Clear-liquid diet for colonoscopy preparation

One day before your colonoscopy, you will be on a clear-liquid diet. (You may not eat any solid food until after your colonoscopy). The following are examples of drinks you can include and what to avoid.

  • Water
  • Tea and black coffee without any milk, cream or lightener
  • Flavored water (no red or purple dye)
  • Clear, light color juices such as: apple, white grape, white cranberry or no pulp lemonade
  • Clear broth including chicken, beef or vegetable (no noodles, etc)
  • Soda
  • Sports drinks such as Gatorade and Propel (no red or purple dye)
  • Popsicles without fruit or cream (no red or purple dye)
  • Jell-O or other gelatin without fruit (no red or purple dye)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Milk/Cream
  • Smoothies
  • Milkshakes
  • Tomato juice
  • Orange juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Cooked cereal
  • Anything with red or purple dye

Low Fiber Diet for Colonoscopy Prep

 Your bowel needs to be as clean as possible to get the most from your colonoscopy. You will follow a bowel prep routine the day before your procedure. Eating only low-fiber foods the week before your colonoscopy makes your bowel prep easier by limiting the amount of undigested food that must pass through your digestive system.

What are Low-Fiber Foods?
Fiber is the part of foods such as fruits, vegetables and grains that is not digested. If it remains in your bowel, it can mask areas that your doctor needs to see. Follow these general guidelines the week before your colonoscopy:
  • Avoid nuts, seeds, dried fruits, dried beans and peas.
  • Avoid whole grains and cereals.
  • Choose cooked or canned fruits and vegetables over fresh ones.
  • Choose white bread, white rice and products made with refined flour.
  • Drink juices without pulp.
  • Eat tender, well-cooked meats

Foods that are OK to eat:

Milk and milk products:
  • Buttermilk
  • Custard
  • Evaporated or powdered milk
  • Low-fat cheeses
  • Low-fat ice cream
  • Skim or low-fat milk
  • Sherbet
  • Smooth nonfat or low-fat yogurt without seeds, berries, rinds or nuts
  • Any well-cooked vegetables without seeds (e.g., carrots, asparagus tips, green or wax beans, pumpkin,   spinach, lima beans)
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes without skin
  • Strained vegetable juice
Meats and other protein foods:
  • Eggs
  • Smooth nut butters (such as creamy peanut butter)
  • Tofu
  • Tender, well-cooked meat, poultry and fish
  • Bread, bagels, rolls, crackers, pasta and cereals made from white or refined flour (e.g., crispy rice cereal and cornflakes)
  • Cooked cereals (farina and creamy rice)
  • White rice
  • Fruit juice without pulp (except prune juice)
  • Most canned, soft and pureed fruit without skin (except pineapple)
  • Peeled apple
  • Ripe banana or melons
  • Ketchup and mustard
  • Margarine, butter, oils, mayonnaise, sour cream and salad dressing
  • Plain gravies
  • Spices, cooked herbs, bouillon, broth, and soups made with allowed vegetables
  • Sugar, clear jelly, honey and syrup

Avoid these foods:

Milk and milk products:
  • Yogurt with seeds, berries, rinds or nuts
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage and sauerkraut
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Fried vegetables
  • Greens (mustard, turnip, collards)
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Potato skins
  • Raw vegetables, except lettuce
  • Winter squash
Meats and other protein foods:
  • Chunky nut butters
  • Dried, canned or frozen legumes (such as beans, peas and lentils)
  • Nuts or seeds
  • Tough or chewy cuts of meat
  • Brown rice and wild rice
  • Cereals made from whole grains
  • Grain products made with seeds or nuts
  • Whole-wheat or whole-grain breads, rolls, crackers or pasta
  • All raw fruits except peeled apple, ripe bananas and melon
  • Canned berries, canned cherries
  • Dried fruits, including raisins
  • Prunes and prune juice
  • All desserts containing nuts, seeds, dried fruit or coconut or made from whole grain or bran
  • Candy made with nuts or seeds
  • Jam, marmalade, preserves
  • Pickles, olives, relish, horseradish
  • Popcorn