Five Red and Purple Foods To Avoid Before Your Colonoscopy



Preparing for a colonoscopy is not necessarily a cup of tea. However, it is a necessary process that needs to be taken seriously and completed thoroughly. On the day before your colonoscopy, you have a very detailed regimen of laxatives that you must take to completely cleanse the colon. Along with the laxatives, you may have clear liquids such as coffee, tea, clear soup or broth, soda, juice and water.

In addition to clear liquids, there are actually a few treats that dissolve into clear liquids which are on the safe list. These foods can “fool” your brain into thinking that you are eating. However, you must remember that anything RED or PURPLE is off limits when it comes to colonoscopy preparation. Red dye or purple dye masks the lining of the colon and can interfere with getting accurate results.

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Here is a Top Five list of red and purple foods and drinks to avoid before your colonoscopy:

  • Jell-O—Avoid strawberry, raspberry, cherry or black cherry and grape
  • Popsicles—Avoid any red or purple in a variety pack. Try the natural frozen fruit bars made with real fruit juice. There are some delicious lemon or tangerine pops that are made with 100 percent fruit juice. Just make sure that there are no bits of fruit in the popsicle, and it is juice only.
  • Kool-Aid—It’s been a while since you have had Kool-Aid, hasn’t it? Unfortunately, most Kool-Aid flavors have red or purple dye. Lemon, lime or orange Kool-Aid is acceptable but no grape, cherry, fruit punch or strawberry.
  • Italian ice—This delicious treat is tasty enough to make you forget you are prepping for a colonoscopy! Just remember to avoid strawberry. Choose lemon.
  • Juice—No grape, pomegranate, cherry, cranberry or cranberry cocktail juices are permitted. Stick with apple juice or white grape.

Talk to your doctor to get more information on colonoscopy prep. A wonderful resource can be found on the Colon Cancer Alliance website called Todd’s 6-Day Colonoscopy Prep Guide. Take the time to write out a menu for the days preceding your colonoscopy and make a special trip to the grocery story with your list in hand. Following the correct steps ensures an accurate colonoscopy!

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