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What is the Daniel Fast

Tulika Nair
Do you want to know what the Daniel fast is and how you can observe it? Know all you would want to know about this fast.
A Bible-based partial fast, the Daniel fast finds its basis on two accounts of the Prophet Daniel's fasting. If you want to know what it exactly is, then you need to learn about these two accounts as mentioned in Daniel 1 and Daniel 10.
Today, the fast is one of the most popular methods of fasting that is observed by men and women all over the world. Christian and Jewish followers believe that the fast affects the spirit, soul, and body of the person keeping the fast, as it is a time in which there is complete focus and concentration on prayer and the process of fasting.

Mention in the Bible

In Daniel, chapter 1, there is mention of how Daniel and his friends were taken prisoner from Israel and held in Babylon, where at King Nebuchadnezzar's palace, they were asked to eat from the King's table. Daniel and friends refused to do so because the meal had not been prepared according to the Jewish diet.
Daniel conveyed the message that his friends and he would eat only those foods that were prescribed by Jewish tradition. When scorned upon, he took it up as a challenge asking for a time period to follow the fasting plan, at the end of which he said that an overseer could compare their strength with that of other slaves.
At the end of the fasting period, it seemed Prophet Daniel and his friends were much stronger and fitter than the slaves in the King's palace. In Daniel 10, it says that "In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled."

An Overview

Let us now take a look at the modern-day version of the fast. This type of fasting got mainstream fame when Reverend Elmer Townes reintroduced it. Guidelines will tell you that the main purpose of following the fast is to spiritually bring a person closer to God and to bring a certain sense of fulfillment, both physical and mental.
Exclusion of meat and dairy products from the fast stems from the belief that feeding on a creature of God would not get the Lord's blessings. According to followers, the strength Daniel and his friends received, was a result of not eating forbidden foods and the same mental and physical strength would be awarded to those who follow the fasting plan.
If you are keeping the fast, then you can eat all fruits whether fresh, frozen, juiced, canned, or even dried. It is suggested that you consume fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, watermelons, mangoes, lemons, pineapples, etc.
If you are following the Daniel fast, then you can also eat all vegetable, nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetable oils, and water.
The foods that need to be excluded from your diet are meat and animal products, dairy products, sweeteners, leavened bread, any artificial flavoring or preservative, deep-fried foods, and any beverage other than water.
The prescribed duration of the fast is 3 weeks or 21 days as mentioned in the book of Daniel in the Holy Bible. There are specific recipes that you can follow during the fast that will allow you to exclude all the food items that are not meant to be consumed in the time period.