Fact sheetDiet specifications

Published on 1 May 2016

Fluid diet - preoperative oral diabetes

This document is part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Adult Inpatients. It is not to be used for patient education.


To continue oral fluids for people with diabetes until 2 hours before a procedure to replace or maintain the body’s water balance and leave minimal residue in the stomach.


Only fluids that are rapidly cleared from the stomach. All liquids containing fat, protein, and insoluble fibre are excluded. Carbohydrate containing fluids are also excluded to improve perioperative glycaemic control.


Preparation of patients with diabetes for procedures involving anaesthesia or sedation. This diet can be used up to 2 hours prior to the procedure. Pre-operative oral fluids can improve postoperative wellbeing and clinical outcomes.

Nutritional adequacy

This diet is inadequate in all nutrients and should not be used for more than 12 hours.


Patients may not receive a menu. This diet is not suitable for patients on thickened fluids.

Patients without diabetes should be ordered Fluids - Preoperative Oral.

Some patients with diabetes may require small amounts of carbohydrate-containing oral fluids to correct hypoglycaemia.

This should be determined on a case-by-case basis following local protocols.


Suitable for use in paediatrics when combined with an age-appropriate diet.

Specific menu planning guidelines

Allowed Not allowed
Hot main dishesNone-
Sauces, graviesNone -
Starchy vegetables / pasta / riceNone -
Salads, dressingsNone-
Breads, cerealsNone -
Hot breakfast choicesNone -
Milk and cheeseNone -


Diet cordial and lemonade

Black tea and coffee

All others, including juice, regular cordial and soft drinks.

Beverages containing red, blue or purple colouring (natural or added)

Thickened fluids


Carbohydrate-free commercial rehydration fluids


Products containing red, blue or purple colouring (natural or added)

Cream, pepper, salt, sugar

Commercial nutritional supplements


  1. Smith, I., Kranke, P., Murat, I., Smith, A., O’Sullivan, G., Søreide, E., Spies, C., and in’t Veld, B. Perioperative fasting in adults and children: guidelines from the European Society of Anaesthesiology. European Journal of Anaesthesiology. 2011;28:556–569
  2. American Society of Anesthesiologists Committee on Standards and Practice Parameters. Practice guidelines for preoperative fasting and the use of pharmacologic agents to reduce the risk of pulmonary aspiration: application to healthy patients undergoing elective procedures: an updated report [trunc]. Anesthesiology. 2011 Mar;114(3):495-511.
  3. Lambert, E., and Carey, S. Practice Guideline Recommendations on Perioperative Fasting: A Systematic Review. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 9 January 2015.
  4. Nygren, J., Thorell, A., and Ljungqvist, O. Are there any benefits from minimizing fasting and optimization of nutrition and fluid management for patients undergoing day surgery? Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology. 2007; 20:540–544
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