Wheat and the hunger factor 28. October 2007 William Davis (20) Low carbohydrate diets are becoming increasingly popular. In my experience, they also work exceptionally well. However, I have observed a specific aspect of low-carb diets that deserves special attention: When wheat products in particular are eliminated, hunger plummets enormously. It seems peculiar to wheat. Other high-glycemic index carbohydrates like a baked potato or white rice, for instance, don't seem to have the capacity to trigger appetite like a handful of pretzels or crackers can. There are exceptions: processed sweet drinks that contain high-fructose corn syrup can stimulate appetite, as do foods made with processed corn and corn starch. However, wheat has grown to occupy an enormous part of diet, partly because of the "high-fiber" trickery that causes us to believe that wheat is healthy, but also, I'm convinced, because of wheat's hunger factor. A reader of the The Heart Scan Blog recently made this comment:I discovered this blog and Dr. Davis' TYP program at the beginning of September. I have relatively successfully cut carbs and grains from my diet thus far.Because I've got some weight to lose, I have tried to keep the carb count low and I've lost 15 pounds since then.I have also been very surprised at the significant reduction in my appetite. I've read about the experience of others with regard to appetite reduction and couldn't really imagine that it could happen for me too. But it has.A few weeks ago, I attended a party catered by one of my favorite Italian restaurants and got myself offtrack for two days. Then it took me a couple of days to get back on track because my appetite returned.Check out Jimmy Moore's website for lots of ideas about variations of foods to try. The latest thing I picked up from Jimmy is the good old-fashioned hard boiled egg. Two or three eggs with some spicy hot sauce for breakfast and a handful of almonds mid-morning plus a couple glasses of water and I'm good for the morning no problem.I find myself thinking about lunch not because I'm really hungry but out of habit.The cool thing too now is that the more I do this, the more I'm just not tempted much to do anything but this diet.I, too, have personally experienced this effect. I also was skeptical. It made no sense. How can whole grain bread increase appetite? I don't know what it is about wheat products that make them especially powerful triggers of appetite. I think that it probably goes beyond glycemic index, perhaps some other component besides taste. But if you want to seize control over appetite, elimination--not reduction--but elimination of wheat, as well as other processed carbohydrates, can really change the way you approach food. (Interestingly, The Wheat Foods Council estimates that the average American eats 144 lbs of wheat flour per year; they argue that it should be increased 210 lbs per year!)Eliminating wheat products is also an effective tool in the Track Your Plaque program for raising HDL, reducing triglycerides, reducing small LDL, and reducing both blood sugar and blood pressure. And it can be among the most effective ways to control appetite, since eliminating wheat also eliminates its hunger factor. Foods to consider to take up the calorie slack when eliminating wheat: cheese (fermented, of course, for vitamin K2 content); eggs, as our reader pointed out; other lean proteins like lean red meats, fish, chicken, turkey; more liberal use of healthy oils like olive and flaxseed; plenty of raw nuts and seeds; soy milk and tofu. Obviously, the center of your diet should remain vegetables.