The Daniel Diet
... their fruit will be for food and their leaves for medicine. (Ezekiel 47:12)
"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." Daniel 10:2, 3
The Daniel Diet has people turning to the Bible for dieting guidance. According to ABC News, the Daniel Diet has become a popular diet among some U.S. Protestant congregations to help encourage healthy eating along with weight loss. The diet is inspired by the prophet Daniel, who forsook the king’s rich food in order to honor God's best for him and his friends.
In chapter 1 of Daniel, Daniel takes on a challenge to show the value of a natural diet (verse 12 & 13) and goes on to prove its success (verse 15).
The NIV version of the Bible reads as follows:
Daniel 1:12, 13 & 14: "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then 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 consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
Daniel 1:15 & 16: "At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16. So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead."
The KJV version reads as follows:
12. Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
13. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
14. So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
15. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.
16. Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse. - Daniel, 1:12-16
Another verse is used for further guidance on the foods allowed in this diet:
"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food. "Genesis 1:29
The diet is usually practiced for 21 to 40 days, during which time one restricts their foods to fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The only beverage is water.
While some dietitians agree that the stricter versions of this diet could cause frustration in individuals due to their eating habits changing so drastically, they also believe that when done in groups, such as in church congregations, dieters can help support one another.
The Daniel Diet is much like a paleolithic diet (aka raw diet) as well as a healthier option compared to other fad diets.
Some congregations gather a group together to support one another during the days of practicing the Daniel Diet. This could prove very helpful, as for many it will be a drastic change in eating that could prove more difficult than it sounds.
One fact that cannot be denied is that the Daniel Diet is quite healthy! But it is only meant to be temporary.