The clear food diet isn’t a weight loss regime or something that is meant to be followed for long periods, in fact, it shouldn’t be followed for more than a few days at a time. The clear food diet is often recommended by doctors for several purposes such as preparing for a major surgery (that requires no food in the intestines), or for a procedure such as a colonoscopy and even for intestinal flare-ups such as inflammatory bowel disease. This diet is not to be mistaken for the full liquid diet, the clear foods diet means you can only consume liquids that do not contain any bits of food, traces of pulp or any other residue. Whereas the full liquid diet allows you to have liquids that contain milk and many foods as long as they have been pureed. The full liquid diet is usually used to transition from a clear food diet to your regular diet.

Being on the clear food diet doesn’t mean you have to stick to foods that are clear in color. There is a good handful of options available for you to help get you through this time. None the less, knowing what you can and cannot have on this diet can be stressful when going through a not-so-fun time in your life. We are here to help and have compiled 14 foods you can have on the clear food diet. As a precaution always follow up with your doctor before adjusting your diet and ensure these foods are compatible with the instructions they give you.

1. Water

While this is the most obvious when starting a clear food diet consuming water is crucial. We need to consume at least 10 glasses of water for a healthy lifestyle. Up to 60 percent of the adult human body is made up of water after all!

When you start a clear food diet drinking copious amounts of water is important to ensure you stay hydrated. If drinking plain water is hard for you there are many other varieties available for you such as carbonated water and flavored water. Keep a water bottle with you at all times to help you stay on track with your daily water intake.

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2. Strained Fruit Juices

Believe it or not, but fruit juices are acceptable on a clear food diet as long as it’s pulp-free. This is great because juices are tasty and there are so many flavor options to choose from that can appeal to your tastebuds. Some may include apple juice, cranberry juice or grape juice. If you can handle the taste, check out pure juices that are free of sugar, preservatives, sweeteners and other additives.

Remember, it’s crucial to make sure the juices are thoroughly strained and do not contain any traces of pulp. The traces of pulp may interfere with a procedure you are preparing your body for.

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3. Carbonated Drinks

When you hear the word diet, most would assume that carbonated drinks are something to avoid. Liquid diets are a little different since the ultimate goal is to prep your body for medical procedures rather than weight loss or fitness. Carbonated drinks like soda pop are usually allowed on the clear food diet.

Most doctors will likely recommend you stick to a lighter in color soda such as club soda, ginger ale, or Sprite. Whereas some doctors mention any color soda is okay including fruit-flavored pop and Cola. When in doubt, make sure to always check in with your doctor first.

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4. Gelatin

If you are having a hard time getting through the clear food diet by only consuming liquids try having Jell-o. The Jell-o will satisfy you by making your body feel like you are ingesting a form of substance. Make sure when preparing or buying your Jell-o it is made plain, that means no toppings such as fruits.

Some doctors allow all flavors of gelatin on a clear food diet while others may ask you to stick to Jell-o that is clear or light in color. It all depends on the procedure and once again make sure to ask your doctor first.

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5. Pulp-Free Lemonade

Like fresh juices such as apple juice, fruit-flavored juices are also allowed. Lemonade would be a great choice when seeking a sweetly flavored thirst quencher. The same applies to fruit-flavored juices, it is crucial to make sure they are pulp-free while following the clear food diet.

There are so many options available to buy in store. If you’re looking for a sour taste, traditional lemonade is the way to go. Those wanting something a bit sweeter will love a strawberry-watermelon or pink lemonade version. You can also make your own lemonade at home if you feel like customizing the drink for yourself.

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6. Strained Tomato Or Vegetable Juice

The sugary drink options could get old quickly for people on a liquid diet. If you don’t have a sweet tooth and want a beverage with a heartier flavor, try vegetable juice. This rich-tasting drink will satisfy you and help get you through the duration of your clear food diet.

There are loads of simple recipes to check out online if you’re interested in making tomato or vegetable juice from scratch. Remember, it is also important to buy strained tomato juice or vegetable juice. When in doubt you can try straining store bought juices yourself by using cheesecloth as an extra precaution.

