PET-CT Diet Plan

24 Hours Before Your Exam

  • Follow a low-carbohydrate diet. Use the guideline below for menu ideas.

Before Your Exam

If your PET-CT scan is for cancer:

  • Do not eat for six hours. This includes tube feeding.
  • Do not chew gum.
  • You may drink only water.

If your PET-CT scan is for a sarcoid heart scan, infection or inflammation:

  • Do not eat for 18 hours. This includes tube feeding.
  • Do not chew gum.
  • You may drink only water.

Suggested Foods

  • Protein: non-breaded beef, chicken, turkey, fish, pork, lamb, ham (without honey), hot dogs, lunch meats, fish, shellfish, crab, peanut butter (1 or 2 servings total), most nuts and sunflower seeds (2 ounces total) and eggs
  • Dairy: Low-fat cottage cheese, cheese, one serving light yogurt with artificial sweetener (Dannon light or Yoplait light), sour cream, butter and half and half
  • Vegetables: Green beans, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, lettuce, mushrooms, radishes, spinach and zucchini
  • Condiments: Mayonnaise, salad dressing and barbeque sauce (those with 3g or less per serving of carbohydrates), oil, vinegar, mustard, hot sauce, tartar sauce, olives and dill pickles
  • Beverages: Diet soda, black coffee or tea (may add artificial sweetener and half and half), water (diet flavored included) and sugar free crystal light

Menu Suggestions


  • Bacon/sausage and eggs
  • Ham and cheese omelet
  • Light yogurt
  • Veggie and cheese omelet


  • Egg salad
  • Chef salad (no tomato)
  • Ham and Cheese wrapped in lettuce leaves
  • Cottage cheese


  • Veggie/Meat soup made with canned broth
  • Cheeseburger no bun
  • Chicken with barbecue sauce

*For a snack, try celery and peanut butter, light yogurt or cottage cheese.

Foods to Avoid

  • All foods containing sugar and most processed foods even “low-carb” items.

Fruits and Vegetables

  • All fruits
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Legumes (beans)
  • Tomatoes
  • Peas
  • Squash
  • Veggie burgers

Breads and Grains

  • All types of grains
  • Rice
  • Breaded foods
  • Pastas/noodles
  • Rice cakes
  • Rice (brown and white)
  • Crackers


  • Beer, wine, liquor
  • Juices

Snack Foods

  • Chips/pretzels
  • Candy, gum
  • Cough drops
  • Breath mints


  • Syrups
  • Jams
  • Ketchup
  • Sauces and gravies