Types of commonly prescribed oral diets
The clear liquid diet supplies fluid and calories in a form that requires minimal digestion, stimulation, and elimination by the GI tract. It provides approximately 600 calories and 150 g carbohydrate but inadequate protein, vitamins, and minerals. Clear liquids are hyperosmolar; diluting the beverages and eating slower may minimize GI symptoms. If clear liquids are needed for longer than 3 days, a dietitian can assist with supplementation.
The full liquid diet is used often in progressing from clear liquids to solid foods. It also may be used in patients with chewing problems, gastric stasis, or partial ileus. Typically, the diet provides more than 2000 calories and 70 g protein. It may be adequate in all nutrients (except fiber), especially if a high-protein supplement is added. Patients with lactose intolerance need special substitutions. Progression to solid foods should be accomplished with modifications or supplementation, as needed.