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What is a Clear Liquid Diet: 14 Good Clear Liquids

What is a clear liquid diet? From time immemorial, taking care of the body through diet has been quite common. Water, clear broth, fruit juices without pulp, clear nutritional drinks, and plain gelatin can be classified under a clear liquid diet, and they can not only be easily digested but are not hard on your digestive system.

To make it easier for readers to understand, what is a liquid diet, it is a diet of clear liquids where anything can be seen through, for example, beef, chicken, vegetable broth or bouillon, apple juice, white cranberry juice, and white grape juice, sodas, Jell O, coffee, and tea, both without milk and sugar.

What is a clear liquid diet, and what type of liquids can be included in a liquid diet? Red or purple coloring liquids can be avoided if you are going for any type of intestinal screening test because it looks as if there is blood in your intestinal tract. For better accuracy in the results, it is better to avoid these red or purple coloring liquids before an intestinal screening test.

1. When to Follow a Clear Liquid Diet

Diving into the subject, there will a lot of questions in your mind regarding what is a clear liquid diet. Now that you know what a clear liquid diet is, you would also want to know when you need to follow a clear liquid diet. A clear liquid diet is prescribed by a medical practitioner, usually before certain tests, procedures, or surgery that have to be done with no food in your stomach.

A clear liquid diet is something the doctors usually recommend before colonoscopy and also as a short-term diet program if you have nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and after certain types of surgeries. This diet will also help patients who have problems when it comes to chewing and digesting and will also help prevent dehydration. They leave nothing in the digestive system after having them, and that makes it easy for a doctor to carry on with surgery or other procedures.

Doctors usually recommend getting an endoscopy or a colonoscopy done because when there is nothing in the intestines or colon, it is easy for the doctor to examine. Though patients are asked to stop taking solid food 8 hours before surgery, they can have a clear liquid diet till 2 hours before the surgery.

Do not eat solid foods, fruits, and vegetables while you are on a clear-liquid diet. That takes you to the next topic, what is a clear liquid diet and what are the benefits of having a clear liquid diet?

What Is A Clear Liquid Diet
By Nathan Dumlao / unsplash
Copyrights 2020

2. What is a Clear Liquid Diet and What are the Benefits

What is a clear liquid diet? As mentioned earlier, a clear liquid diet is a liquid diet that is easily digestible and does not leave any residues in your digestive system. There are many benefits to a clear liquid diet, but this liquid diet should be followed only on the advice of a healthcare provider. It is not advisable to have a clear liquid diet on a long-term basis or for more than five days, and it is more effective on a short-term basis.

If you have any medical conditions, consult a doctor and then decide on your diet plan accordingly. Let us have a look at some of the common benefits of taking a clear liquid diet:

  • Digestion becomes easier, especially if you are prone to diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting after eating solid foods
  • Being on one is a good way to keep the body hydrated
  • Helps clean the intestines, thereby helping your doctor to perform the medical procedure easily
  • Provides nourishment

A clear liquid diet is definitely not very exciting though it can be beneficial to many. A simple menu of a clear liquid diet can be as follows:

2.1 Breakfast 

This can be either a cup of tea or coffee without dairy products and with sugar or honey if you wish to add it, 1 bowl of gelatin, or a glass of pulp-free fruit juice.

2.2 Lunch

Again can be a glass of pulp-free fruit juice, a glass of water, 1 bowl of gelatin, or a bowl of broth.

2.3 Dinner

For dinner, you can choose from a combination of both breakfast and lunch according to your taste.

You can also take a snack break in between with tea and coffee minus dairy products with sugar or honey added to it or a pulp-free ice pop.

Now that you are aware of what a clear liquid diet is, make sure you do not feel tired while following this diet, and the best way for that would be to sit with your healthcare provider and decide on what suits you the best.

3. Possible Risks of a Clear Liquid Diet

It is important that you take the advice of a healthcare provider before you start your clear liquid diet. It is alright to follow a clear liquid diet if you are going to have surgery or a medical test done. Since the nutrients in clear liquid diets are not that high, it can lead to deficiency if not monitored properly.

What is a clear liquid diet? Sometimes if you have diabetes, a clear liquid diet is recommended by your healthcare provider for a short period of time. You have to make sure the clear liquids you take in are able to provide you with 200 gms of carbohydrates that are spread equally all through the day to manage your blood sugar carefully.

