A new diet comes from a somewhat unconventional source, The Bible. The “God Diet,” properly known as the Daniel Fast, requires that people eat nothing but fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Which some may recognize this as “veganism.”
Some claim this to be based on the latest scientific research, while others say it’s followed by the Old Testament prophet, Daniel. It is fasting in the sense that dieters cut back, rather than stop eating food altogether, in a similar way to the the 5:2 diet plan.
Susan Gregory, author of The Daniel Cure: The Daniel Fast Way to Vibrant Health, explained that the plan is based on his recorded fasting experiences. In a video below, she explains that Daniel was among a group of men captured by Babylon and that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon wanted the men to be in top condition, so insisted they eat the same food as he ate.
He decides not to follow the monarch’s diet of wine and meat. Instead, he and his companions ate nothing but vegetables and drank only water for 10 days. Daniel 1:15 states that, at the end of the period, the men looked healthier than those who had eaten the king’s food.
“Fasting is for spiritual purposes, and when using the Daniel Fast you will benefit physically along with the benefits to your soul and spirit,” Susan Gregory writes on her website.
“He understood God wanted him to live a healthy lifestyle so he could serve God no matter where he was located,” reads the website for Rick Warren’s official Daniel Plan. “Healthy living requires faith as the foundation, trusting that God’s way is the best way, while following his prescription for your health.”
In 2010, Rick Warren, the best-selling author and leader of the 20,000-member Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, began to notice waistlines were expanding. On Jan. 15, 2011, Warren began what he calls “the Daniel Plan,” a diet composed of 70 percent fruits and vegetables and 30 percent lean protein and whole grains—less strict than most Daniel fasts but still far more virtuous than the typical American diet.
Jessica Bennett, a dietician at Vanderbilt Medical Center, told ABC News she believes that trying a version of the Daniel diet can kick start healthier habits or weight loss for some people.
“I definitely think it makes people more aware of what they’re eating and what they’re putting in their body,” said Bennett. “I say more power to them.”
Nutritionist Zoe Harcombe explained to MailOnline that the health impacts of the diet would depend on how long someone followed it for. She said that if they only followed it for a few days, it would not cause too many problems. However, she added that if someone followed for a long time, it could cause them to become deficient in numerous vitamins.
Harcombe explained the diet is good because it cuts out junk food, sugar, white flour and processed foods, and this reduces the chance of obesity and lowers a person’s risk of some cancers, heart disease and diabetes.
Althought, she added that dieters would miss out on Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin B12. A lack of Vitamin A can, in extreme cases, lead to blindness, a shortage of Vitamin D can cause muscle weakness and bone pain and a deficiency of Vitamin E could cause the immune system to be weakened.
She explained that, as a result, anyone following the diet for longer than a few days would need to take vitamin supplements to avoid health problems.
The God Diet
The Daniel Fast is a method of fasting that millions of Christians from around the world use as they seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. The Daniel Fast is a partial fast, where some foods are restricted and some are eaten.
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