The best diet after colon surgery consists of clear liquids, such as gelatin, clear broth, juice and tea, according to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Once a patient can tolerate those items, he should move onto a diet that is low in fiber and fat but allows for adequate nutrition.
The most important thing for a patient after colon surgery is staying hydrated with fruit and vegetable juices without pulp, Gatorade and water. The patient should avoid caffeinated beverages and prune juice, notes Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dairy products should be limited to 2 cups daily, and full-fat dairy products and cream-based soups should be avoided.
Patients should choose white bread, crackers, and pasta, and fruits and vegetables should be cooked without the skin. Raw watermelon, melon, cantaloupe and bananas are fine, but other raw fruits are too fibrous after surgery. Protein is important for the patient to heal, explains Dana-Farber Cancer Institue, and skinless chicken and turkey, white fish and other lean cuts of meat are the best choices. Fried food should be avoided, as well as lunch meat that is high in fat.
Patients should cook with nonstick sprays or use moist cooking methods, such as braising or boiling. Low-fat condiments and seasonings should be used as tolerated. It's best for the patient to have smaller, frequent meals for easier digestion, notes Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.