Need for the diet:
The clear liquid diet is a temporary diet that is used in several different settings:
- If you experience abdominal discomfort, such as cramps or pain, contact your doctor or nurse as soon as possible.
- The clear liquids diet does not provide enough energy, protein and many other nutrients for daily use. This diet is temporary and should not be used for more than 5 days. If you are on this diet for more than 5 days, your doctor and/or dietitian will tell you which supplement to use.
- The amount of liquid that you drink or eat on this diet may be important. If your doctor sets a limit about the amount, follow those directions carefully.
How to choose the clear liquid diet:
Liquids that you can see through at room temperature (about 78-72 degrees Fahrenheit) are considered clear liquids. This includes clear juices, broths, hard candy, ices and gelatin. The table below will help you with your choices.
Clear Liquids Diet Options
|Choose these foods / beverages||Do not eat these foods / beverages|
|Fruits/juices||Clear fruit juices without pulp such as apple juice, grape juice, cranberry juice.||Nectars, canned, fresh, or frozen fruits.|
|Soups||Broth, bouillon, fat free consommé.||Cream soups, soups with vegetables, noodles, rice, meat or other chunks of food in them.|
|Beverages||Coffee, tea (hot or cold), Kool-Aid, soda, water, lactose free supplements if recommended by your doctor.||All others.|
|Sweets and deserts||Fruit ices (without chunks of fruit), plain gelatin, clear hard candy, popsicle made from clear juices.||All others.|
|Milk and dairy products||None||All|
|Bread, cereals and grain products||None||All|
|Meat, Chicken, Fish, and meat substitutes (nuts, tofu, etc.)||None||All|
|Oils, butter, margarine||None||All|
Sample Menu: Clear Liquids Diet*
|Breakfast||Hot tea with lemon juice and 1 tsp sugar (no pulp); Apple juice (8 oz); Gelatin (1 cup)|
|Lunch||Hot tea with lemon (no pulp) and sugar; Grape juice (8 oz); Fruit Ice (1 cup); Consommé (8 oz.)|
|Snack||Fruit juice (apple, cranberry or grape, 8 oz); Gelatin (1 cup)|
|Dinner||Hot tea with lemon (no pulp) and sugar; Apple juice (8 oz); Consommé (8 oz); Fruit Ice (1 cup)|
*This diet contains approximately 1000 calories, 1 g fat and 14 grams of protein.
Credits for this dietary information go to Maureen Murtaugh, PhD.