One of the most complex systems ever created is the Human Body, and the diet is an essential factor to keep it fit and fine. For all ages, diet plays a vital role in keeping the body protected from diseases, infection, fatigue, and low immunity. These days heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, stroke have become quite common. Diet is one of the foremost reasons for the same. A complete balanced diet comprises fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products, and an adequate amount of liquids in the right quantity at a proper interval of time. Now, let’s get the details about clear liquid diet and how it helps.
Purpose of Liquid Diet
A liquid diet as the name says is a diet that consists of clear fluids. It includes all foods that are liquid or turn liquid at room temperature. A liquid diet contains little to no fiber protein. It is full of nutrition and provides a break to your digestive system. A full liquid diet keeps the body hydrated and provides sufficient vitamins and minerals. The stomach and intestines get rest when the body is on a liquid diet. It provides important electrolytes that provide energy at the time when a full diet isn’t possible or recommended.
Below are some primary reasons to follow a liquid diet to improve your physical and mental strength.
1) Before a medical test or procedure
To see the intestine, the stomach, and intestines, doctors recommend having a liquid diet. No undigested food is left in the gastrointestinal tract that can affect the results.
2) To control the calorie intake
A liquid diet helps in weight loss. It controls calorie intake to a great extent while maintaining the energy level in the body.
3) For certain surgeries
A clear liquid diet before surgery reduces the risk of aspiration. At that time, liquid foods could be a really good support for a patient.
4) Having any difficulty in chewing or swallowing
Open wounds in the mouth or injury in the jaw due to dental work may become worse as a result of solid foods. Liquid diets prevent food bits from entering openings and causing infection.
Best Liquid Diet Foods
Below, we have mentioned some of the best liquid diet foods that helps to create a balanced liquid diet plan. Let’s go through each in a brief.
1) Fruits and Vegetables
All fruits and vegetable juices that are strained and free from solids or pulps. High fiber juice such as prune juice must be avoided.
2) Dairy Products
Cow’s milk, Lactose-free milk products, Sour cream, Butter, Custard style yogurt are some liquid foods. Smoothies and shakes can be added to get extra nutrition. Powdered milk along with cereals, soups, and eggs is also a versatile option. Before using regular milk mix it with dry skin milk to boost the protein intake.
Clear broths, Strained vegetable soups, Strained meat soups, Bouillon can be used if they are sufficiently thinned. Blending them with butter, gravy, sauces, the season will add on the taste and make them thin.
Cream of wheat and rice, Cooked cereals made of refined grains and thinned with milk and water. Adding whole milk or creamer will make it more nutritious.
Tea and coffee, Lemonade, Hot cocoa, Sports drinks like Gatorade, Milkshakes, Pasteurized eggnog. Half and a half and non-dairy creamer can be added to coffee or tea for calorie intake.
Mayonnaise, Margarine, Butter, peanut butter, or nut butter will add fats and calories to the diet.
7) Supplement Beverages
Boost, Glucerna, Ensure are also approved on a full liquid diet.
Gelatin cups in there as it is formed. Custard and Pudding in liquid consistency. Fruit ices, Popsicles, Plain ice creams without candy, nuts, or hard pieces that can be melted at room temperature are allowed. Topping ice-cream, malts, milkshakes with fruits can be added for calorie intake.
Foods to Avoid on a Full Liquid Diet
It is very important to avoid solids especially fruits and vegetables that have skin and seeds when you are on a full liquid diet.
- Raw or cooked vegetables
- Meat and its substitutes
- Soups with noodles or rice
- Cereals, grains, and whole wheat
- Fruits (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- Seeds and nuts
- Carbonated beverages
- Ice creams with solids
Things to Consider Before You Start a Clear Liquid Diet
Before taking a liquid diet there are many things to be considered. Bodies respond differently to different diets. It depends on person to person. For example, people who have diabetes will need a different diet, while someone who has undergone surgery will have to avoid certain foods. Some points that need to be considered include –
- Avoid acidic drinks like orange juice or coffee after gastric surgery.
- In the case of kidney or cardiovascular disease, one has to restrict liquid intake.
- The typical goal of a liquid diet is 800- 1500 calories per day. Careful planning is required to balance this nutrition. An inadequate amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals may lead to weakness.
- Pureed food should have the consistency of baby food. It should be free from chunks or visible pieces.
- For easier blending milk, water, salad dressing, and mayonnaise can be used.
- There must be an interval of 15 to 20 minutes while drinking throughout the day.
- 64 ounces of liquids is necessary for the body but remember to pay attention to the body’s signal on when to stop drinking.
- Three standard meals are required by a body to get the right number of calories. When switching on a liquid diet, six to eight times liquid intake is necessary to maintain the same energy level.
- On a liquid diet of more than five days, nutritional supplements or liquid multivitamin is a good option.
- This diet has to be a temporary diet as you may lose a significant amount of weight rapidly.
- In case of fever, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and vomiting, it is advisable to contact your doctor immediately.
A clear liquid diet is very beneficial for the body. It is inexpensive and easy to follow. It helps the body to recover from a medical test, procedure, or surgery at a good pace. It may sometimes result in tiredness and weakness. The liquid diet must be started under the supervision of a doctor or dietician as its results are different for different individuals.