When gastrointestinal illnesses occur, or when weight gain becomes apparent, or an upcoming medical procedure is forthcoming, liquid diets are sometimes used to prepare the body for wellness and treatment.
Usually, when following such specialized diets, individuals will avoid consuming solid foods or pursue a more restrictive approach towards their intake of liquid sustenance.
Liquid diets are often suggested or required by doctors before various surgical procedures or embraced by overweight people who wish to jumpstart a diet and exercise plan.
When considering this type of diet that excludes solid foods, you will find that there are two main types: clear and full.
Liquid Diet Choices
Clear liquid diets consist of specially prepared and visually transparent foods, such as meat and vegetable broths, bouillon, clear fruit juices, clear fruit ices, black tea, black coffee, popsicles, and clear gelatin desserts. The purpose of a this type of diet is to maintain essential bodily fluids, minerals, and salts. Clear liquid diets also provide energy to people when their normal food intake is disrupted.
Since the body easily absorbs liquefied foods, the digestive system undergoes less stress, while unwanted chemicals, toxins, and wastes are flushed from the intestinal tract. This is why clear liquids diets are often associated with the preparation for surgery. The gentleness on the body of such a diet is also suggested for a first day of eating and drinking after surgical procedures and before medical tests, such as a colonoscopy, or certain x-rays.
Full liquid diets consist of both clear and opaque foods (with a smooth consistency). One may consume milkshakes, ice cream, milk, strained cream soups, oatmeal, fruit nectars, pudding, and honey. Sometimes, such a type of diet may allow other kinds of foods that are thinned and blended with fluidized nutrients (like fruit juices or milk). The purpose of a full liquid diet is to make a proper transition from a clear liquid diet to a regular routine. This also helps people ease into normal eating patterns, especially after a session of fasting or undergoing surgery. Certain procedures and medical concerns also respond well to this particular type of diet, such as jaw wiring and problems regarding swallowing and/or chewing.
Pros and Cons of Liquid Diets
The advantages associated with liquid diets involve rapid results and less strain on the body. This type of diet is also one of the easiest methods to begin and follow. Despite the ease and beneficial results, this restrictive diet and nutrition regimen has also been known to bring about an assortment of disadvantages.
Today, it is not uncommon for people to consider a liquid diet when trying to lose weight, as such diets have been reported to have helped individuals shed between two and twenty pounds. Typically, however, this type of diet is often recommended for the overweight or obese. Additionally, patients facing bariatric surgery are advised to follow a fluid-only diet for up to 10 days after their procedure. Interested parties may safely integrate a liquid diet plan into their lifestyle by replacing solid food in two out of three meals with with the specialized liquid replacement diet.
People who are in need of losing a large amount of weight in order to enhance their health often benefit from such diets, but should approach the process as a short-term solution.
Full liquid diets are dangerously low in vital vitamins, such as iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin A.
Clear liquid diets are drastically lower in calories and important nutrients. For example, many of such diets discourage meat, breads, and grains.
Overall, if you are following this particular type of diet and nutrition plan, you should keep tabs of your nutritional needs and confine the dieting period to a limited time frame. Also, it may be beneficial to engage a nutritionist to help monitor your diet and nutrition needs during this dieting period.