As the name implies, the full liquid diet is one where only liquids—or foods that turn into a liquid at room or body temperature—are allowed. It may be recommended for a variety of reasons, such as when swallowing is a challenge or your digestive system is in distress. A liquid-only diet is meant to be a temporary measure while you are under a doctor’s care. In some situations, a full liquid diet is necessary to ensure safety. A full liquid diet helps reduce that risk. Eliminating chunks of food—and, therefore, food particles—can also help reduce complications if you have undergone dental work or had an injury involving your jaw. You may have open wounds in your mouth from incisions or missing teeth. Sticking to a liquid diet until the pockets have closed will allow your mouth to heal and prevent food bits from getting stuck in openings and causing infection. If your digestive system is slow or damaged from illness, disease, or surgery, being on a liquid diet while you heal can help manage pain and prevent complications, like a blockage in your intestines bowel obstruction.
You may have heard of a clear liquid diet, where you only drink things like water, tea, and broth. A full liquid diet is similar, but it includes all foods that are liquid or will turn to liquid at room temperature, or melt at body temperature. It gives you more nutrition than a clear liquid diet. It also allows your body to heal from a procedure. Most people will only need to follow a full liquid diet for short periods of time, such as five days to two weeks. As mentioned above, you may eat foods that are liquid or turn liquid at room temperature on a full liquid diet. These foods contain little to no fiber or protein, so they give your digestive system a break. You may need to eat more than the three standard meals a day to get in all your calories and nutrients on a full liquid diet. Try eating six to eight times throughout the day with a variety of liquids and strained or blended foods.
A full liquid diet means that a person eats no solid foods and only consumes liquids, such as soups, juices, and smoothies. For most people, it is a temporary measure and not a long-term nutritional strategy. Full liquids are different than clear liquids. On a clear liquid diet, a person can only have clear liquids, such as water, tea, and broth. Full liquids offer more diverse flavor and greater nutritional value. A person may be able to eat pureed versions of their favorite foods in addition to a wide variety of thicker liquids, such as tomato soup. In this article, learn more about full liquid diets, including their uses, the possible effects, and what to eat. Doctors usually recommend full liquid diets as a short-term strategy when a person has a medical issue that makes eating solids dangerous.