Days preceding colonoscopy can be stressful for the patient. However, there is nothing to fear. With proper colonoscopy prep diet, you’ll ready your body for the procedure. Colonoscopy is usually conducted while the patient is sedated, and the only discomfort might come afterward.
Keep in mind that besides this diet, you’ll get a set of instructions to follow from your medical professional. Failure to follow instructions in detail regarding colonoscopy preparation might result in a repeat procedure. Restricted food consumption might obstruct the detection of serious conditions like colon cancer, colorectal cancers, polyps, growths, and others.
Here are three cardinal rules you must follow when it comes to the colonoscopy prep diet:
- Only low-fiber foods are allowed 3 days before your colonoscopy.
- Only a clear liquid diet is allowed one day before and on the day of the colonoscopy. Include foods like broth, bullion, apple juice, crystal light, tea, Jell-o popsicles, and other clear liquids.
- Do not consume any foods or liquids 2 hours before the procedure.
You can eat any meat considered healthy by today’s standards. However, it is still smart to stick to low-fat options. Meats like chicken, turkey, lean pork, seafood, lamb are all allowed.
Any gristle-containing or hard to digest meat is not allowed.
If you like cereals for breakfast, make sure you stick to low-fiber options like corn flakes. All the foods made from refined white flour are allowed including bread, pasta, crackers, pretzels, etc. You can also consume white rice.
Wild or brown rice is forbidden along with any whole-grain foods like whole-grain bread, oatmeal, or any other cereal containing nuts, seeds, or whole grains.
All dairy products are allowed as long as they do not contain any nuts, seeds or fruits.
Fats and Oils
All fats and oils are allowed but only if they do not contain any nuts or seeds. So your favorite foods and dressings like butter, mayonnaise, or any salad dressing, made without prohibited ingredients, are allowed.
Even though legumes are one of the healthiest food groups, they are not allowed in any shape or form when it comes to the colonoscopy prep diet.
Any cooked or canned fruit without skin or seeds is allowed along with certain ripe peeled fruits like nectarines, peaches, cantaloupe, etc. When it comes to fruit juice, stick to 100 percent apple juice, and avoid red or purple juices like cherry, or pomegranate.
Dried fruit of any kind is not allowed, nor is any other fruit containing skin or seeds. This goes for canned fruit, as well as fruits like mandarins, oranges, apples, pears, berries, etc.
When it comes to vegetables, you have to follow the same philosophy as with fruits. Vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, turnips and other, in the cooked or canned form, are allowed. Also, any other peeled vegetables like potatoes are allowed.
As mentioned in the previous section, you have to avoid seeds and peel, so any foods like onions, beans, peas, corn cabbage or tomatoes, are not allowed.
Seeds and Nuts
As mentioned above any seeds or nuts are prohibited, except in the smooth butter form. So foods like peanut butter are still allowed.
Most of the strained soups are allowed as well as soups like bullion, broth, or any other cream-based soup.
Unstrained soups are restricted as well as any other soup containing restricted ingredients listed above like lentils, beans, peas, etc.
Drinks or Beverages
One of the most important drinks out there, the coffee, is allowed. However, it is recommended that you consume it in moderation. Tea is also allowed as well as any pulpless fruit juice. Sport drinks, and carbonated beverages are allowed but not recommended.
The good news is that there are a lot of deserts on the colonoscopy prep diet list. Any desert based on refined white flour is allowed, as long as it doesn’t contain any of the restricted foods listed above. Also foods like ice-cream, pudding or jello are allowed if they do not contain any nuts, seeds or red or purple food coloring.
Our restricted list is the opposite of the list above. Any dessert containing nuts or seeds, whole grain, dried fruit, or red/purple food coloring is not allowed.
Nutritious foods like eggs and tofu are recommended, as well as lemonade, honey, etc. Sugar and salt are on the allowed list as well.
As we stressed throughout the article any food containing seeds or nuts is not allowed in the colonoscopy prep diet. This also goes for foods like corn, popcorn, marmalade, olives, etc.
Your doctor might also prescribe you laxatives, and keep in mind that medicated wipes might be a good idea when it comes to frequent bathroom trips.