What can I eat 2 days before a colonoscopy?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “What can I eat 2 days before a colonoscopy?”. We will explain what a colonoscopy is and its importance. We will also discuss some low fiber diets that are recommended before a colonoscopy.

What can I eat 2 days before a colonoscopy?

It is recommended that you eat a low fiber diet because it is much easier to digest before a colonoscopy. A low fiber diet should be consumed with laxatives as this makes the colon be empty and clean and the doctor can detect precancerous polyps that could lead to cancer.

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure whereby a doctor looks at the rectum and colon using a device known as a colonoscope or simply scope. A colonoscope is a long and flexible tube with video capability usually small enough to be inserted through the anus and into the rectum & colon.

Why is a colonoscopy important?

To better understand why colonoscopy is important, it is vital that we first understand how colon cancer starts. Colon cancer usually starts with an abnormal growth medically known as an adenoma in the colon or as a polyp in the rectum.

A colonoscopy is therefore important because it can assist in detecting and removing the polyps before they develop into cancer. Other forms of cancer screening such as fecal occult blood tests or stool DNA tests cannot give a positive diagnosis of colon cancer.

They are only helpful in detecting the presence or absence of blood or DNA biomarkers in the stool and thus a colonoscopy has an added advantage over them.

What low fiber diets are recommended before a colonoscopy?

Some good examples of low fiber diets are as below:

Milk and milk products

  • Milk, butter milk and general milk products.
  • Sour cream
  • Cheese and cottage cheese
  • Custard or pudding
  • Low-fat ice cream
  • Sherbet
  • Frozen desserts (without nuts)
  • Yogurts without seeds or granola

Vegetables

For the veggies you can consume;

  • Veggies that are well cooked and fresh preferably without seeds such as green, carrots, wax beans etc 
  • Potatoes that do not have the skin
  • Any strained veggie juice without spices or the pulp
  • Lettuce

In this category, ensure that you avoid:

  • Steamed and raw veggies
  • Any type of beans
  • Corn and pea
  • Broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and greens
  • Onions
  • Sauerkraut

Fruits and desserts

For fruits and desserts, you can consume;

  • Clear and strained juices
  • Canned and cooked fruits that do not have the skins and seeds
  • Well ripened banana (in small portions)
  • Popsicles and sherbet
  • Any desserts and cookies that don’t contain dried fruit, whole grains, nuts or coconut
  • Honeydew lemon and soft cantaloupe (in small amounts)
  • Small amounts of soft cantaloupe

In this category, you should avoid:

  • Dried and raw fruits
  • All types of berries
  • Prunes and its juices & raisins

Meats and other high protein foods

  • Tofu
  • Eggs
  • Smooth nut butter a good example is creamy peanut butter
  • Well cooked and tender meats such as lamb, turkey, veal, pork, fish and seafood

Cereals, bread and grains

You can consume:

  • Noodles or plain pasta
  • Waffles, white breads, plain white rolls, French toast.
  • White rice
  • Pretzels
  • Melba, zwieback, crackers matzah with no whole grains or cracked wheat
  • Cereals that do not have whole grain, added fiber, raisins, seeds or other types of dried fruit.

In this category avoids the following foods:

  • Bran
  • Kasha 
  • Whole grains, cracked grains, or whole wheat product
  • Cornbread or cornmeal
  • Graham crackers
  • Wheat germ
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Coconut
  • Dried fruit
  • Granola
  • Brown or wild rice

Sweets and snacks

  • Ice cream that’s low fat
  • Cookies or some explain cakes
  • Plain pudding and custard
  • Pretzels
  • Popsicles and Sherbet
  • Hard candy
  • Jell-O

Condiments

  • Mustard and ketchup
  • Margarine, mayonnaise, sour cream, salad dressing, butter and oils
  • Salad dressing, butter, margarine, mayonnaise and sour cream
  • Cooked herbs, spices, broth, bouillon and soups.
  • Clear jelly, honey & syrup.

Other kind of  foods that are low-fiber include

  • Small amounts of butter. Margarine cream & oils.
  • Plain gravies
  • Broth & Plain bouillon
  • Mild mustard & Ketchup
  • Spices, cooked herbs, and salt
  • Mild salad dressings and mayonnaise
  • Honey, syrup & sugar
  • Clear jellies
  • Hard candy and marshmallows

To learn more about how to make your colonoscopy as smooth as possible read here

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “What can I eat 2 days before a colonoscopy?”. We have explained what a colonoscopy is and its importance. We have also discussed some low fiber diets that are recommended before a colonoscopy.

Citations

https://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorship-during-and-after-treatment/coping/nutrition/low-fiber-foods.html

https://www.webmd.com/colorectal-cancer/colonoscopy-what-you-need-to-know

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