A full liquid diet includes liquids or foods that are liquid at room temperature. Liquids are easier to swallow and digest than solid foods. A full liquid diet allows you to have a variety of liquids for better nutrition than limited liquid diets. This diet may be recommended: To help prepare for a test or procedureTo help recover from a surgeryIf you are having trouble swallowing or chewing
It is important to avoid solid foods to prevent inaccurate test results or delayed recovery.
You can eat anything that is liquid or liquid at room temperature for example: WaterMilk, soy milk, eggnogFruit juices without pulp, strained vegetable juiceSodas, tea or coffeePlain ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, or popsiclesYogurt without fruit piecesGelatinLiquid supplement drinks or instant breakfast powdersSoup broths (cream soups can be strained but soups should not have solids)Sugar, honey, and syrupsButter, margarine, oil, cream, sour creamCustard, pudding
Talk to your doctor or dietitian if some of the following may be allowed in limited amounts: Cooked cerealsStrained meats—baby foodPotatoes pureed in soup
Foods to Avoid
Avoid any solid foods including: Mashed foods like mashed potatoesRaw or cooked vegetablesCheeseFruits (fresh or canned)Meat or cereal not approved by your doctor or dietitianIce cream or other liquid foods with solids in them like nuts or chocolate pieces
Most will only spend a short time on this diet. If this is a long-term diet, you may need to increase your calorie intake. Some steps to help increase your calories on a liquid diet: Add breakfast powder to milk, pudding, custards, and milkshakesAdd strained meats (consistency of baby food) to broths—check with your doctor or dietitian before adding meatAdd butter or margarine to hot soupsAdd sugar or syrup to beverages
You may also meet with a dietitian to plan meals for balanced nutrition while you are on this diet.
Full Liquid Diet. Fairview Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.fairview.org/healthlibrary/Article/116747EN. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Full liquid diet. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/nutrition/Pages/full-liquid-diet-facts.aspx. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Modified diet: Full Liquid Diet. University of Wisconsin Madison School of Medicine and Public Health website. Available at: http:// http://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/B_EXTRANET_HEALTH_INFORMATION-FlexMember-Show_Public_HFFY_1125410056099.html. Updated November 12, 2012. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Last reviewed November 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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