Maintaining healthy body weight is one of the major concerns of an average individual, particularly youths and young adults. Even though there are several ways to lose weight, it is essential to follow a healthy weight loss pattern.
An important aspect of weight loss and weight management is the number of calories we eat. Each type of diet contains a different amount of calories. Vegetables and fruits typically have a lower amount of calories compared to other kinds of foods.
How Does the Body Gain and Lose Weight?
If you’re interested in shedding a few pounds, this might not be the first time you read about the role mushrooms can have in facilitating weight loss.
But before we dive into the positive effects mushrooms can have on the body, we should first understand how weight loss and weight gain happen in the body.
Most foods you eat contain fat, which has an abundance of calories. Specifically, you get approximately nine calories for every gram of fat you consume. So if you do the math, 10 grams of fat equals roughly 90 calories.
However, the body needs these calories to use as energy, so it burns them at a steady rate. This is why you need to ramp up your level of activity when you want to lose rate since the more you move the greater the calorie burn will be.
Weight gain occurs when your caloric intake exceeds the amount of calories the body uses. These excess calories are then stored in the body as fat.
Conversely, weight loss occurs when you’re body uses up less calories than the amount you’re consuming.
Eating foods low in calories is one way to get on track with your weight loss goals.
If your caloric intake is low, there is a greater chance that your body will use up more calories than it takes on, which should ensure the weight falls off your body.
Weight Loss Effects of Mushrooms
Here’s where mushrooms come in: the tree-based fungi are incredibly low in calories.
So are mushrooms good for weight loss?
If you add mushrooms to your meals, you can feel full without taking on more calories than is necessary. Plus, mushrooms also have some other dietary supplements that can help you in your efforts to lose weight.
A study that investigated the effects of swapping red meat with mushrooms confirmed its positive role in the weight loss process.
This study evaluated the results of switching red meat for mushrooms in 73 obese adults. After a year, there was significant weight loss among participants, as well as other factors that indicate a healthier body including lower BMI, and reduced waist circumference.
The results of this study can be attributed to the lack of calories in mushrooms when compared with red meats. On average, the participants consumed 4.5g less fat and 173 fewer calories with the addition of mushrooms in their diets.
The other reason mushrooms are useful for hitting weight loss goals is the abundance of dietary fibers and proteins they contain.
These macronutrients help you to feel fuller for longer, which should in theory lead to less food consumption overall. So from this nutritional information, you could draw the conclusion that eating more mushrooms means taking less calories on board.
Though mushrooms aren’t the best source of protein and fibers, they offer a favorable ratio of the macronutrients given how few calories they contain.
You might also find that eating more mushrooms will make you want to drink more water, which is one of the best tricks for curbing snack cravings.
So if you’re serious about losing weight and you’ve yet to give mushrooms a go, now is as good a time as any to incorporate them into your diet.
Other Benefits of Mushrooms
Losing weight isn’t the only thing mushrooms are good for.
In fact, mushrooms are well-known for many other health benefits, which explains why there are so many mushroom-based supplements on the market today.
The health benefits of mushrooms stem from the fact that they are free from fat and cholesterol, and low in calories and sodium. What they do have is a variety of minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
Different types of mushrooms will have different health benefits. Nevertheless, some benefits are common to almost all types of edible mushrooms.
Here are some of the top health benefits offered by mushrooms:
- They can be considered as antioxidants because they are rich in selenium. Antioxidants protect the body from damaging free radicals that can lead to sicknes from a weakened immune system.
- They contain beta-glucan which can help in the healthy regulation of cholesterol, improving heart health.
- Mushrooms can actively mitigate the risks of type 2 diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels.
- They contain several B vitamins (pantothenic acid, niacin, and riboflavin) which are beneficial to the body. Niacin helps maintain healthy skin and a well-functioning digestive system. Pantothenic acid improves the body’s hormonal coordination and supports the nervous system. Riboflavin aids the supply and activity of the red blood cells. The combination of these three B vitamins protects and improves overall health function.
- Mushrooms can ensure the supply of one-third (⅓) of the body’s copper requirement. Copper plays a vital role in the production of red blood cells.
- Daily consumption of button mushrooms reduces the risk of developing neurological illness.
- Mushrooms can improve cognitive function and boost memory.
