Diet is based on increasing your intake of the seven miracle foods. In addition to promoting longevity these foods can also reduce your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and inflammatory conditions.

These foods were selected specifically to keep the blood vessels healthy and functioning well. By eating the seven miracle foods in the prescribed amounts you will reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 75%.

The seven miracle foods include:

  1. Red wine
    Drinking one glass daily reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 32%.
  2. Chocolate
    Two ounces of dark chocolate each day reduces blood pressure levels due to its high antioxidant content.
  3. Nuts
    Two ounces of nuts daily reduces cholesterol levels and cardiovascular risk by 10%.
  4. Garlic
    One clove of garlic daily reduces cholesterol levels and the risk of clots.
  5. Fish
    Eating three servings of fish a week can help to prevent heart rhythm disturbances and reduces cardiovascular disease by 14%.
  6. Fruit
  7. Vegetables
    Four cups of fruits and vegetables each day reduces cardiovascular disease by 21% due to their effects on lowering blood pressure.

In addition to consuming the seven miracle foods, dieters are instructed not to use any oil on the diet. Felder instructs dieters in cooking methods that can be used to substitute for those traditionally involving oil.

The Bonus Years Diet also includes a one-month meal plan and over 125 recipes including the foods for longevity.

Recommended Longevity Foods

Red wine, dark chocolate, nuts, trout, salmon, swordfish, chicken breast, pork tenderloin, garlic, fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low fat salad dressing, chicken broth.

Sample Diet Plan


Creamy old-fashioned oatmeal with cranberries and slivered almonds

Morning Snack

Fresh peach


Spanish style chickpea salad

Afternoon Snack

Celery with peanut butter


Pan roasted salmon with Shanghai red sauce
Steamed broccoli
1 glass red wine


Poached pears in red wine with chocolate sauce

Exercise Recommendations

Exercise is regarded as an important part of the Bonus Years Diet and dieters are told that moderate activity can add 1.5 years to life expectancy and high levels of activity can add 3.7 years. However the authors state that if you are already following their eating plan you won’t necessarily be able to add extra years by exercising.

Regardless of this, exercise is recommended because it can increase your enjoyment of life. Cardiovascular exercise should be performed for at least 30 minutes, five days a week.

Costs and Expenses

The Bonus Years Diet: 7 Miracle Foods Including Chocolate, Red Wine, and Nuts That Can Add 6.4 Years on Average to Your Life retails at $25.95.


  • May add longevity and healthy years to your life.
  • Can improve cardiovascular health.
  • Does not require calorie counting.
  • Author is a medical doctor and trained chef.
  • Most dieters will enjoy eating the seven miracle foods.
  • Includes a meal plan and recipes.


  • Does not specifically emphasize weight loss.
  • Many fish are contaminated with mercury, which is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
  • Some dieters may require a more targeted approach to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Some dieters may find it difficult to eat the seven miracle foods each day.
  • Excludes heart healthy oils and fats.

A Healthy Diet Matters

The Bonus Years Diet will appeal to those who are interested in enhancing their cardiovascular health and increasing longevity.

The program allows dieters to enjoy eating delicious food and to indulge in treats such as chocolate and red wine while also making positive lifestyle changes to improve health and well-being.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Alarcón de la Lastra, C., & Villegas, I. (2005). Resveratrol as an anti‐inflammatory and anti‐aging agent: Mechanisms and clinical implications. Molecular nutrition & food research, 49(5), 405-430. link
  • Visioli, F., Bernardini, E., Poli, A., & Paoletti, R. (2012). Chocolate and Health: A Brief Review of the Evidence. In Chocolate and Health (pp. 63-75). Springer Milan. link
  • Tattelman, E. (2005). Health effects of garlic. American family physician, 72(1), 103-106. link


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Last Reviewed: March 28, 2021