What’s the Daniel Diet/Fast? This is based on the prophet Daniel in the Bible’s Old Testament. It’s become a popular diet and is followed by celebrities like actor Chris Pratt. The diet is based on two passages in the book. The first one mentions a 10-day diet of veggies and water. The second one mentions a 21-day fast that eliminates meat and wine and is paired with prayer. This diet was designed to help achieve the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits Daniel experienced while on the diet. It’s important to understand the Biblical references like “pulses” when following the daniel diet foods list.
The Daniel Fast is based not only on the two biblical passages. For example, it also takes into account the types of food that were available in the region. Another factor is about foods that are considered ‘clean” based on the first 5 books of the Bible. For example, pork and shellfish aren’t allowed because they’re considered to be unclean foods. So, it’s important to know what you can and can’t eat based on the Daniel Fast. This will make your experience following the diet as accurately as possible and get the best results.
What’s the Daniel Diet?
This particular diet is also known as the Daniel Fast. It’s based on two passages found in the book of Daniel. In the first reference found in Chapter 1, it mentions Daniel only ate veggies (technically “pulses”) and only drank water.
There’s also a reference in Daniel 10 that refers to a three-week fast. Daniel explains that this was a time of mourning. He didn’t eat meat, drink wine, or eat any “pleasant food.” The last reference probably refers to stuff like figs and raisins instead of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls.
The Bible explains that Daniel experienced several benefits while fasting. This included more strength and energy after following a plant-based diet for 21 days. The Daniel Diet is based on his experience and attempts to provide people with a similar experience.
The word “vegetable” is a rough translation of the word “pulse” that is used in the King James Bible. This means a seed or bean that’s grown for food. So, in this diet, plant-based foods include whole grains, fruits, and veggies.
If you want to follow this diet it’s important to know the foods you can and can’t eat. You should also know how much you can eat. The diet focuses on living a modest life and having more self-discipline. So, three square meals are enough. You could also add 1-2 snacks in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon.
The diet is a partial fast. That’s because while you’re required to abstain from eating certain foods like animal protein, you’re not required to do intermittent fasting (IF) for 18+ hours, for example. The biblical fast is 21 days so this is the common duration of this diet.
However, the fast does follow the Bible’s guidelines in the book of Leviticus about what is defined as clean foods. The Bible says “unclean” foods include water-based animals that don’t have fins and scales.
Daniel Diet Foods List
It’s important to know the foods you can eat on the Daniel Diet, which include several kinds of food. This diet is vegan. However, it doesn’t put meat substitutes front and center like the Impossible Burger.
The diet is plant-based and focuses on whole foods. When on the Daniel Diet you should eat foods that are in the form that’s least processed.
Here are the foods you can eat on this diet:
- Vegetables: The Daniel Diet allows fresh/frozen/canned vegetables. Make sure there’s no added salt. You can find many options when picking vegetables.
- Beans: You can eat either canned or dried beans. However, if you eat can make sure there are no additives like salt. You can pick from different beans like chickpeas, black beans, and lentils. You can eat a lot of these heart-friendly foods. You can also eat soy products like tofu. However, make sure to pick ones with no additives.
- Herbs/Spices: These are great ingredients for adding flavor to your meals. You can also add salt for flavor but make sure to minimize how much you add to your dishes.
- Oils: You can use plant-based oils but make sure to use healthy options like olive, coconut, sesame, grapeseed, canola, or peanut.
- Fruit: This includes fresh/frozen slow-digesting fruits. They include peaches, apples, berries, cherries, grapes, and grapefruit. You can eat canned fruit if it has no additives like artificial colors/preservatives and sugar.
- Nuts/Seeds: All are allowed just so they’re raw/dry-roasted and contain no salt.
- Whole Grains: Make sure to focus on whole grains instead of refined grains. Some options include whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, and barley.
You can also eat bread but you can’t eat one made with yeast. However, you can eat flatbreads and whole-grain bread.
While this is a whole foods/vegan diet you can still pick from a wide range of foods when on the Daniel Diet.
Foods to Avoid
There are also various foods you should avoid while on the Daniel Diet including:
- Beverages: The only drink you can consume while on the diet is water. That means no coffee, tea, juices, wine, energy drinks, soda, etc. Even flavored water isn’t allowed. You can still add pizzazz to your water with herbs and fruit.
- Dairy: This isn’t allowed on the Daniel Diet since it’s an animal product. However, you can use non-dairy milk if you need to use “milk” in your recipes. Make sure to research some vegan options including almond, soy, coconut, etc. Many of these non-cow milk has a taste and texture that’s very close.
- Solid Fats: You’ll have to avoid foods like lard, margarine, and butter for three weeks until you’re done with your diet. Make sure to pick a high-quality vegetable oil during the 21-day fast. You could still use a nut/seed butter if that’s the only ingredient in the food.
- Sweeteners: This doesn’t just include sugar. It also includes honey, maple syrup, and other natural sweeteners. The only natural sweetener you can use is fruit like apples, dates, and bananas.
- Processed Food: When on the Daniel Diet you’re not allowed to eat processed foods that are pre-packaged. That includes fried foods and even most frozen and vegan pre-packaged foods. As a result, it will be quite tough to eat various foods that contain meat substitutes. The diet is only for 3 weeks so it’s just a matter of getting through the 21 days.
- Meat/Eggs: No animal protein is allowed on this diet during the 21-day fasting plan. You can still get protein from other sources like beans, nuts, grains, and seeds. This is one of the macros so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough. You can do that by finding plant-based protein sources on the Daniel diet foods list.