Clear Liquid Diet
A clear liquid diet consists of food and drinks that have low or no residue and fat. Clear liquids are easily digested by the gastronintestinal tract and leave no undigested residue in the intestinal tract. This diet consists of foods and drinks that are clear. Hence, the patient only takes in food or drinks that you can through. This diet is not limited to taking foods and drinks that have no color rather the individual is limited to drink and eat clear foods. For instance, gelatin has a color yet is still clear.
Purpose of a Clear Liquid Diet
This diet is usually prescribed together with nutrient supplements.
- Preparation for certain medical tests. It is often used before a test, surgery or procedure is done that requires no food in the GI tract.
- Management of some digestive troubles. If the individual has certain digestive problems such as nausea and vomiting this diet may also be recommended.
- Before and after surgery. After certain types of surgery a clear diet is prescribed by the physician until the client is ready to eat solid foods as tolerated. Before surgeries this diet is ordered to clear the gastrointestinal tract from food residue.
Goals of the Clear Liquid Diet
The diet aims to:
- Prevent dehydration
- Provide some important electrolytes
- Gives some energy when a full diet is not possible or recommended or increase calorie intake
- To clear the gastrointestinal tract
Foods allowed in a Clear Liquid Diet
- Plain Gelatin
- Plain water
- Fruit juices without pulp such as apple juice, grape juice or cranberry juice
- Clear fat-free broth
- Ice pops without bits of fruit or fruit pulp
- Clear sodas or sports drinks such as Gatorade
- Strained rice and soy coffee
Foods NOT Allowed
- All solid foods
- Milk and milk products
- Fruit shakes
- Soup cooked with fat and cream
Guidelines in Clear Liquid Diet
D – Drink a variety of clear liquids like clear or strained juices, jello and fat-free broth
I – Inadequate nourishment is provided by this diet. Hence, it should not be given for more than two days unless prescribed or ordered by the doctor.
E – Encourage a feeding interval of 2 to 3 hours.
T – To increase electrolytes and/or calories to the clear liquids, add salt and/or sugar.