If you’re familiar with mushrooms, you may know there are many varieties, and they add a distinctive flavor often described as earthy. Yet, they are more than tasty morsels. According to a study published in the international journal Appetite they appear to be as satisfying as beef but contain alot fewer calories and that means you may be able to cut calories.
Researcher Lawrence Cheskin, M.D., and his colleagues of the Center for Human Nutrition at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health proposed that low energy density (ED) foods could replace high ED foods, thereby resulting in weight loss. At lunch, for a two-week period, mushrooms (which are low ED) were substituted for beef (which is high ED), and “energy intake, fat intake, palatability, appetite, satiation and satiety in normal weight, overweight and obese adults [were evaluated].”
Subjects ate a total of eight mushroom lunches during a two-week period. The subjects found no real difference in palatability, appetite, satiation or satiety between the mushroom meals and the beef meals. Moreover, results showed that by substituting mushrooms for beef, subjects on average consumed 420 less calories per meal.
If you wondering what type of mushrooms are available and what nutrients they contain, here’s the latest information provided by the USDA’s National Nutrient Database.
Mushroom Nutrient Chart Per 100 Grams of Mushroom
Ca = Calcium, Fe = Iron, Mg = Magnesium, P = Phosphorus, Zn = Zinc, Mn = Manganese, and Se = Selenium
As you can tell from the above chart, mushrooms are exceedingly low in calories but packed with some great minerals, and, if you substituted mushrooms for beef or red meat two days a week, based on the average 420 calorie savings mentioned in the study above, it could result in you consuming 43,500 less calories a year, or in other words, you could possible lose weight: 12+ pounds to be exact. Besides losing weight you could also enjoy the wide array of nutrients mushrooms provide that are unavailable in red meat. If you’re interested in learning more about the differences between meat and plants, read Animal Versus Plant-Based Foods.