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What Kind of Gelatins Are Okay for a Clear Liquid Diet?

author image Kathryn Gilhuly
Kathryn Gilhuly is a wellness coach based in San Diego. She helps doctors, nurses and other professionals implement lifestyle changes that focus on a healthy diet and exercise. Gilhuly holds a Master of Science in health, nutrition and exercise from North Dakota State University.
What Kind of Gelatins Are Okay for a Clear Liquid Diet?
An overhead view of a bowl of clear chicken broth. Photo Credit: Photosiber/iStock/Getty Images

Follow a clear liquid diet as directed by your physician. Stay on the diet no longer than recommended as it will not provide adequate nutrition. It will, however, help you prepare for or recover from certain medical tests and procedures. A clear liquid diet includes no solid foods of any kind. Some liquids – milk, for example – are also excluded. Gelatin on a clear liquid diet should not contain any fruits, vegetables or pulp.

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Clear Liquid Diet

Your doctor may put you on a clear liquid diet before a colonoscopy – a procedure to look for and, if necessary, remove polyps from your colon – or surgeries that require a clean digestive tract. You might also be told to follow a clear liquid diet following surgery or if the flu or similar condition is making you vomit or giving you diarrhea. Substances allowed on a clear liquid diet include soup broth, juice that contains no nectar or pulp, water, tea, coffee, clear sodas such as ginger ale, popsicles without fruit and plain gelatin. Do not use milk, cream or artificial creamers in your coffee or tea.


A sample breakfast includes tea with lemon and honey, grape juice and ginger gelatin. To make the ginger gelatin, you need a 3-ounce packet of orange gelatin, 8 ounces of boiling water and 8 ounces of cold ginger ale. Empty the gelatin into a mixing bowl. Boil the water and add to gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Add the ginger ale and beat until mixture is light and frothy. Pour into serving bowls and refrigerate until firm.


At lunch, try chicken broth, filtered apple juice, plain or sweetened coffee and a lime popsicle. Or try chicken gelatin. Boil a cup of water with a bouillon cube or boil a cup of chicken consommé. Place plain, unflavored gelatin in a bowl. Add the broth to the gelatin and stir until dissolved. Add a cup of cold water and stir. Transfer to serving dishes and chill. You can chill some of the chicken gelatin in an ice cube tray and snack on the chicken gelatin cubes throughout the day.


A sample dinner on a clear liquid diet includes beef broth, lemon-lime soda, white grape juice and cranberry gelatin. To make cranberry gelatin, place a 3-ounce packet of orange gelatin in a bowl. Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add 1 cup cold cranberry juice. Stir the mixture, pour into serving dishes and chill. If your doctor tells you to avoid foods that include red food coloring, you can substitute lemon gelatin for the orange. Or avoid food colorings altogether by using a cup of boiled grape juice, a cup of cold cranberry juice and a packet of plain, unflavored gelatin.

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