What is the Daniel Fast?
The Daniel Fast is based upon the prophet Daniel’s fasting experiences as recorded in the Bible. Scripture gives us some insight (such as in Dan. 10:3) into what he ate and didn’t eat; however, we don’t know his complete menu. What we do know is this: In Daniel 1, Daniel chose not to eat the royal food that he was being served and ate only vegetables and drank water. Another time (in Daniel 10:2-3) he deprived himself of choice food, meat, and wine as he sought the Lord in prayer. Most commentaries believe “choice food” would have been bread and sweets.
This is why, I believe, you will find some variation in the specific guidelines for the modern-day Daniel Fast, as far as what foods are included and which ones are restricted. The food guidelines on my website are the ones most commonly described in a Daniel Fast. The intention of today’s Daniel Fast is not to duplicate exactly what Daniel did but the spirit in which he did it. Daniel’s passion for the Lord caused him to hunger and thirst more for spiritual food than for physical food, which should be the desire of anyone choosing to participate in this type of fast.
The Daniel Fast Guidelines
Try not to get too hung up on what you should and shouldn’t eat. Remember, the most important part of the fast is that you deny yourself physically so that you may seek the Lord in prayer and grow closer to Him. Your particular fast may look a little different than someone else’s, but that’s ok. Some people may need to be stricter than others in their food choices so that their fast is a sacrifice for them. These food guidelines are meant to be just that – a guide. They are given to help you create boundaries for your fast.
The Daniel Fast Food List
- All fruit – fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned.
- All vegetables – fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned.
- All whole grains – amaranth, barley, brown rice, oats, quinoa, millet, and whole wheat.
- All nuts & seeds – almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds; unsweetened almond milk. Nut butters are also included.
- All legumes – canned or dried; black beans, black eyed peas, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), great northern beans, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, and split peas.
- All quality oils – avocado, coconut, grapeseed, olive, peanut, sesame, and walnut.
- Beverages – distilled water, filtered water, and spring water.
- Other – unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, or soy milk; herbs, spices, salt, pepper, unsweetened coconut flakes, seasonings, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, soy products, and tofu.
Foods to Avoid on the Daniel Fast
- All meat & animal products – bacon, beef, buffalo, eggs, fish, lamb, poultry, and pork.
- All dairy products – butter, cheese, cream, milk, and yogurt.
- All sweeteners – agave nectar, artificial sweeteners, brown rice syrup, cane juice, honey, molasses, raw sugar, syrups, stevia, and sugar.
- All leavened bread & yeast – baked goods and Ezekiel bread (if it contains yeast and honey).
- All refined & processed food products – artificial flavorings, chemicals, food additives, preservatives, white flour, and white rice.
- All deep-fried foods – corn chips, French fries, and potato chips.
- All solid fats – lard, margarine, and shortening.
- Beverages – alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, energy drinks, herbal tea (see my FAQ page for explanation), and tea.