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Are Mushrooms Good for Weight Loss? 

6 min read
edible mushrooms in a bowl, are mushrooms good for weight loss
Melissa Mitri post Reviewer Melissa Mitri post Reviewer
Verified by Melissa Mitri
MS, Registered Dietitian, Former President of CT Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

Table of Contents

Mushrooms are a popular variety of fungi many love to enjoy, whether tossed in a salad, sautéed as a side dish, or topped on a burger or sandwich. Naturally, therefore, you may ask if mushrooms are good for weight loss. 

In this article, we will discuss the healthiest mushrooms for weight loss, how to eat mushrooms for weight loss, and more. 

So, Are Mushrooms Good for Weight Loss?

Mushrooms are an excellent weight-loss food mainly because they are low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. They are also quite nutritious and are rich in dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. 

a pic of mushrooms with listed reasons why mushrooms are good for weight loss

Let’s cover some main reasons why mushrooms help you lose weight.

Low in Calories

Mushrooms are extremely low in calories. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a one-cup serving of oyster mushrooms has less than 30 calories. [1] 

Thus adding mushrooms to your meals and snacks only add a negligible amount of calories without adding fat, cholesterol, or sugar. 

High in Dietary Fiber

Mushrooms contain dietary fiber, which is essential for feeling full. 

Fiber is part of the plant that the human body cannot digest or absorb. Therefore, consuming adequate amounts of dietary fiber promotes healthy digestion, the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract, and more. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, fiber also helps control cholesterol levels and keep blood sugar levels stable. [2] This way, fiber will help keep you full and satisfied and potentially reduce overeating later in the day.

You may also like: When to Take Fiber Supplements

Contain Protein

Mushrooms also have a few grams of protein, which can also promote satisfaction and fullness. For instance, button mushrooms and oyster mushrooms contain 3g of protein per 100g.

Protein also helps to slow down the digestion and absorption of glucose to help stabilize blood sugar levels.

Mushrooms are a High-Volume Food

Mushrooms are also a high-volume, low-calorie food that is good for volume eating. 

The main benefit of high-volume foods for weight loss is that you can consume them in more significant amounts without overloading your meal with calories. For example, you can add some chopped mushrooms to your meat pasta sauce to increase the volume of a dish yet reduce calories per portion.   

By eating low-calorie foods like mushrooms in a higher volume, you will likely feel less restricted and have more success with weight loss. 

Best Mushrooms for Weight Loss

There are countless varieties of mushrooms, from shiitake to oyster mushrooms and more. It is important to note that all mushrooms are highly nutritious (including vitamins and minerals), low in calories, and good for weight loss. 

So, here we will talk about the healthiest mushrooms for weight loss. 

Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are a favorite of those who enjoy Asian cuisine, as they are often sautéed and added to recipes such as stir-fries, Asian noodles, soups, and more. According to the USDA Food Data Central, shiitake mushrooms naturally contain many different vitamins and minerals, such as copper, manganese, selenium, and B vitamins. [3]

Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms are (not surprisingly!) shaped like oysters and resemble them in color as well. Similar to shiitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms are rich in B vitamins, such as niacin and riboflavin. [4] 

Portabello Mushrooms

Portabello mushrooms are great for their classic shape that many use as a plant-based burger alternative. A grilled portobello mushroom can be a great addition to a sandwich that is both low in calories and fat but nutritious, delicious, and filling. 

White Button Mushrooms

White button mushrooms are commonly found in grocery stores around the United States and bear the signature button shape. These mushrooms are so versatile and can be used in stews, soups, stir-fries, and so much more. 

White button mushrooms are also very low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates and, therefore, can promote healthy weight loss without restriction.

How to Cook and Eat Mushrooms for Weight Loss

Are you wondering how to eat mushrooms for weight loss? 

Overall, feel free to be creative when cooking and eating mushrooms and use cooking methods that are convenient and enjoyable for you. 

However, it is also important to avoid cooking methods that use a lot of fat, such as deep frying, pan frying, sauteeing, or stir-frying in large amounts of oil or butter. 

Healthier cooking methods include baking, steaming, or even air-frying your mushrooms.

If you prefer frying methods, make sure to use moderate portions of oil, as you can prevent adding excessive amounts of calories and fat to your meal and cook on low heat.

Here are some healthy tips for adding mushrooms to your diet.

  • If consuming raw mushrooms, pair them with a low-fat dip such as greek yogurt or reduced-fat salad dressing. It can also be paired with hummus or tahini dip. 
  • Avoid adding too much fat or sodium to your mushrooms and instead focus on flavorful spices and herbs, such as pepper, fresh herbs, or garlic.
  • Pair mushrooms with other nutritious foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins (such as poultry, fish, and legumes), low-fat dairy, and more. 
  • Are you looking for a fried mushroom recipe that is low in fat? Try air-frying breaded mushrooms to reduce the amount of fat or oil needed in the cooking process. 

Mushroom Supplements for Weight Loss

Medicinal mushroom supplements are also widely thought to help with weight loss. But is this true?

Unfortunately, more studies are needed to conclude whether medicinal mushroom products are beneficial to individuals who are trying to lose weight. 

For instance, a study concluded that reishi mushrooms reduce body weight, inflammation, and insulin resistance in mice fed a high-fat diet. [5] However, no studies have confirmed the same effect for people yet.

Regarding the best mushroom or another supplement for weight loss, it is best to speak with your physician for the best guidance. Additionally, a registered dietitian can help you determine if dietary supplements are right for you, but the focus should be on consuming nutritious food first.

If you are struggling to lose weight, consulting a registered dietitian nutritionist can help you incorporate easy tips to make your diet healthier and more. An all-in-one weight loss app can also help support you during your weight loss journey. 

Wrapping Up

Let’s cover some of the key takeaways from this article. 

  • Mushrooms are good for weight loss because they are low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates but instead contain fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Mushrooms that are good for weight loss include shiitake, white button, portobello, and more. 
  • Avoid cooking your mushrooms with too much butter or oil, as they can add excessive amounts of calories and fat. 
  • It is best to speak with your physician and registered dietitian nutritionist if you are considering medicinal mushroom supplements for weight loss. 
Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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