The protocol for the very low calorie phase (P2) calls for a melba toast or one grissini as a component of each of the two meals specified. There is a reference in the protocol that states a little starch is needed, so that is where that menu item comes from. We can deduct from that that the starch is an intentional component of the menu.
From Making up the Calories, Pounds and Inches”
“When local conditions or the feeding habits of the population make changes necessary it must be borne in mind that the total daily intake must not exceed 500 calories if the best possible results are to be obtained, that the daily ration should contain 200 grams of fat-free protein and a very small amount of starch. “
Allowed Substitutions for Melba Toast and Grissini
It is fine to use any cracker with a similar macros (calories, carb & fat content) as the melbas or grissini. Le Pain crackers are an acceptable sub, come in lots of varieties, and perfect for those that are avoiding gluten. A rice cracker or rye crisp could work. Two Wheat Thins or half a Wasa cracker also fit the profile.
The small starch allowance is also why the rice starch fillers in supplements don’t cause any issues in P2.
That all being said, some choose to omit the allotted starch items, and still lose well. Although the protocol allows you to eliminate meal items because you are full already, there is no rational for restricting the already spartan menu further. (Unless the omission is made because of a grain sensitivity). It seems a common misconception is that the diet phase of the Novarel Diet is supposed to be ketogenic, and so people will eliminate the cracker and the allowed fruit in a quest to get into ketosis. The Novarel diet does not depend on ketosis to be successful. It is unnecessary restriction. You are not going to make the diet work better or faster by eliminating the fruits and melba/grissini. The research was done years ago, and the resulting Novarel protocol menu is the best combination to achieve the best result. Trying to make it fit with other diet beliefs is not going to improve it. So relax, and enjoy your two fruits and that bit of crunchy cracker and let your body take you on the marvelous Novarel ride, knowing that it will figure it all out and you will get a good loss that you will be able to keep off when it’s all said and done.