When Is a Full Liquid Diet Recommended?

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Tess Thompson



The full liquid diet is a temporary diet that is advised in particular circumstances when it is necessary that there should be little or no residual food in the stomach and intestines before surgery. It may also be necessary in instances where it is difficult to eat - after certain types of surgery or some other reason.

The diet requires you to stay away from all vegetables and meats. Meats and vegetables cannot be consumed in their original form or cooked in any manner irrespective of how finely they have been chopped or how rigorously mashed they are. The general rule is that you may take any food that is liquid at room temperature, with the possible exception of farina. You may choose any or all foods from the following foods:

  • Milk, milk shakes, ice cream and custard.
  • Any vegetable or fruit in the form of juice and without pulp.
  • Butter, cream or margarine.
  • All beverages.
  • Fine meals made from cooked refined cereals, oatmeal and cream of rice or wheat. However, in certain cases this too may be disallowed.
  • Butter, cream or margarine.
  • Sherbet, sugar, plain gelatin, hard candy, honey, syrups and fruit ice.
  • Clear soups that do not contain noodles, vegetable or meat chunks.

The full liquid diet is easily digested and leaves very little residue in the stomach and intestines. It also keeps the body well hydrated. At the same time the diet is very low on nutrition as it does not provide iron, Vitamin A, B12 and thiamine. Due to its low nutritional value, a full liquid diet should not be continued for more than five days. During the period of the diet also it is necessary that supplemental iron and vitamins be taken. However, these also need to be in the liquid form.

In many cases people resort to fasting under the mistaken belief that they will lose weight naturally if they do not eat. Periodic fasting for a day or two does help you to lose weight to some extent. It also gives a rest to the digestive system. The full liquid diet can be used during the transitional period between fasting and resumption of normal diet to allow the body to get used to eating. However, neither prolonged fasting nor a full liquid diet is recommended for weight loss as both are beset with problems. Full liquid diet is only meant for tiding over specific circumstances and should be used only for very short periods or on the recommendation of your health care provider.

References:
http://www.gicare.com/pated/edtgs15.htm
http://www.gastromd.com/diets/fullliquid.html

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