What Types of Food Are Considered a Clear Liquid Diet?

A clear liquid diet includes foods that are liquid at room temperature. These foods are easily digested, leaving no undigested residue in your intestinal tract. You doctor might prescribe a clear liquid diet prior to medical tests or surgery. He might also recommend it as a short-term diet if you have certain digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. A clear liquid diet is not adequate for the long term, as it does not provide the body with all the essential nutrients.

Your doctor may recommend a clear liquid diet before or following surgery. Credit: Lesyy/iStock/Getty Images


Cranberry juice. Credit: HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images

You can only drink certain beverages when on a clear liquid diet. Examples include clear juices, such as cranberry, apple, or grape, and mild tea or coffee without sugar or milk. Clear sports drinks or soft drinks, such as ginger-ale and sparkling water, are also allowed.


Clear soup. Credit: zhekos/iStock/Getty Images

Clear soups, such as broth, bouillon, or consommé are allowed on a clear liquid diet. Soups cannot include vegetables or additional ingredients, which might increase the residue in the gastrointestinal tract.


Red gelatin. Credit: Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images

You can have certain dessert foods on a clear liquid diet. Gelatin, ice pops and hard candies are allowed. You should avoid ice pops or gelatin that contain fruit or any added ingredients.


Add honey to liquids. Credit: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Sugar, honey, jelly, syrup, herbs, mild seasonings and salt are allowed on a clear liquid diet. You might add them to broths or teas.

Foods to Avoid

Avoid beer and alcohol. Credit: MichaŠRóżewski/iStock/Getty Images

You should avoid any broths or liquids that aren't clear, such as colas or root beer, as well as alcoholic beverages, dairy products and fruit or vegetable nectars or purees.

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