When we do the Daniel Fast, we follow a Biblical story. In the book of Daniel, the king’s diet included meat and alcohol. Daniel specifically requested to abstain from this royal diet of animal foods and alcohol. He showed that he and the other young men looked younger, were stronger, and became more effective when eating a diet consisting of vegetables and water. See Daniel 1:8-15.
You see, alcohol (also referred to as ethanol) is considered a toxin. Even in small amounts, it can create problems—including raising your risk of cancer, raising blood pressure, keeping you from sleeping, and increasing your weight due to its high calories and the way it can give you the munchies.
Alcohol increases the risk of cancer and heart disease
Regular consumption of alcohol—even seemingly small amounts like one glass a day—has been linked to increased risk of breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon cancers. This is because your body breaks down alcohol into a chemical that damages your DNA. When DNA is damaged, a cell can begin growing out of control and create a cancer tumor. Drinking can also raise your blood pressure, and put you at greater risk of a stroke or heart attack.
It can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep
Drinking will disrupt your sleep. A glass or two of wine initially acts as a sedative, perhaps helping you to fall asleep, but during the night—as alcohol is oxidized to acetaldehyde and then to acetic acid—your REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is suppressed in the first half of the night, followed by increased wakefulness in the second half of the night. Regular drinkers who quit often experience a noticeable improvement in the duration and quality of their sleep.
Alcohol can also promote weight gain
Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, compared to carbohydrates and protein with 4 calories per gram. Also, they’re empty calories: no vitamins, minerals, protein, or fiber. A glass of wine can contain from 110–150 calories, depending on the size of the glass and alcohol by volume. Furthermore, alcohol promotes excessive eating and snacking that also contributes to weight gain.
If you’re a regular drinker, use the fast to abstain from alcohol. Journal the benefits you gain by being sober. Like many people who follow the Daniel Fast as it’s defined, you’ll discover that the benefits of improved health and mental and spiritual clarity far outweigh the short-term buzz you got from drinking. If you find that alcohol is an addiction, consider seeking support to help you with recovery.
Daniel Fast Compliant Mocktails
Check out these alcohol-free, Daniel Fast compliant mocktails made from whole plant foods.