What Is The Daniel Fast?

Care for your body, physically and emotionally, with this plant-based nutrient-rich diet.

Medically reviewed by Madhu Sharma, RD
Written by Priyanka Sadhukhan, MSc (Nutrition), CDE
Edited by Arshiya Syeda, BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Dip
Fact-checked by Moksha Gandhi, BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach  • 

What is a Daniel fast? The Daniel Fast diet is said to be a healing therapy that takes care of you both physically and emotionally. It is inspired by a character from the Bible (1). Proponents of the Daniel Fast diet believe that it may aid weight loss by emphasizing your relationship with God (2).

This way of eating is a dietary modification plan focused on simplicity and plant-based nutrition. It consists of non-energy-restricted choices of food from plants that are minimally processed (1).

In this article, we discuss the Daniel Fast in detail and tell you how to successfully incorporate it into your routine with a bit of discipline. Scroll down to get all the information.

protip_icon At A Glance: Daniel Fast
  • Principle: Vegan diet that prohibits animal products, refined foods, alcohol, and caffeine
  • Purpose: To reduce body weight, regulate blood pressure and blood cholesterol, and enhance insulin function
  • Who It Is For: Individuals who want to detoxify their body with natural, healthy foods
  • Duration: Short-term
  • Who Should Avoid: Pregnant and breastfeeding individuals, and those with underlying health conditions
  • Cons: May cause body aches, fatigue, nausea, mood swings, and nutritional deficiencies

More On The Daniel Fast

The Daniel Fast is based on Daniel, the Prophet, whose dietary and spiritual experiences are recorded in the Bible. This diet includes vegetables and other whole foods and avoids all animal-based foods.

In other words, it is a vegan diet that prohibits the consumption of all animal products, refined foods, alcohol, and caffeine. It helps cleanse your body, restricts calories, and studies show that such a diet can improve metabolic and cardiovascular health (3).

The Daniel fast was also found to improve the quality of a person’s life by decreasing their body weight, improving their levels of blood pressure and blood cholesterol, and enhancing insulin functioni  XFunction of the hormone that controls the breakdown and absorption of fats and proteins and the absorption of energy by tissues and cells. (1).

Is The Daniel Fast Diet Healthy?

The Daniel fast can promote weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

A study showed that subjects following the Daniel diet for 21 days observed a decrease in their body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation in the body) as well as improved insulin function. The diet also has no calorie restrictions (3). Thus, you may also observe similar results. But it does come with certain modifications.

What Can You Eat On The Daniel Diet Fast?

Fresh fruits and vegetables to consume while on the Daniel fast
Image: Shutterstock

Below is the list of foods you can consume while following the Daniel fast.

  • Fruits: Apples, apricots, limes, avocado, lemons, bananas, melons, blackberries, nectarines, blueberries, oranges, cantaloupe, papaya, cherries, peaches, coconuts, pears, pineapple, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, dates, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, kiwi, watermelon, and tangerines.
  • Vegetables: Artichokes, beets, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, celery, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, egg plans, green beans, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radish, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, yams, and zucchini.
  • Whole Grains And Legumes: Amaranth, barley, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, black beans, black-eyed beans, kidney beans, lentils, mung beans, and split beans.
  • Nuts And Seeds: All nuts (raw, unsalted), pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds.
  • Liquids: Vegetable juice, coconut milk, kefir, and almond milk.

What Should You Avoid On The Daniel Fast?

Cookies and other baked goods to avoid while on the Daniel fast
Image: Shutterstock

Avoid consuming any of the following foods while on the diet.

  • Iodized salt
  • Sweeteners
  • Meat
  • Dairy products
  • Breads, pasta, flour, crackers (unless made from sprouted ancient grains)
  • Cookies and other baked goods
  • Oils
  • Juices
  • Coffee
  • Energy drinks
  • Gum
  • Mints
  • Candy

The following sample diet plan will give you a better idea.

Sample One-Day Daniel Diet Plan

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit and nuts/seeds OR a vegetable smoothie
  • Lunch: Salad (raw vegetables topped with avocado/nuts) OR soup (Vegetable, lentils, beans) OR lettuce wrap with hummus, bean or a veggie filling
  • Snacks: Nut and trail mix OR celery with peanut butter
  • Dinner: Vegetable stir-fry over brown rice or quinoa

How Much Can You Eat On The Daniel Fast?

While following the Daniel fast, you can eat throughout the day. It is a personal decision. Some people choose to eat three meals a day, while some add a snack or two in between. Others prefer to skip a meal. There isn’t a specific formula you are required to follow.

Note: This factor may vary from person to person, and hence, if one tends to overeat in this diet without adequate proteins, they may tend to gain fat mass and lose muscle mass, which is not a good idea.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Consult your doctor before starting the Daniel Fast diet if you have any medical conditions like diabetes. Also, pregnant and nursing women should check with their physician before following the Daniel fast.

The Daniel fasting diet has certain potential benefits.

What Are The Benefits Of Daniel Fasting?

The benefits of Daniel fasting start with one’s spiritual beliefs and motivation.

1. May Promote Mental And Emotional Health

Woman with improved mental health due to the Daniel fast
Image: Shutterstock

This fast may boost your inner peace. It may clear your mind of all the negative thoughts and emotions you may be going through. This may eventually help you bond better and forge great relationships. It may also help relieve anxiety.

