A colonoscopy is the most effective method for detecting colon cancer in its earlier, more treatable stages. The detection and removal of polyps that have the potential to develop into cancer, thanks to colonoscopy, may potentially help you prevent developing colon cancer.
In order to get the most out of your colonoscopy, your bowel has to be as clean as it can possibly be. The day before your procedure, you will have to go through a bowel prep routine. Consuming a low fiber diet for colonoscopy makes it simpler for you to prepare your bowels for the procedure by reducing the quantity of undigested meal that has to be processed by the digestive system.
Have you been longing to shed out some fat? Our article on the best weight loss meals will help you out.
Time to Drop the ‘No-Eating Rule’
According to findings from recent studies, candidates for a colonoscopy might not have to go through the arduous process of getting ready for the procedure on an empty stomach.
Patients who are about to undergo a colonoscopy are often required to abstain from all solid meals, switch to a diet consisting only of clear liquids, and take laxatives the day before their operation. On the other hand, the findings of this recent research show that participants who had a moderate quantity of low-fiber diet for colonoscopy reported higher levels of happiness and experienced no adverse effects throughout their test.
According to the researchers, the patients who followed a conventional diet of clear liquids had stools that were less prepared for the treatment than those patients whose diets did not include clear liquids.
The presumption that patients should abstain from eating the day before a colonoscopy is probably not accurate. The diet of clear liquids is quite limiting and possibly goes too far in that direction.
According to the American Cancer Society, medical professionals in the United States detected above 134,000 cases of colorectal cancer in 2018. However, despite the fact that a colonoscopy screening should be performed on most individuals at the age of 50 (and even earlier for those who are at high risk), many people do not have the operation done. According to the findings of the study, the necessary level of preparation is just too much for some people to handle.
The purpose of the clear liquid is to maintain a clear colon while the patient is undergoing a colonoscopy. Dr. Theodore Levin, the head of gastroenterology at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in California, provided the following explanation: “Things that are hard or fibrous like seeds can clog the scope,”
Enter the concept of a diet that is low in fiber. The idea is to give patients permission to consume items that won’t remain in the colon for an extended period of time and interfere with a doctor’s inspection of the intestines.
The new study had 83 patients undergo a colonoscopy after either a day on a clear liquid diet or with a day in which they were permitted to eat a small number of low-fiber foods such as ice cream, lunch meats, white bread, yogurt, cheese, and macaroni. One group of patients was given the clear-liquid diet, while the other group was given the low-fiber food option. The patients consumed between 1,000 and 1,500 total calories per day, broken down as a mixture of carbs, proteins, and fats.
According to the findings of the study, the patients who had just clear liquids did not have the same level of readiness for a colonoscopy as those who consumed a diet low in fiber. Those who were assigned to the low-fiber diet also had much less fatigue the morning before the surgery. In addition, individuals who consumed less fiber reported higher levels of contentment with their diet (97 percent) than those who consumed more clear liquids (46 percent), who reported lower levels of contentment.
The low-fiber food, which is also called “low-residue” food, flushes out of the colon since it liquefies quickly in the digestive system. The food is not the issue. It refers to a certain kind of food that you should consume on the day before the procedure. Things that dissolve or liquefy readily are going to be easily washed away.
On the other hand, high-fiber meals such as grains, seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables are often undigested when they reach the colon, and this means that they may obstruct an inspection of the colon.
The patient should consult with their primary care physician before making any adjustments to their preparation for the colonoscopy, according to Levin, a gastroenterologist.
However, Dr. Levin recommends that diabetic patients and some other individuals take into consideration the possibility of adopting a low-fiber diet.
For himself, Levin indicated that in order to increase the likelihood of having a “well-prepped colon,” he would most likely first attempt a clear-liquid diet; nevertheless, he added that the low-fiber diet is “worth looking into.”
What Foods are Low in Fiber?
Fruits, vegetables, and grains all include a component called fiber, which cannot be digested by the human body. If it stays in your intestine for an extended period of time, it may obscure places that your doctor wants to examine. Take note of these basic recommendations for the five days leading up to your colonoscopy:
- Avoid cereals and whole grains
- Choose canned vegetables and fruits or cooked ones over the fresh ones
- Choose products with refined flour such as white rice and white bread
- Consume only juices that are pulp-free
- Consume meats that are tender and well-cooked.
What Kinds of Foods Should I Consume?
Stick to the following low-fiber diet menu examples for colonoscopy to make the preparation for your colonoscopy simpler and to ensure better results:
- Cheeses with a reduced fat content
- Low-fat ice cream
- Milk and products made from milk
- Milk in either its evaporated or powdered form
- Skim or low-fat milk
- Yogurt that is smooth, non-fat or low-fat, and free of seeds, berries, rinds, and nuts
- Any seedless veggies that have been cooked thoroughly (e.g., lima beans, spinach, pumpkin, wax or green beans, asparagus tips, carrots)
- Potatoes that have been peeled.
- Juice obtained by straining vegetables
Meats and other high-protein meals
- Smooth nut butter (e.g. creamy peanut butter)
- Meat, poultry, and fish that are flaky and cooked to perfection
- Products made from refined or white flour such as cereals, pasta, crackers, rolls, bagels, and bread
- Cooked cereals
- White rice
- Fruit juice is strained to remove the pulp (except prune juice)
- The vast majority of fruit that is canned, pureed, or mushy and does not have peel (except pineapple)
- Peeled apple
- Ripe melons or banana
Sweets and Snacks
- Popsicles, sherbet
- Plain baked goods, such as cake and cookies
- Low-fat frozen desserts
- Hard candy
- Custard and plain pudding
- Sports drinks (such as Gatorade)
- Espresso and tea
- Seasonings, herbs that have been cooked, bouillon, broth, and soups prepared with vegetables
- Salad dressing, sour cream, mayonnaise, oils, butter, and margarine
- Plain gravies
- Ketchup and mustard
- Four types of sweetener: sugar, transparent jelly, honey, and syrup
Which Foods Should I Stay Away From?
Avoid consuming any of these items for the five days leading up to your colonoscopy.
Milk or milk products
Yogurt with nuts, rinds, berries, or seeds
- Raw veggies, except lettuce
- Potato skins
- Greens (mustard, turnip, collards)
- Fried vegetables
- Cabbage with sauerkraut
- Brussels sprouts
- Winter squash
Meats and high protein meals
- Chunky nut butter and spreads
- Frozen, canned, or dried legumes (such as lentils, peas, and beans)
- Seeds or nuts
- Meat slices that are tough or chewy
- Wild rice and brown rice
- Cereals made of whole grains
- Products manufactured from grains that include seeds or nuts
- Pasta or crackers, rolls, whole-grain or whole-wheat bread
- All raw fruits, with the exception of apples that have been peeled, melons, and bananas
- Canned cherries, canned berries
- Dried fruits, such as raisins
- Prune juice and prunes
- All desserts that are prepared from whole grains or bran, as well as those that incorporate coconut, dried fruit, seeds or nuts
- Candies prepared with seeds or nuts
- Preserves, marmalade, Jam
- Condiments such as horseradish, relish, olives, and pickles
Both the preparation for a colonoscopy and the recuperation from it could be an unpleasant and difficult experience. On the other hand, the alternative, which is failing to identify and diagnose possible diseases, such as colon cancer, is a considerably more problematic course of action. If you have any questions, don’t be hesitant to ask your doctor, and be sure to carefully follow the recommendations on the low fiber diet for colonoscopy. It is also important to note that if the colonoscopy that you have goes well, you might not need another one for the next ten years.