What Is The Daniel Fast?

Reviewed by Madhu Sharma, RD
Written by Priyanka Sadhukhan, MSc (Nutrition), Certified Diabetes Educator

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 aids 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. Scroll down to get all the information.

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 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 function (1).

Is The Daniel Fast Diet Healthy?

Studies showed that the Daniel fast diet could decrease body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation in the body) as well as improve insulin function. The diet also has no calorie restrictions (3). But it does come with certain modifications.

What Can You Eat On The Daniel Diet Fast?

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?

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.

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. Can Promotes Mental And Emotional Health

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

2. Can Promote Physical Health

The Daniel fast can help detoxify your body by encouraging you to eat more of nutrient-dense foods. Since it is a plant-based diet, it can 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 phytochemicals and flavonoids. Other essential nutrients include fiber, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, and folate.

3. Can Promote Spirituality

Daniel fasting may help you break bad habits and addictions. It offers spiritual support and brings you closer to God. It can 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.

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 triggers weight loss, relieves stress and anxiety, and controls blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

The main goal of the Daniel fast diet is to re-establish contact with the Divine. You can get the additional benefits of improved health and well-being from this diet. It consists 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 micronutrients. 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 spices on the Daniel Fast?

Yes, you can have herbs and spices and make your meals palatable and tasty. Minimize the use of salt, though.

How many times a day can you eat when on the Daniel fast?

It depends on the individual. You can either have 3 large meals or 6 small meals. You may try out other combinations too.

Is the Daniel fast biblical?

The Bible does not tell us how to carry out the Daniel fast. That is up to us. Most people practice it on certain Biblical days. You can practice the fast on different occasions. Some have even followed the fast during times of repentance and confession of their sins.
The Daniel fast is Biblical in the sense that it is not always followed to achieve a particular health benefit. It often is followed for spiritual purposes (5).

Sources

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Madhu Sharma

(RD)
Madhu Sharma is a member of the National Executive Committee of IDA. She has been associated for almost three decades... more

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