Worried you’ll have to say goodbye to your beloved sushi rolls before your upcoming colonoscopy? I’ve got good news for you. As a food blogger and colonoscopy veteran myself, I know firsthand that the pre-procedure diet doesn’t have to be as restrictive as you might think.
Now, I’m not saying you should go on a sushi-eating rampage the night before your colonoscopy. Your doctor’s instructions come first when it comes to what you should and shouldn’t eat. But the latest research shows that there are no specific restrictions against eating sushi before a routine colonoscopy.
In this article, we’ll go over the pre-colonoscopy diet facts. I’ll share tips from my own experiences for enjoying some of your favorite foods (yes, even sushi!) before the procedure. We’ll also discuss:
- Why your doctor may recommend avoiding certain foods
- When you may need to stop eating and drinking
- Whether the clear liquid diet is totally necessary
- How to eat smart in the days leading up to it
The key is being prepared and knowing what to expect. So read on to learn how you can relax and yes, even savor some yummy sushi, before your colonoscopy!
What Are the Colonoscopy Diet Restrictions?
First, let’s review the typical diet guidelines.
Your doctor will likely recommend:
- Eating only low-fiber foods 3 days before
- Switching to clear liquids 2 days before
- No solid food intake the day before
This helps empty your colon prior to the colonoscopy. Your doctor needs a clear view to check for polyps or other abnormalities.
But notably missing from the list? A restriction on sushi specifically.
Are There Foods You Should Avoid Before a Colonoscopy?
Yes, your doctor may restrict high-fiber foods that could leave residue in your colon. So you may need to avoid:
- Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats
- Fruits and vegetables with skins, seeds or membranes
- Dried fruits and vegetables
- Beans, lentils, nuts and seeds
- Dairy products
So this rules out some sushi rolls with brown rice or avocado, for example.
But there’s nothing saying you must avoid sushi across the board. Keep reading to learn more.
Can I Eat Sushi the Day Before My Colonoscopy?
The day before your colonoscopy, you’ll likely be limited to clear liquids only. This allows your colon to fully empty.
So at this stage, you’ll need to avoid all solid foods, including sushi. Stick to:
- Water, mineral water, soda
- Clear juices like apple or white grape juice
- Clear broths like chicken broth
- Coffee or tea without milk, creamers or cream cheese
Drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. Then you’ll be ready for your colonoscopy the next day.
Is It Safe to Eat Sushi 2-3 Days Before Colonoscopy Prep?
In the 2-3 days prior to the all-clear liquid prep day, you can likely eat soft, low-fiber foods. This is where sushi may fit in.
According to research, there are no specific restrictions on eating sushi before a colonoscopy. It comes down to focusing on low-fiber options.
So in moderation, you can probably enjoy sushi rolls made with:
- White rice rather than brown rice
- Fish and shellfish like salmon or shrimp
- Cucumber, mango, or avocado as toppings
Avoid sushi rolls with:
- Brown or black rice
- Tempura or fried ingredients
- Membranes like seaweed wrapping
- High-fiber veggies like carrots
Talk to your doctor, but a California roll or basic salmon sushi in moderation is likely fine 2-3 days prior. Just don’t overdo it!
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders for Your Colonoscopy Prep
While the research shows you can likely eat sushi in moderation up to 2-3 days before a colonoscopy, always follow your doctor’s orders first.
Every doctor may provide slightly different prep guidelines. So speak with your gastroenterologist about your sushi query.
There are also many factors that impact your personal prep needs:
- Your age
- Your medical history
- Reason for the colonoscopy
- If you’ve had polyps removed before
It’s essential to follow the customized plan from your doctor. This ensures your colon will be properly cleansed for the procedure.
Sample Low-Fiber, Lower-Residue Diet for Colonoscopy Prep
To give you an idea of colonoscopy prep dietary guidelines, here is a sample 3-day low-fiber diet that may allow moderate sushi. Always follow your own doctor’s advice first.
