Liquid diets can have a few different variations, one of which is called “clear fluid diet” or alternatively “clear liquid diet”. This variation means that you consume all your meals in a liquid form without any fibre (pulp). The regular fluid diet that this website is mostly focused on is a liquid diet with fibre (pulp). I would say that this regular variant is more commonly used, is simpler and more sustainable in the long term for most people. Clear liquid diet consumed for long periods does much more than simply laying down bricks for your physical excellence, it is also a way of growing spiritually, which is a topic beyond this article.
Why is a clear fluid diet useful?
Clear liquid diet is often prescribed before some medical procedures to clear the intestines for a few days, also when a person’s digestive system is for some reason so weak that it cannot digest the fibre present in regular foods. Freshly squeezed juices and soup broths are one of the best possible examples of clear fluid diet meals. Orange juice could probably be one of the most commonly consumed clear liquid meals: it contains minute amounts of fibre, it is easily digested and contains huge amounts of vitamins, especially vitamin C.
What about the fibre?
You can ask yourself, what are the possible PROS and CONS of removing fibre from a liquid diet? Well, for a start fibre does not really contain huge amounts of calories, not all of it dissolves in water and a big chunk simply passes through your intestines in a relatively intact state. Then the next question is: why is it even needed at all?
Well, first of all fibre helps move the intestine content, without it you would go to the toilet less often. Having regular bowel movements, especially when you just start with a better diet, is good because it means that all the old food deposits which were hardened and stuck to the walls of your intestines are being removed. I would say that it is even risky to go on a fiberless diet from the start, because then you risk being poisoned by your own old hardened faecal deposits. Fibre helps move out old food (and faecal) deposits, which is good for the first few months or even years on a liquid diet.
Secondly, fibre is actually considered to be the food for your good gut bacteria. The good quality fibre that you eat from say fruits or smoothies, helps your good gut bacteria grow and multiply to reach normal levels and dominate over “bad” bacteria. You can feel weird in the beginning if you suddenly go on a fibre-less diet.
To finish with the fibre, the truth is that it is more important to try to feel your body to know how much fibre it wants. If you feel tired of having too much of it in your smoothies, you can have some juices instead, because even the smoothest orange juice usually has at least some minimal amount of fibre in it.
Foods you can eat on a clear fluid diet
Most of what is allowed on a fibre-containing liquid diet, is also allowed on a clear fluid diet, except for the need to remove the fibre out of all meals.
Here are some of the options:
- Fruit and vegetable juices. For example if you are making orange juice with a citrus juicer, you can often set the level of how much pulp (fibre) you want. The less pulp (fibre), the more pure juice you get.
- Coffee and tea without cream. Adding sugar is OK if you cannot live without it, although to be fair I honestly hate processed sugar, because I think it is one of the worst food items. My suggestion would be to gradually minimise the amount of sugar added. After a while you will be surprised by how good raw tea and coffee actually taste.
- Soup broths. Obviously no vegetables or meat in any form can be added. Just simply add a bouillon cube or make your own broth, add some good quality salt to your own taste and enjoy your warm soup. I do not recommend adding any oil, fat or sour cream, because high fat content is harder on your digestive system and your liver too. This kind of soup is especially good for cold and long winter evenings.
- Lemonade, pure water, popsicles, etc. Basically anything you can find that you can either drink or lick. The most important rule is that all food items should not have any harmful preservatives, contain high amounts of fibre or be high in fat.
You can take a look at liquid diet options for more info on this topic.
The importance of good quality water on a clear fluid diet
Clear liquid diet automatically means high water consumption. You mainly add water to your soups or when you make coffee/tee, lemonades or simply drink pure water. Tap water might be good in some locations with excellent ecology, however, most places, especially the big cities do not have water as good and pure as from the mountain springs. If you want to limit the amount of water you drink, you could simply drink more fruit juices and smoothies.
In this case a water filtration system can be really helpful. I personally suggest using a reverse osmosis system. Simple water filtration systems might be better than nothing, but they do not clean out the majority of unnecessary chemicals and most of the heavy minerals, as the reverse osmosis system does.
Some people also use water distillers (not to be confused with distilled water sold in white plastic cans for cars in supermarkets), however distilling water removes 100% of all the minerals, making it pretty much “dead”. Distilled water can be destructive to your teeth and bones, it is not recommended to be consumed for any long period of time. Reverse osmosis on the other hand leaves a minimal amount of minerals in water, which solves the issue with distilled water.
From this article we learned that a clear fluid diet, otherwise called a clear liquid diet is basically the same thing as a regular liquid diet, with the only exception that it does not allow any fibre in it. You can think of this diet as a next step, or an upgrade to the regular liquid diet, however it does not mean that normal smoothies or smooth soups are worse than juices and soup broths. They are just different diets for different purposes.
Clear diet is mainly suggested when the digestive system is weakened or before certain medical procedures. It is also a great tool to experiment with your body if you are just tired of eating too much fibre. The main advantage of fibre-containing liquid meals is that they give you the sensation of being full. Plus it is simpler to be on this type of eating pattern, especially for beginners. On the other hand, a clear fluid diet is often used to get to another level of self development both physically and mentaly.
As with any diet, the bottom line here is that it is always a good idea to listen to your body to find what it wants and not force anything on it. Your body will give you clear signs when it is ready to make changes, you just need to relax and be consistent, patient and observative.