2. May Promote Physical Health

Woman with improved physical health due to the Daniel fast
Image: Shutterstock

The Daniel fast may help detoxify your body by encouraging you to eat more nutrient-dense foods. Since it is a plant-based diet, it may also reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic illnesses (4).

The fruits and vegetables included in the diet provide a wide range of nutrients, including phytochemicalsi  XNutrients in plant-based products that protect our DNA and cells from cancer and other chronic illnesses. and flavonoidsi  XPhytochemicals in fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. . Other essential nutrients include fiber, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, and folate.

3. May Promote Spirituality

Daniel fasting may help you break bad habits and addictions. In the religious aspect, it offers spiritual support and brings you closer to God. It may help you rely on God’s strength.

Who Should Try The Daniel Fast?

The Daniel fast diet encourages eating, unlike most other diet plans. It is a healthy modification of your current diet. Hence, anyone intending to detoxify their body with healthy natural foods can try this diet.

Zohary Ross, a lifestyle blogger, recounted her experience of doing the 21-day Daniel fast. She thought the fast was hard, especially since she loves junk food. However, she felt like she needed it. She states in her blog, “I tried foods that I didn’t normally eat and I honestly was amazed and how good and healthy I felt considering I was actually consuming very few calories (i).” Plus, the fast made her lose 6-7 pounds.

protip_icon Did You Know?
If you are not used to having foods with high fiber, the Daniel fast may lead to stomach discomfort and bloating.

Last but not least, here is a recipe from where you can draw some food inspiration.

Easy Daniel Fast Recipe

Crispy Tofu

What You Need

  • 16 oz of extra-firm tofu
  • ⅓ cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 cloves of grated garlic
  • ¼ cup of tamari

How To Prepare

  1. Wrap the tofu in a kitchen towel and put something heavy on it to drain the water.
  2. Mix tamari, garlic, and lemon juice in a bowl.
  3. Slice the tofu into cubes and add it to the bowl.
  4. Mix well and let the tofu marinate for 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.
  6. Add olive oil to it and saute the tofu for 5 minutes.
  7. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes more, or until they are golden brown.
  8. Serve it and enjoy!

Infographic: Everything You Need To Know About The Daniel Fast

The Daniel Fast diet is a vegan diet with religious roots. Regardless of whether you are religious or not, this partial fast based on the life of Prophet Daniel in The Bible may benefit you. The infographic below focuses on everything you need to know about this short-term diet, including what it is, which foods to consume and avoid, and the potential benefits. Check it out!

everything you need to know about the daniel fast (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

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Download Infographic in PDF version

The main goal of Daniel fast diet is to re-establish contact with the Divine. You may get the additional benefits of improved health and well-being from this diet. The Daniel fast rules dictate that it should consist of non-energy-restricted meals made from minimally processed vegetables. If you have a spiritual bent, this diet may assist you in reaffirming your purpose. However, it is evident from the items allowed and restricted that it is likely to be deficient in protein and several key micronutrientsi  XMinerals and vitamins that are needed in minute quantities to help our body in its development and maintenance. . Therefore, though it may benefit a quick detox or weight loss aim, it is not recommended for long-term or repeated use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you eat fish while on the Daniel fast?

The Daniel fast forbids meat-based food items, so you can not eat fish on this diet.

Can you eat eggs on Daniel fast?

No, you can’t have eggs while on the Daniel fast, as it allows only plant-based food products.

Can I have wine on the Daniel Fast?

No, wine or any alcoholic beverage is not allowed on the Daniel fast.

Can I eat French fries on Daniel Fast?

Deep-fried food like french fries or chips is not allowed on the Daniel fast.

Can you eat salsa on Daniel Fast?

Yes, since it includes all-plant ingredients, you can have salsa on Daniel fast.

Key Takeaways

  • The Daniel fast is focused on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
  • You should avoid animal products, alcohol, and refined foods when on this diet.
  • Furthermore, you can either opt for three meals a day or skip meals according to your personal preference.
  • The Daniel fast may aid weight loss, relieves stress and anxiety, and controls blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
daniel fast diet_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Are you considering a Daniel Fast but don’t know where to start? Watch this helpful video that outlines the ins and outs of the fast, including what foods to include and avoid. Watch now!

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

    i. My Daniel fast experience- A life simplified post
    https://zoharyross.com/daniel-fast-experience-life-simplified-post/

    References

    Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

    1. “A beginner’s guide to the Daniel fast diet” Loma Linda University.
      https://news.llu.edu/patient-care/beginner-s-guide-daniel-fast-diet
    2. “The Daniel Fast for weight loss” Kalamazoo Public Library.
      https://www.kpl.gov/catalog/item/?i=ent://ERC_215_8682/0/215_8682:HOOPLA:11427809
    3. “Effect of a 21 day Daniel Fast on metabolic and cardiovascular disease risk factors in men and women” Lipids in Health and Disease.
      https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.325.4011&&rep=rep1&&type=pdf
    4. “Health and sustainability outcomes of vegetarian dietary patterns: a revisit of the EPIC-Oxford and the Adventist Health Study-2 cohorts” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30487555
    5. “The Discipline of Fasting” Pepperdine Digital Commons.
      https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=2067&context=leaven
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