Meals on a liquid diet are simple to prepare, and an example is a glass of pulp-free fruit juice with a bowl of gelatin and a cup of coffee or tea without milk or cream, according to Mayo Clinic. Honey and sugar can be used if desired.
Foods allowed on a liquid diet include fruit-flavored beverages, carbonated sodas, waters and other drinks, strained vegetable or tomato juice, clear or fat-free broth and sports drinks, states Mayo Clinic. The general rule is that there are no solids included. Liquids may be colored as long as it's possible to see through them; however for certain colon exams, a doctor may require the patient to avoid anything with red coloring.
Liquid diets are helpful for providing important electrolytes such as potassium and sodium and for maintaining good hydration, states Mayo Clinic. When a full diet is not recommended or possible to follow, a liquid diet provides added energy. It is often used before medical tests or procedures that require an empty stomach. It may also be recommended for individuals suffering from digestive problems, including nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
A liquid diet is deficient in proper nutrients and calories, and is not recommended for more than a few days at a time, according to Mayo Clinic. Diabetics should work closely with a medical professional and ensure they maintain proper blood sugar levels and get approximately 200 grams of carbohydrates spaced evenly throughout the day.