What Does a Light Diet Consist of Prior to a Colonoscopy?


Quick Answer

Two to three days prior to a colonoscopy, a low-fiber diet is recommended, which includes foods such as milk and dairy, lean meats, fish, chicken, and cream- or broth-based soups, states Group Health. The day prior to the procedure, a liquid diet is required.

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A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows doctors to look for any tumors, polyps and growths in the colon or lower small intestine. In order to get the best view of the colon, it is necessary to clean out the bowel completely prior to the procedure, according to Harvard Health Publications.

If the bowel prep is not done well enough, polyps and lesions can be missed; the procedure can take longer, which can lead to complications; or it may need to be repeated altogether, explains Harvard Health Publications. As such, doctors recommend a low-fiber diet in the two to three days prior to the procedure with no grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or raw fruits and vegetables, states Group Health.

A clear, liquid diet is required one day before and the day of a colonoscopy, according to Group Health. Acceptable liquids include water, tea, black coffee, soda, sports drinks, and popsicles. Also allowed are clear broth soups, including chicken, beef or vegetable. It is also recommended that a person drinks at minimum of 12 glasses of liquid the day before the procedure.

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