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7. Sports Drinks

If you’re feeling sluggish while on the clear food diet, then try sipping on a sports drink to increase your electrolytes. This essential mineral important to ensure that your organs are functioning properly while your body endures this abnormal diet for a few days.

A lot of athletes drink sports drinks to replenish their bodies when they sweat out their vitamins and minerals. The same applies if you feel like you are not getting enough nutrients without eating solid foods. Healthline says that some doctors may recommend you avoid drinks with red or purple food coloring if you’re prepping for certain tests such as a colonoscopy.

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8. Hard Candies

If you absolutely need to chew on something to get through the clear food diet, then hard candies are a treat that’s usually permitted. Some examples of hard candies may include lemon drops or peppermints. If you’re feeling the urge to snack this might be the best thing to fulfill your hunger.

Make sure to stay away from candies that contain milk or milk ingredients, such as caramels. According to Mayo Clinic, milk is an example of a liquid that is not see through and not easily absorbed by the digestive system. Carefully read the ingredients on the packaging before buying to avoid this mistake!

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9. Fat-Free, Low Sodium Broth

If you’re looking to have a meal during your clear food diet, consider indulging in some soup. You may not be able to have an ordinary can of Campbells Chicken Noodle but having a bowl of broth will do the trick.

Generally, vegetable, beef or chicken broth are all acceptable options while on the clear food diet. However, make sure to choose a fat-free and low sodium broth. As long as the soup does not have food chunks or particles, then it should be okay to eat. Just clarify with your doctor on what soups are okay if you’re unsure.

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10. Coffee

If you are a frequent coffee drinker and can’t go a morning without your cup of joe, then no need to worry. Most times coffee is acceptable to have while on the clear food diet. Coffee is acceptable because it doesn’t contain any traces or substances of food such as pulp. But unless you’re already drinking black coffee, you may have to make some alterations to your usual.

Your coffee cannot be flavored with any milk or non-dairy creamers. Since those ingredients are not clear, it’s not suitable for a clear liquid diet. The good news is you can add some sweetness to your brew with some sugar or honey. The same rule applies to tea drinkers.

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11. Tea

Like coffee, tea is also acceptable to drink while on this diet. Tea is a great option because it comes in a vast variety of flavors that are sure to please almost everyone. It’s also an easy way to stay hydrated without getting bored of just a plain cup of water.

Drinking different flavors of tea while on the diet can help temporarily satisfy cravings all the while keeping you hydrated. It is acceptable to drink other colored liquids like fruit juices, sodas, coffee, and tea but it is not okay to drink alcohol while following the clear foods diet.

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12. Popsicles

If you’re craving something sweet, then you’re in luck! Popsicles are another great snack choice while following the diet. They come in all sorts of flavors, shapes, and sizes. Popsicles also take time to eat and are often flavorful that will satisfy your tastebuds.

Proceed with caution when buying popsicles for this diet. You may not be able to reach for your favorite type of popsicle at the grocery store. That’s because it is crucial to pick popsicles that don’t contain fruit pulp, seeds or have any kind of milk base. Read the packaging carefully before buying and choose products with simple ingredients.

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13. Sugar And Honey

While sugar and honey are not considered liquids, they are permitted while on the diet. Thanks goodness! This is great news for anyone who is desperate to flavor their beverages. For instance, coffee drinkers can avoid a dreary black cup of coffee by adding sweet sugar. Tea drinkers can bask in the ultimate comfort of an English Breakfast mug flavored with a spoonful of honey.

Whatever you’re munching or sipping on that’s allowed on a clear liquid diet, sugar and honey could be a great way to enhance the taste. A little bit of sweetness could give you the will power to complete the liquid diet swiftly!

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14. Herbs And Mild Seasonings

Like sugar, herbs and seasonings might not be considered when figuring out what you can have on the clear food diet. This is a great option if you need to add a bit of flavor to your broth. If you do decide to add herbs and mild seasonings like salt, make sure to use them wisely. Also check with your doctor if you’re unsure whether a certain ingredient is safe to have.

Overall, make sure to follow your doctor’s advice when it comes to a liquid diet. Your food restrictions may differ depending on the medical procedure you’re receiving and your personal medical history.

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Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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