Can Mushrooms Make You Feel Truly Satiated?
By Heather Callaghan, Editor
Try an experiment – eat your typical breakfast one day. Whether it has meat or is plant-based doesn’t matter. Note how you feel. On the next day, displace some of your regular ingredients with mushrooms. Now see if you feel fuller for longer.
I did the experiment and I believe it works. On days where I add sauteed shiitake mushrooms and onions to my breakfast potato-spinach plate I feel as though I can work for a longer period without snacking. Mushrooms have become my go-to replacement for meat ever since I did another personal experiment at one of my favorite restaurants. They made an amazing burger either with meat – or a portobello “steak.” While both options are amazing, I never think twice about ordering the mushroom “burger” since I feel just as satiated but with no indigestion or heaviness.
Turns out that mushrooms contain much nutrients and protein which may explain their ability to make people feel fuller longer.
A new study on satiety published in the October issue of the journal Appetite indicates that eating a mushroom-rich breakfast may result in less hunger and a greater feeling of fullness after the mushroom breakfast compared to the meat breakfast.
“Previous studies on mushrooms suggest that they can be more satiating than meat, but this effect had not been studied with protein-matched amounts until now,” said gut health and satiety researcher and study author Joanne Slavin, PhD, RD, professor at the University of Minnesota. “As with previous published research, this study indicates there may be both a nutritional and satiating benefit to either substituting mushrooms for meat in some meals or replacing some of the meat with mushrooms.”
Because protein appears to be the most satiating macronutrient according to research, the team wanted to match the amount of protein in the mushroom and meat interventions to essentially control for the influence of protein on satiety. After matching the mushroom and meat by protein content, both ended up containing comparable amounts of calories as well, which is a common way to match interventions in satiety studies.
Full disclosure – this study was small and was funded by the Mushroom Council. The Council no doubt would love to find any information to drive the mushroom market and attribute mushrooms to weight loss. Still, the information is intriguing – I learned some new things about adding mushrooms to my diet. (Last night, I used mushrooms as the “meat” of a spicy thai eggplant dish and did not feel the need to hunt for snacks and dessert.)
Mushrooms Curbed Hunger and Prospective Consumption Compared to Meat
The objective of the study was to assess the differences with satiety and a 10-day food intake between Agaricus bisporus mushrooms (commonly known as white button mushrooms) (226g or 7.9oz) and meat (28g or nearly 1 oz) in a randomized open-label crossover study. Participants included 17 women and 15 men who consumed two servings of mushrooms or meat for 10 days. Participants were given either sliced mushrooms or 93-percent lean/7-percent fat ground beef to consume for a total of 10 days, twice a day. Portion sizes were based on matching the same protein content and similar calorie counts.
Results showed a significant difference on satiety ratings between the mushroom and meat consumption. Participants reported significantly less hunger, greater fullness and decreased less “food hunting” after consuming a mushroom breakfast compared to a meat breakfast.
A one-year randomized clinical trial at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health indicated increasing intake of low-energy-density foods like mushrooms, in place of high-energy-density foods, like lean ground beef, can be an effective method for reducing daily calories and fat intake while still feeling full and satiated after the meal. Participants following the mushroom-rich diet lost seven pounds, showed improvements in body composition and maintained these changes for six months after losing weight.
Another study conducted by University of California, Davis and the Culinary Institute of America found that substituting mushrooms for a portion of meat helped improve nutrition and flavor. You can find restaurants that blend a portion of meat with mushrooms at The Blenditarian, which also has recipes and food products.
Mushrooms Are The Only Produce to Contain…
One serving of five medium, white raw mushrooms contains 20 calories, zero fat and a surprising 3g protein. Few foods naturally contain vitamin D, and mushrooms are unique in that they are the only food in the produce aisle that contain vitamin D. One serving of raw, UV-exposed, white and crimini mushrooms contains 890 IU and 1086 IIU of vitamin D, respectively.
Mushrooms are most beneficial eaten cooked as they are difficult on the human digestive tract when they are raw.
Blend finely chopped mushrooms with meat as a cooking technique that’s flavorful and packs extra nutrition and antioxidants.