Which Vegetables for a Colonoscopy Prep Diet?

A colonscopy exam requires a special diet for the procedure to be successful. The exam is performed to rule out colorectal cancer and test for abnormalities related to the large intestine. A special diet is often followed several days before the procedure occurs. When choosing the proper vegetables to include in your diet, you should consider several key factors. Always follow the specific instructions of your health care provider before a colonoscopy.

Skinless potatoes are permitted for some patients before a colonscopy. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Importance

Vegetables are often high in fiber but you can continue including them in your diet if you follow several guidelines. Begin a low-fiber diet between three and seven days before your colonoscopy, advises the University of Virginia Digestive Health Center. A low-fiber diet reduces stool bulk and the amount of undigested material passing through the intestine, according to MayoClinic.com.

Vegetables

Vegetables without skin such as regular or sweet potatoes are permitted. Enjoy smooth tomato sauce or juice. If drinking tomato or vegetable juice, always strain juice to remove pulp. Cook or steam all vegetables and remove outer skins, seeds and hulls. Ideal vegetables include cooked carrots, string beans and peppers.

Vegetables to Avoid

Avoid all raw vegetables when prepping for a colonoscopy, advises MayoClinic.com. Often, you must avoid all solid foods, including vegetables, one to two days before the procedure. Consuming a clear liquid diet is recommended along with transparent beverages. Water, sports beverages, plain tea and coffee are ideal. Vegetable juice is not recommended because it is not transparent and may contain vegetable residue.

Amount

When beginning your colonoscopy preparation, limit vegetables to one to two daily servings, according to MayoClinic.com. A ½ cup is about equal to one vegetable serving. Remember, vegetables are only permitted until you must follow a clear liquid diet. If you have any concerns about your specific diet, discuss your questions with a doctor. Not following the proper diet recommendations may require you to repeat the entire procedure.

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