So the part of the story where Daniel fasts is actually in the first chapter of Daniel before the Bible states he is gifted in dream interpretation. When Daniel is chosen by King Nebuchadnezzar to serve on his court, King Nebuchadnezzar raises him and the other chosen men on his royal food and wine. However, this is Daniel’s response in Daniel 1: 8-16 to King Nebuchadnezzar’s diet plan:
Daniel was determined that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine he drank. So he asked permission from the chief official not to defile himself. God had granted Daniel favor and compassion from the chief official, et he said to Daniel, “My lord the king assigned your food and drink. I’m afraid of what would happen if he saw your faces looking thinner than those of the other young men your age. You would endanger my life with the king.
So Daniel said to the guard whom the chief official had assigned to Daniel Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Please test your servants for 10 days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then examine our appearance and the appearance of the young men who are eating the king’s food, and deal with your servants based on what you see.” He agreed with them in this matter and tested them for 10 days. At the end of 10 days they looked better and healthier than all the young men who were eating the king’s food. So the guard continued to remove their food and wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables.
Daniel Fast guidelines
In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three full weeks. I didn’t eat any rich food, no meat or wine entered my mouth, and I didn’t put any oil on my body until the three weeks were over.
- All fruits and vegetables
- All whole grains (quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, etc.)
- All legumes
- All nuts and seeds
- Unsweetened drinks such as almond milk
- Animal products (meat, dairy, etc. )
- Sweeteners (including honey)
- Leavened bread and yeast
- All processed foods
I’m not sure this is biblical
I’m not at all trying to discourage people from trying the Daniel Fast nor am I saying the Daniel Fast is an incompetent diet (although I disapprove their use of soy and tofu.) I know people who experienced positive health and spiritual results.I just don’t know if I can say it is a “biblical based diet,” when scripture makes it clear Daniel’s diet was water and vegetables, not grains, legumes, soy, etc.
The spiritual side of fasting
So while we’re on the subject of fasting, I think it is important to pay attention to our motives for fasting. I know I’ve probably made your ears bleed by how much I’ve said this, but our motives of going on a diet should not be for results. We shouldn’t want to go on a diet only to lose weight, clear our skin, or even to receive answers to questions we have for God. We should go on a diet because it is what God wants for us. We go on a diet to remain obedient to the Lord. Through our obedience we will receive results and become closer with Him. Not saying we have to do “good works” in order to become closer to God, but I’ve noticed my relationship with Him strengthening when I do things out of obedience.