Document Type: Review Article
University of Memphis
The Daniel Fast is a biblically inspired dietary program rich in carbohydrate, most closely resembling a vegan diet but with additional restrictions, including the elimination of processed foods, white flour products, preservatives, additives, sweeteners, caffeine, and alcohol. While no specific requirements are placed on the ingestion of specific percentages of macronutrients, the mean daily carbohydrate intake is by default approximately 60%, while protein and fat intake are 15% and 25%, respectively. Despite a relatively high carbohydrate intake, multiple favorable cardio-metabolic effects are noted when following the plan, in as few as three weeks. This includes improvements in HOMA-IR, which may be at least in part due to the lower glycemic load and high dietary fiber content of the foods consumed. Other notable changes include reductions in systemic inflammation, total and LDL-cholesterol, oxidative stress, blood pressure, and body weight/body fat. Short and moderate-term compliance to the program is excellent-better than most dietary programs, perhaps due to the ad libitum nature of this plan. This paper presents an overview of the Daniel Fast, a carbohydrate-rich dietary program, including relevant findings from both human and animal investigations using this dietary model.