3 Days Before
- Eggs, fish, poultry, tofu, tempeh
- White rice, white pasta, white bread
- Olive oil, butter
- Soft cheeses like cream cheese, feta, mozzarella
- Canned fruit like peaches, pears, mandarin oranges
- Fruit juice without pulp
- Well-cooked vegetables like spinach, carrots, asparagus tips
- Honey, maple syrup
- Plain yogurts, milk, cream
- Clear broth soups and miso soup
2 Days Before
- Eggs, poultry, tofu, tempeh
- White bread, rice cakes, plain crackers
- Olive oil, butter
- Soft cheeses like cream cheese, ricotta
- Canned fruit without skins, seeds or membranes
- Fruit juice without pulp
- Pureed vegetable soup or broth
- Plain yogurt and milk
- Jello, popsicles, honey, syrup
1 Day Before
- Clear broth
- Plain gelatin
- Apple juice, white grape juice
- Coffee, tea
- Clear sodas
- Popsicles without fruit or seeds
Sample Sushi Options 2-3 Days Before Colonoscopy
Here are some sushi rolls that may fit into the low-fiber prep diet 2-3 days before a colonoscopy:
- Cucumber roll
- Avocado roll
- Alaska roll (salmon, avocado)
- Mexican roll (tuna, cucumber, avocado)
- Dynamite roll (shrimp tempura, veggies)
- Shrimp tempura roll
- California roll (crab, avocado, cucumber)
- Spicy tuna roll
- Salmon roll
- Yellowtail scallion roll
I recommend avoiding sushi with brown rice, seaweed wraps, fried ingredients, or other high-fiber veggies. And limit your intake to no more than 6-8 rolls in the 2-3 days leading up.
Be Smart About Sushi Before Your Colonoscopy
While the research suggests there are no specific restrictions on moderate sushi intake before a colonoscopy, always follow your doctor’s advice.
Aim to choose sushi made with white rice, fish, and low-fiber fruits and veggies. And limit your portions in the 2-3 days prior.
Most importantly, stick closely to your prescribed colonoscopy prep diet. This ensures you’ll be ready for a successful procedure.
With the right prep, you can feel confident knowing a little sushi beforehand won’t throw things off. Just use good judgment and enjoy it in moderation as part of an overall low-fiber diet.
Now that you know the facts on sushi before a colonoscopy, you can start planning that sushi date! Just follow your doc’s orders and be mindful about your choices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I avoid seaweed in sushi before my colonoscopy?
Seaweed wraps used in sushi may be high in fiber. To keep fiber low 2-3 days before your colonoscopy, it’s best to avoid seaweed wraps. Opt for sushi rolls wrapped in cucumber or soy paper instead. Rice paper wraps are also a good substitute.
Can I eat sushi the day of my colonoscopy prep?
No, you should avoid all solid foods the day before your colonoscopy, including sushi. Stick to only clear liquids like broth, juice, gelatin, and popsicles on your prep day. Sushi and other solid foods could leave residue in your colon.
What ingredients should I limit in sushi before my colonoscopy prep?
Avoid sushi containing brown or black rice, tempura or fried ingredients, raw veggies, and seaweed wraps. Limit sushi toppings to low-fiber options like cucumber, mango, avocado, fish, and shellfish. White rice and lean protein are safer sushi fillings.
Is it okay to eat sushi after my colonoscopy?
Yes, you can safely enjoy sushi again right after your colonoscopy is over. Follow your doctor’s instructions, but most people can resume a normal diet immediately following the procedure. Go ahead and reward yourself with your favorite sushi meal!
How much sushi can I eat before my colonoscopy?
It’s best to stick to 6-8 sushi rolls maximum in the 2-3 days leading up to your colonoscopy prep. This allows you to enjoy sushi in moderation while keeping your fiber intake low. Listen to your body and don’t overdo it on sushi before your procedure.