So, you’re wondering if diabetics can do the Daniel Fast. Let’s start by distinguishing between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas produces little to no insulin—a hormone needed to allow glucose to enter the cell to make energy. However, type 2 diabetes is when the pancreas does produce insulin but doesn’t use it efficiently. Type 2 diabetes is most common, making up over 90% of adults diagnosed with diabetes in the United States. This matters because it will affect how you approach the Daniel Fast while treating your diabetes.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll want to closely monitor your blood glucose levels throughout the fast to adjust insulin requirements. The rest of this article focuses on the more prevalent type 2 diabetes.
Let’s not identify ourselves as a “diabetic”
I refrain from referring to people as “diabetics” because type 2 diabetes is a disease condition that can most often be reversed. But labeling someone as a “diabetic” often ties their identity to that label. It feels permanent. Since type 2 diabetes is often brought on by lifestyle behaviors—such as a poor diet and being physically inactive—this condition can also be reversed with lifestyle behaviors. It doesn’t have to be a life sentence at all! We suggest adopting a whole food, plant-based nutrition plan like one that Daniel in the Bible ate and exercising regularly. It’s always a good idea to check in with your healthcare provider before starting any dietary changes.
Focus on insulin resistance
Insulin resistance is at the heart of type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance has been defined as “the storage of fat in tissues not designed to store fat.” What happens then? Not enough glucose is taken up by the cells to make energy, which causes blood glucose levels to rise. That just means that if you can improve your insulin sensitivity, you can effectively reverse type 2 diabetes. Reverse so that and you can also prevent other complications from uncontrolled diabetes. Complications can include blindness, heart disease, limb amputation(s), and chronic kidney disease.
How to improve insulin sensitivity with the Daniel Fast
The Daniel Fast offers a natural way to reduce the storage of fat in tissues. This will improve insulin sensitivity. Approach the Daniel Fast with the mindset of keeping your fat intake low. That’s how whole food, plant-based eating will get you on the way to improving your insulin sensitivity. Low fat plant-based meals such as Gigi’s Big Rainbow Salad, The Best Watermelon Salad, North African Chickpea Soup, Amazing Lentil Soup, and Ultimate Jackfruit Jambalaya will leave you feeling satisfied while helping you improve your insulin sensitivity. To really beat type 2 diabetes, consider adding in regular physical activity to the fast.
But don’t stop there!
Many people doing the Daniel Fast, or any fast for that matter, are just counting down the days till it’s over. Instead, we suggest making it a bridge to a long-term sustainable healthy lifestyle that helps you to restore your health and reverse your type 2 diabetes for good. If you need or want a community of support, join the 4-Week Interactive Daniel Fast: A Bridge to Healthy Living course. Not quite ready to commit? Sign up for the Facebook Group to stay plugged in. If you want access to healthy, Daniel Fast-compliant recipes, subscribe to Daniel’s Plate.