Just because you’re scheduled for colonoscopy, does not mean you have to starve. You can eat before your colonoscopy. The kind of food you eat depends on your health problems, previous cleanliness levels during colonoscopy and your doctor’s preference. Some people are easier to clean out than others. Read Predictors of Inadequate Bowel Preparation. There are 2 main diets before colonoscopy. The clear liquid diet and the low fiber diet. The low fiber diet is also called the low residue diet. Please, follow the specific diet recommended by your doctor.
What diet is recommended for most patients before colonoscopy?
Most providers recommend a clear liquid diet a day before your colonoscopy. This means a clear liquid diet for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
What is a clear liquid diet?
Clear liquid diet excludes red and purple colored substances. Alcohol is also not allowed. Examples of clear liquid diet include water, tea, plain coffee, lemonade from powdered mix, carbonated beverages and soda, clear juices such as apple and white grape, plain or flavored gelatin, sports drinks such as Gatorade® , All-Sports®, Powerade®; sorbet, popsicles, honey, sugar, hard candy, fat-free broth, bouillon or consommé.
Can I eat real food before colonoscopy?
Some doctors allow a low fiber diet for breakfast and lunch a day before your colonoscopy as long as you follow the split-dose instructions. You still have to be on a clear liquid diet for dinner. This type of instruction only works in certain patients.
If you had a poor bowel prep before, you may need to be on low fiber diet for 72 hours before your colonoscopy and clear liquid diet on the day before your colonoscopy OR clear liquid diet for 48 hours before your colonoscopy.
What is low residue (or low fiber) diet?
Residue refers to undigested food or fibers that make up part of the stool. A low residue diet reduces the frequency and volume of stool while prolonging the time it takes food to travel the intestine. You should avoid the following food items: whole wheat breads, cereals, crackers and rolls; whole wheat pasta, brown or wild rice; any item with nuts, seeds and fruits; buckwheat, granola, cornbread, pumpernickel bread; tough meat and meat items with skin; raw fruits, prunes and prune juice, berries, raisins and dried fruits; raw or partially cooked vegetables. You should also avoid milk and milk products.
If you are on a low residue diet, you may be allowed to have white bread, rolls and biscuits; white rice or noodles; plain crackers, potato rolls, skinless cooked potato; skinless chicken, skinless turkey, fish and other sea food; canned fruits without seeds or skin; eggs; vanilla wafers.