Most physicians will give you a strict diet regimen to follow before your colonoscopy. This usually involves avoiding high-fiber foods for several days before your procedure and an all-liquid diet the day before. The bowel preparation and restricted diet can cause anxiety in people awaiting the procedure who worry about the discomfort of the bowel cleanse and the limited diet preceding the cleanse.
The best diet a couple days before your colonoscopy involves eating a “low-residue” diet that limits high-fiber foods that cause undigested food or residue to stay in the colon for a prolonged period. Low-residue are foods that are easy to digest and do not have any skin, seeds, or whole grains.
The best diet a couple days before your colonoscopy involves eating a “low-residue” diet that limits high-fiber foods that cause undigested food or residue to stay in the colon for a prolonged period. Low-residue are foods that are easy to digest and do not have any skin, seeds, or whole grains. If you are anxious about your procedure, especially the bowel preparation itself, don’t worry! You have plenty of dietary options that will ease the process, cause you less discomfort, and help your physician have a clean slate to visualize your colon.
Disclaimer: Your physician will give you specific directions about how to prepare for the bowel cleanse, including matching the foods and medications you need to avoid according to your personal medical history. This article is meant to inform you about what an ideal diet before a colonoscopy would look like and not as a specific diet regimen for you to follow. These dietary directions can only be provided by the physician who is performing your colonoscopy.
The main purpose of the bowel preparation before your colonoscopy is to completely empty and cleanse the entire colon. Eating low-fiber foods for several days before your colonoscopy can make the process easier for you while ensuring there are no fiber residues left in the colon. You also will be asked to avoid several types of food and anything that contains red or purple food coloring (natural or artificial).
Several days before your colonoscopy your physician will ask you to avoid high-fiber foods and restrict your diet to proteins and foods that are easily digestible, well-cooked, tender, and peeled. In addition, there may be other restrictions to your diet which often include avoiding the following:
White rice vinegar
Jam or jelly (not red or purple and no seeds)
Sugar (white, brown, or raw)
Butter or margarine (non-hydrogenated oils)
Breads and Starches
White bread, biscuit or roll
Skinless baked or cooked potato
White rice or noodles
White or refined flour pastas
Cooked cereals like creamy rice
Crispy rice cereal or cornflakes
Ground, well-cooked and tender beef, lamb, ham, veal, pork, and fish
Milk and Milk Products
Smooth nonfat or low-fat yogurt (no seeds, berries, rinds, or nuts)
Canned fruit (no pineapple)
Canned or cooked vegetables without seeds
Strained fruit juice (no prune juice)
Canned, pureed, and soft fruit (except pineapple)
Plain cake or cookies
Plain pudding or custard
Low-fat ice cream
Smooth nut butters
Chicken noodle soup without vegetables
High-fiber, high-fat, and complex protein foods take time to digest and may reside in the colon for several days if not adequately processed. These residual fibers are difficult to flush out of the system, even with the laxatives you are given the day before the procedure.
An inadequate bowel preparation can cause a number of problems, including the need for a repeat colonoscopy and possible complications during the procedure itself. High-fiber, high-fat, and complex protein foods take time to digest and may reside in the colon for several days if not adequately processed. These residual fibers are difficult to flush out of the system, even with the laxatives you are given the day before the procedure. Inadequate bowel preparation can have the following consequences:
Bagel and cream cheese, banana with honey
Scrambled eggs, white toast, and jam
Greek yogurt with honey and bananas topping
Half cantaloupe filled with greek yogurt and topped with honey
Pancakes (not whole-grain) with maple syrup
Chicken tenders (no skin), green beans, and potato roll
Turkey sandwich on white bread with provolone and pretzels
Tuna with olive oil and lemon juice on sourdough bread with vanilla wafers
Smooth peanut butter and honey sandwich, cottage cheese, and canned peaches
Cedar plank wild salmon (not farmed), cooked carrots, and Israeli couscous
Orecchiette with garlic and tender-cooked asparagus tips with olive oil and lemon
Grilled chicken breast, mashed potatoes (no skins), and tender green beans
Spaghetti with mushrooms, olive oil and garlic, lettuce salad with dressing (no seeds), plain ice cream
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