- Mushrooms contain a reasonable amount of potassium that can help with strengthening the bones.
Healthy Ways to Eat Mushrooms
If you’re convinced that eating mushrooms can only lead to good things for your health, then it’s time to think about how you’re going to introduce them into your diet. Not everyone enjoys the rubbery texture of slightly undercooked mushrooms, after all.
Here are some of the best ways to eat mushrooms to get the most out of them;
- Button, Portobello, and chanterelle mushrooms are some of the most filling varieties. They taste great cooked up with garlic and butter, and can be suitable as meat replacements.
- If you’ve got the time, roasting mushrooms is a great way to get every ounce of flavor in them. Or, if you’re in a hurry, chuck some in a frying pan with eggs and make them into omelets.
- Sautéing mushrooms with olive oil can make the texture more palatable, which should make them easier to eat.
- You can chop mushrooms and blend them with meat if you’re really not a fan of the flavor.
- Slicing mushrooms into a pasta sauce is a quick and easy way to improve a recipe.
- Taking mushroom supplements is the most convenient way to get the health benefits without having to worry about preparing them in the kitchen.
Are all Mushrooms Edible?
As good as mushrooms are, you can’t just go foraging for them in your nearest forest to save yourself some money.
Some mushrooms are poisonous fungi, and you don’t want to find out what they taste like. In fact, the consumption of certain highly poisonous fungus can prove fatal.
So if you are out in the forest, it’s a good idea to learn how to differentiate the poisonous mushrooms from those you can eat.
To get you started, here’s a list of common mushrooms that are edible and most likely available at your nearest health food store:
- Button mushrooms
- Cremini mushrooms
- Oyster mushrooms
- Portobello mushrooms
- Porcini mushrooms
- Chanterelle mushrooms
- Hedgehog mushrooms
- Morel mushrooms
- Wood blewit mushrooms
- Enoki Mushrooms
- Shiitake Mushrooms
- Shimeji mushrooms
- Reishi mushrooms
- Maitake mushrooms
- Matsutake mushrooms
- Giant puffball mushrooms
- Lion’s Mane mushrooms
- Cordyceps mushrooms
And here’s a list of the mushrooms you want to steer clear of at all costs:
- Deadly Webcap (Cortinarius rubellus)
- Conocybe Filaris
- Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)
- Angel Wing (Pleurocybella porrigens)
- Deadly Dapperling (Lepiota sp. )
- Podostroma Cornu-damae
- Autumn Skullcap (Galerina marginata)
- Death Cap (Amanita phalloides)
- False Morel (Gyromitra esculenta)
- The Destroying Angels
Mushrooms come in thousands of varieties.
So you really need to make sure you know your stuff if you’re planning on embracing your wild side and collecting your own mushrooms.
Studies have revealed that some edible mushrooms are healthier than others. As a result, evaluating their specific nutritional composition and the unique health benefits they provide can help you decide which types of mushrooms are best for you.
Related: Best Books for Weight Loss Motivation
Frequently Asked Questions About Mushrooms for Weight Loss
Which mushroom is best for weight loss?
All mushrooms are low in calories and should help you with your weight loss goals.
However, some studies have shown Reishi mushrooms to be the best mushrooms for weight loss.
Reishi mushrooms are nutritionally dense and can help you lose weight, boost your immune system, and much more.
Can I eat mushrooms every day?
Of course, you can consume a moderate amount of mushroom every day.
This is one of the reasons why mushrooms can serve as a perfect replacement for meat in your diet.
A study recommended that eating at least five button mushrooms per day should reduce the risk of developing any neurological illness.
Do mushrooms increase weight?
No, unless you eat them by the bucket load, mushrooms shouldn’t contribute to weight gain.
Since they contain about 90% water, and have a low number of calories, you should find that the opposite is true.
Mushrooms hey are packed with fibers, proteins, and vitamins that all aid with weight loss.
Related: Best Greens Superfood Powder
Get Your Free "Fight Club Physique" Checklist
A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle
Mushrooms are an excellent food to eat if you have a weight loss goal. Especially if you can switch out some high-calorie foods in your diet like red meats for mushrooms, you could be well on the way to shedding pounds.
As such, we strongly recommend that you consider adding mushrooms into your diet – especially given how versatile they are as an ingredient.