What Is A Daniel Fast?
The Daniel Fast is based on the prophet Daniel’s fasting experiences as recorded in the Bible. The idea of a Daniel fast comes from the practical application, and net positive results of a vegetable and fruit diet found in the book of Daniel.
11Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12“Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days, they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead. Daniel 1:11-16
2At that time, I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips, andI used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over. Daniel 10:2-3
The phrases “royal food” or “choice food” suggest that Daniel rejected the king’s indulgent food table. King Nebuchadnezzar’s menu would likely have included bread, sweets, wine, animals sacrificed to idols, and animals deemed “unclean” by Jewish tradition. Daniel reshaped his diet to be for sustenance only, not for personal gratification, allowing his attention to be focused on the Spiritual and to better hear from the Lord:
17To these four young men,God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. Daniel 1:17
Practically, a Daniel fast avoids indulgent foods, which in a modern context could include:
- Processed/refined sugar, sweeteners of any kind (including artificial), honey, agave,
- Snack foods, candy, cookies, etc.
- Meat of any kind, including eggs
- Dairy of any kind
- Leavened Breads
- Bleached and/or refined grains (white rice, white flour, etc.)
- Energy drinks, soda, alcohol
Essentially, a Daniel fast is closest to a strictly vegan diet but taking it a step further to remove those foods and drink, which are often a temptation and indulgence
According to Daniel 1, the results were: (v. 17) learning, skill, wisdom, spiritual understanding, favor, and better appearance! (v. 19) In Daniel 10, the fast resulted in answered prayer and spiritual insight. (vv. 11-12) One of the great things about the Daniel Fast is that you are not limited to any specific amount of food, but rather to the kinds of food you can eat.
THE DANIEL FAST FOOD LIST
All fruit // fresh, frozen, juiced, or canned
Apples, apricots, bananas, cherries, grapes, lemons, limes, peaches, pineapples, strawberries, watermelon, etc.
All vegetables // fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned
Asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, etc.
All whole grains //
Brown rice, millet, barley, oats, quinoa
All nuts & seeds //
Sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame, nut butter (including peanut butter)
All legumes // canned or dried
Dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans
All quality oils //
Olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame
Spring water, distilled water, other pure waters (some believe natural fruit juices are ok as well)
Vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs, spices