According to MedlinePlus, a hospital "light diet" is often prescribed to patients who are about to undergo surgery, such as inguinal hernia surgery. A light diet is also prescribed to patients who are recovering or healing from a concussion and women who have had a C-section.
Wikipedia states that a light diet is also known as a soft diet and consists of meals free of fatty and spiced foods and sources of fiber. Women who have had a C-section are usually able to eat a light diet eight hours after their surgery.
According to Digestive Healthcare of Georgia, doctors prescribe light diets as a way to help patients transition from an all-liquid diet to a regular diet. Foods that should be eliminated while on a light diet include raw vegetables and fruits, cereals, nuts, coarse breads, seeds and foods that produce gas.
Examples of options that are often included on a light diet are lean meats, poultry, eggs, tofu, juice, ripe avocados, skinless cooked apples, cherries, apricots, waffles and muffins, says Digestive Healthcare of Georgia. As far as liquids, all are permissible except for any that contain alcohol. Certain heavily flavored seasonings should also be avoided, such as garlic, chili powder and horseradish.