What is a clear liquid diet? Sometimes when you are not allowed to be on a full diet, and a liquid diet is recommended, it provides some important electrolytes like potassium and sodium and helps to maintain a certain amount of hydration in the body. Peer-reviewed studies show some of the common risks that can happen if you are on clear liquids are:

  1. Chronic Hunger

  2. Diabetes

  3. Eating disorder

  4. Endocrine related issues

  5. Headaches

  6. Heart Problems

  7. Low BMI (body mass index)

  8. Mood Swings

  9. Nutritional Imbalances

  10. Weakness

4. What is Considered Clear Liquids

If you are heading for a clear liquid diet, you will be curious to know what some liquids can be categorized under a clear liquid diet.

  1. Fruit-flavored beverages like lemon juice and fruit punch

  2. Clear Sodas

  3. Clear Broths

  4. Clear Fruit Juices without Pulp

  5. Carbonated Drinks, including Dark Soda

  6. Electrolyte Drinks

  7. Ginger Ale

  8. Gelatin Products like Jell O

  9. Hard Candies

  10. Plain Popsicles

  11. Strained Tomato or Vegetable Juices

  12. Sports Drinks

  13. Tea and Sugar without Milk and Cream and Non-Dairy Creamer

  14. Water

4.1 Clear Liquids not Included in Clear Liquids Diet

Listed below are some of the clear liquids that do not come under the clear liquid diet guidelines:

  1. Alcoholic Drinks

  2. Cola

  3. Dairy Products

  4. Orange Juice

  5. Soda

  6. Tomato Juice

  7. Vegetable Juice

    What Is A Clear Liquid Diet
    By Abhishek Hajare / unsplash
    Copyrights 2020

5. Who Can Follow a Clear Liquid Diet

A clear liquid diet is not a diet that can be followed by all and sundry. It is always better to follow a clear liquid diet under the supervision of a healthcare provider. There are many reasons why you would require a clear liquid diet, and some of them are:

  1. Broken Jaw

  2. Broken Bones in the Mouth

  3. Dental surgery

  4. Gastrointestinal Tract Surgery

  5. Losing Multiple Teeth

  6. Recovering from Pancreatitis

  7. Weight loss surgery

5.1 Foods to Avoid While You Are on a Clear Liquid Diet

By now, you would know what is a clear liquid diet. If you are on a liquid diet, there are certain foods that have to be avoided. Some of the solid foods that should be avoided while you are on a clear liquid diet are:

  1. Bread

  2. Cereal

  3. Cakes

  4. Cookies

  5. Fish

  6. Foods that have Seeds

  7. Ice cream that has Chunks

  8. Meat

  9. Noodles

  10. Nuts

  11. Peanut Butter

  12. Rice

  13. Soups with Chunks

  14. Tofu

6. Difference Between a Clear Liquid Diet and a Full Liquid Diet

When you are recuperating from illnesses and are under some kind of treatment is better to consult your doctor and decide on a liquid diet, either a clear liquid diet or a full liquid diet. Some of the differences between a clear liquid diet and a full liquid diet are:

Clear liquids are easy to see through and pour, while full liquids are easy to pour and suck using a straw

Nutrients in clear liquids are less, and full liquids are filled with nutrients that will help to meet your daily calories and protein requirements.

7. In The End

It is always better to start a clear liquid diet on the advice of a doctor because it can be monitored and managed properly based on the patient’s hunger cravings. A clear liquid diet is not advisable without the guidance of a doctor because it can cause problems.

Whether it is the Cleveland Clinic, Stanford Health Care, or Statspearls Publishing, they give enough details to readers on what is a liquid diet, its uses, and its benefits if you want to know more about it.

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  • mamta

    Mamta Madhavan’s body of work includes web content writing, book reviews, interviews, articles, and poetry, mainly free verse. Her works have been published in various reputable journals and magazines worldwide. Living in creatively inspiring India, Mamta incorporates vivid imagery into her writings, influenced by nature, mysticism, and spirituality. Her poetry collection is titled connecting the dots. However, along with this, she manages to write impressive and factual articles about healthy lifestyle and health related issues.

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