Clear Liquid Diet


Keeping you healthy is our main aim here at The GI Center. As your physicians, it is our aim to provide the best guidance of diet as well as medicine. In doing so, also please remember that it is not possible to mention each and every food component that is available in this world. Our instructions are designed to serve as guidance only. If you have any specific question regarding anything not fully addressed here, please call your physician


A clear liquid diet is a temporary diet that is used for many different settings. This diet provides fluids, salts, and mineral to help keep your body hydrated and also provides some energy for patients when normal food intake is interrupted. Clear liquids are easily absorbed by the body, leaves no residue in the intestinal tract, and reduce stimulation of the digestive tract. This is why clear liquid diet is often prescribed in preparation for surgery and medical tests such as colonoscopy or certain x-rays. Clear liquid diets are generally the first diet given after surgery as well.

Special Consideration:

A clear liquid diet is not adequate in calories and nutrients. It should not be followed for more than five days unless supplemented by high-protein gelatin or other low residue supplements.

It is important to follow the clear liquid diet instructions exactly. Remember that the quality of the examination will depend on getting a thoroughly clean digestive tract.

Do not eat or drink anything with red or purple coloring. Red or purple food coloring can leave a residue in the bowel resembling blood. Keep this in mind when purchasing Jello, popsicles, drinks, etc.

Food Group Foods Allowed Foods to Avoid
Milk & Beverages No red or purple liquids! Tea (decaffeinated or regular), carbonated beverages, fruit flavored drinks Milk, milk drinks
Meats & Meat Substitutes None All
Vegetables None All
Fruits & Fruit Juices Strained fruit juices: apple, white grape, lemonade Fruit juices with unstrained fruit
Grains & Starches None All
Soups Clear broth, consomme All others
Desserts Clear flavored gelatin, popsicles (no red or purple flavors) All others
Fats None All
Miscellaneous Sugar, honey, syrup, clear hard candy, salt All others
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
4 oz. White Grape Juice 4 oz. Apple Juice 4 oz. Lemonade
6 oz. Clear Broth 6 oz. Clear Broth 6 oz. Clear Broth
Jell-O* Jell-O* Jell-O*
Tea Tea Tea
* Plain only, no fruit or toppings

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