Yes, you can eat chocolate, but only on the dates before a colonoscopy because you should stick to clear liquids on the last day. There can be risky health concerns if you don’t abide by compulsory food restrictions that can lead to food traveling up your esophagus and into your lungs. This burdensome process can be made manageable by following a proper liquid diet and splitting the preparation into the span of 2 days rather than the last moment.
No one likes getting a colonoscopy, but unfortunately, it is one of the best ways to identify and avoid colon cancer.
Your colon has to be clean and empty for your doctor to get a perfect look at it. Keeping your colon clean and empty can make this already unpleasant experience manageable. This is why it’s important to consider what food that you take in during this pre-procedure time.
So what food can you eat? Can you eat chocolate before a colonoscopy? What is a colonoscopy prep diet? When is it okay to eat chocolates before a colonoscopy? What happens if you eat solid food before a colonoscopy? And how can you make the whole process more tolerable?
Table of Contents
Can you eat chocolate before a colonoscopy?
The answer to this depends on when you will be getting your colonoscopy. If you’re planning to get a colonoscopy after 3 more days, it’ll be safe for you to eat chocolates. But you definitely should keep off the nutty ones since they contain higher residue.
You must also remember that any chocolate will be a no-no for the day before or the day of the colonoscopy, as you are advised to have only clear-liquid meals.
What is a colonoscopy prep diet?
To get ready for the uncomfortable process of a colonoscopy, you need to make sure you follow a strict diet within few days before the procedure.
The prep diet as advised by Harvard health is given below.
|Few days before the colonoscopy.
|The day before the colonoscopy
|The day of the colonoscopy
|Eat low-fiber meals
|Drink clear liquids like broth or tea, clear juice like apple juice, clear soft drinks like Jell-O, and popsicles
|Only drink clear liquid foods just as before.
|Don’t eat whole grains, seeds, raw fruits, vegetables, or dried fruits.
|Don’t eat any solid food.
|Don’t eat or drink anything when there are 2 hours left for the colonoscopy.
Can you have a cheat diet before a colonoscopy?
A pre-colonoscopy diet doesn’t always have to be a strict diet. For example, there are instances where doctors advise for a low-residue or low-fiber diet so that you don’t have to suffer throughout the wait for your colonoscopy.
On the day of the colonoscopy, it’s best to avoid most foods and stick to liquids, so you can have a cheat-diet before the day arrives.
Since doctors recommend low-fiber foods as they are easy to digest and leave your body quickly.
The following list of meals may help your low-fiber pre-colonoscopy menu:
- Diary – You can have food like milk, cream, hot chocolate, cheese, yogurt, and sour cream under this category.
- Lean Meat – Lamb, pork, veal, eggs, poultry, and seafood can be your exceptions to eating at this time.
- Grains – You can have refined goods, white rice, low-fiber cereal, and plain crackers without seeds under this category
- Fats & Oils – You can try butter, margarine, salad dressing, and mayonnaise under this category.
- Fruits & Veggies – Products like seedless and skinless canned or cooked vegetables and apple sauce will be safe to eat under this category. Make sure you stay away from watermelons.
- Desserts – Ice cream, custard, Jell-O, pudding, custard, and seedless refined cookies and cakes without nuts can be eaten under this category.
What happens if you eat solid food before a colonoscopy?
This would defeat the entire purpose of a colonoscopy for your doctor, which is to get a clear read on your colon and identify whether you are at risk of having colon cancer.
But this isn’t the only risk you’d be taking if you were to eat solid foods several hours before your colonoscopy. As stated by Harvard health, if the bowel prep isn’t up to par, polyps and lesions can be missed, and it will take the colonoscopy more time than planned.
It is advised to strictly stay off all solid and liquid food before 2 hours before the colonoscopy. There is a perfectly good reason for this as well.
There is a big risk that food or liquid might travel up into your esophagus and where you could breathe it into your lungs. So, these strict diets need to be followed for your own safety because otherwise, you will have to reschedule on a different date.
Also, if you do have a history of constipation, stroke, cirrhosis, heart disease, or kidney disease, make sure you alert your doctor before the procedure itself.
How to better prepare yourself for a colonoscopy food-wise?
Let’s be honest. The whole process of preparing for and going through a colonoscopy is rather uncomfortable. But now that you’re stuck with it, there are steps that you can take to manage it as smoothly as possible.
- Plan your diet prep – Once you schedule the appointment, you’ll be given a set of instructions to follow by. So, the first thing to do would be to shop for not only your diet but also other key supplies that you’d find useful through the process, such as laxatives as prescribed by the doctor, moist wipes, and diaper cream.
- Ease up your diet – Your diet will have a better effect if you eat light from about 3 to 4 days before your colonoscopy. At this point, you should also stop taking any vitamins and other supplements. It’s better to consult your doctor about other prescription medications that you might be taking.
- Fasting – Since you can’t eat any solid food on the day before the procedure, you must make sure that you stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. Steer clear from any dyed liquids since discoloring of the colon will make it difficult for the doctor to analyze your colon.
- Tips for the night before – This is an important step since you would be given strong laxatives to clear out your digestive tract. This liquid laxative solution, which you’ll be drinking quite a lot of, won’t be a pleasant experience. But there are ways that you could help its taste by mixing it with something that’s flavored, or by keeping it refrigerated, or even by drinking it through a straw. If you’re using the straw method, make sure you position it at the back of your tongue so you wouldn’t have to taste it as much.
After all, is there really a way to confirm that you have done it right? If your stool looks light yellow or is clear as water, then yes, you have done your job perfectly.
What can be the outcome of a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy could mean four things. First, it could mean absolutely nothing at all if no abnormalities are discovered. On the other hand, it could mean that you have hemorrhoids. This may cause pain, itching, or bleeding. Its symptoms are more of an annoyance rather than a health risk.
The outcome could also be diverticular disease, in which a particular weakness in the muscular wall of the colon bulges outwards. This can be rather normal among adults. However, they can cause bleeding, infection, or inflammation.
Another possible outcome is colonic polyps, which is an outgrowth of tissue within the lining of your colon.
Overall, chocolate wouldn’t do any harm as long as it’s eaten about 3-2 days before your colonoscopy. You can sneak in a few gummy bears, hard candy while being mindful of avoiding red, blue, purple flavored candies while you’re at it.
Chocolate in the form of hot chocolate is also drinkable as a liquid. While the process isn’t easy, you can have a small cheat diet, as said above, but it’s also to remember to limit yourself as consider your health as your priority.
And hey, if your results are good, chances are it may be 10 years before you have to go through it again.