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The Clear Liquid Diet

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Updated November 19, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

A clear liquid diet may be recommended after abdominal surgery, when preparing for a test (like a colonoscopy), or during a serious flare-up. As the name suggests, this diet consists of only liquids that are considered to be "clear." This does not mean just water, but includes other liquids that don't contain ingredients such as milk or any kind of solid food. Items on this diet consist mostly of water and sugar or salt.

It is important to note that this is typically an inpatient-only diet, so follow it only as doctor-directed and supervised.

Foods Allowed:

  • Clear beverages without caffeine
  • Clear broth (bouillon)
  • Clear fruit juice (excluding cranberry and citrus options)
  • Decaffeinated coffee
  • Decaffeinated tea
  • Gelatin
  • Popsicles

Foods Omitted:

  • Citrus juices
  • Milk products
  • Solids of any kind

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