Effective colonoscopies require adequate bowel preparation. Most bowel preparation instructions recommend clear liquid diet (CLD) before colonoscopies. Studies comparing CLD to low residue diet (LRD) have had mixed results. In a meta-analysis by Nguyen et al, 9 studies comparing LRD to CLD were evaluated.

Patients consuming LRD had higher rates of tolerability and willingness to repeat bowel preparation. There was no difference in the adequacy of bowel preparation or adverse events.

Take Home Point: Low residue diet is an acceptable alternative to clear liquid diet for bowel preparation in some patients.


Nguyen et al. Low-residue versus clear liquid diet before colonoscopy: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials. Gastrointest Endosc. 2016 Mar; 83(3):499-507.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2015.09.045.