The Daniel Diet is another new diet, and this one has people turning to the Bible of all places. According to ABC News, the Daniel Diet, inspired by the Biblical prophet Daniel, has become a popular diet among some U.S. Protestant congregations to help encourage healthy eating.
“According to two passages in the Bible, Daniel fasted twice. During the first fast, he ate only vegetables and water to set himself apart for God. For a second fast mentioned in a later chapter, Daniel stopped eating meat, wine and other rich foods.”
The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Pastor Rick Warren saying that this isn’t just another diet, but “a lifestyle based on the biblical story of Daniel, who forsook the king’s rich food in order to honor God’s best for him and his friends.”
The report continues to say those following this diet will exclude alcohol, meat, and caffeine. During the duration of the diet, between 21 and 40 days, dieters will only eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains. According to ABC News, this diet has no one set of rules, and many who follow the Daniel Diet improvise in different ways. Most versions of the diet, however, include eating only raw vegetables or fruits for 10-21 days while drinking only water.
ABC News quoted Jessica Bennett, a dietitian at Vanderbilt Medical Center, who said she believes that trying a version of the Daniel diet can potentially kick-start healthier food choices 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.”
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.
“Most congregations tend to bond over food and people tend to go to lunch or dinner right after church,” said Bennett. By focusing on the social aspect, people don’t fixate on food restrictions. “People can tell me exactly what they ate or lunch or dinner but can’t tell me what the conversation was. They’re focusing too much on food.”
The Daniel Diet seems to be a healthier option compared to some of the other fad diets that have been rising in popularity. One such diet was the cotton ball diet, used by many young girls to lose weight by ingesting whole cotton balls soaked in juice. This dangerous diet claims to suppress a person’s appetite by making them feel full, but it can lead to deadly health problems including impacted intestines.
What do you think about the Daniel Diet? Do you believe that using religious texts such as the Bible is a wise way to lose weight? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image via Shutterstock/Magdalena Kucova]