Are Mushrooms Good For Weight Loss?

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white mushrooms on a basket (Are Mushrooms Good For Weight Loss?)

Yes, eating mushrooms can be beneficial for those aiming to lose weight. These edible fungi are low in calories, high in fiber, and pack a nutritional punch such as vitamin D that could assist you in your weight loss efforts.

However, there’s so much more to mushrooms and weight loss than meets the eye. Stick around, and we’ll delve deeper into why mushrooms might just be your new best friend on your weight loss journey.

Nutritional Value of Mushrooms

As per the USDA, 1 cup of whole white mushrooms provides the following nutrients:

Serving size: 1 cup (96 g)

  • Calories: 21 kcal

  • Fat: 0 g

  • Total carbs: 3 g

  • Fiber: 1 g

  • Protein: 3 g

The Potential Benefits of Mushrooms for Weight Loss

There are several key areas where mushrooms may be particularly beneficial, and I’m going to walk you through them right now.

Low-Calorie Content

a plate with calories written on it

First up is the low-calorie content of mushrooms. This is one of the most direct ways that mushrooms could contribute to weight loss.

You see, when we’re trying to lose weight, one of the key things we need to do is consume fewer calories than we burn.

This creates a calorie deficit, which our bodies then make up for by burning stored fat for energy, leading to weight loss.

In comes our friend, the mushroom. As I mentioned earlier, a cup of raw button mushrooms only has about 21 calories.

Now, compare this to other snack foods – even healthy ones – and you can quickly see why mushrooms are a potential boon for anyone looking to lose weight.

They allow you to fill up without taking in a lot of calories, which can make creating that all-important calorie deficit a whole lot easier.

High in Fiber: A Gut-Healthy Choice

the text fiber written on a blackboard

Next on our list is the high fiber content of mushrooms. Now, fiber is a bit of a superstar when it comes to weight loss.

It’s a type of carbohydrate that our bodies can’t digest. While that might not sound like a good thing, it’s actually great for us.

Fiber passes through our digestive system largely undigested, adding bulk to our diet and helping us to feel full.

This full feeling, known as satiety, can help us to eat less overall, further aiding in creating a calorie deficit.

But there’s more! Recent research suggests that high-fiber foods like mushrooms can help to support healthy gut microbiota.

The dietary fiber serves as a prebiotic, providing food for our gut bacteria, which in turn could potentially help with weight management and overall health.

Mushrooms and Blood Sugar: A Balancing Act

a glucose monitor

There’s also evidence that mushrooms could play a role in helping to regulate blood sugar levels.

This is crucial because when our blood sugar levels are stable, we’re less likely to experience energy crashes and cravings, which can lead to overeating.

Moreover, some research has shown that diets rich in mushrooms may help improve insulin resistance, a condition that’s often linked to obesity.

One study involving mice on a high-fat diet found that those fed with shiitake mushrooms showed less weight gain and better insulin sensitivity compared to the group without mushrooms.

This could potentially mean that incorporating more mushrooms into your diet might help in managing your blood sugar levels, contributing to a healthier body weight.

Mushrooms and Fat Storage: The Lesser Known Connection

Lastly, let’s talk about an intriguing area of research around mushrooms and fat storage.

Some studies have suggested that certain types of mushrooms may inhibit the formation of fat cells, particularly in the case of white button mushrooms.

While it’s important to note that much of this research has been conducted on animals or in a laboratory, it’s a fascinating potential benefit that deserves further exploration.

If this property carries over to humans, it would mean that mushrooms could directly influence the amount of fat our bodies store, making them a powerful ally in the fight against weight gain.

Also read: Are Protein Pancakes Good for Weight Loss?

Downsides of Consuming Mushrooms for Weight Loss

While these edible fungi offer an array of benefits that could potentially support weight loss, there are a few points that I believe are worth considering. Let’s delve into them.

Weight Loss Needs More Than Mushrooms Alone

First and foremost, let’s clear something up: eating mushrooms alone won’t magically make you lose weight.

As much as I’d love to tell you that there’s a single, magic bullet food that’ll melt away the pounds, that’s simply not the case.

Weight loss is complex and involves a comprehensive healthy eating plan, regular physical activity, good sleep, and stress management.

Mushrooms can certainly be part of a balanced, weight-loss-friendly diet. But they’re just one piece of the puzzle.

They can’t single-handedly counteract unhealthy habits like overeating, snacking on high-calorie foods, or leading a sedentary lifestyle.

So, while adding mushrooms to your diet is a smart move, remember to take a holistic approach to your health and weight loss journey and don’t go on a mushroom diet.

The Debate Over Mushroom Supplements

mushroom capsules on a wooden spoon

Another point to consider is the popularity of mushroom supplements.

While these supplements are often marketed as concentrated sources of the health benefits found in whole mushrooms, it’s important to approach them with caution.

Firstly, these supplements aren’t regulated in the same way as conventional foods or medicines, which means that their quality can vary.

In some cases, they may not contain the ingredients or the levels of active compounds that they claim to.

Moreover, some of the health benefits associated with mushrooms could be linked to their fiber content.

Supplements often don’t contain fiber or other nutrients present in whole foods. So while they might offer some benefits, they’re not a like-for-like substitute for the real thing.

Beware of Toxic Varieties

a bunch of mushroom varieties

Lastly, while the majority of mushrooms you’ll find in grocery stores are safe to eat, some wild varieties are toxic.

If you’re foraging for mushrooms, you need to be absolutely sure that what you’re picking is safe to eat.

Misidentifying mushrooms can have serious consequences, even leading to fatal poisoning in some cases.

So, unless you’re an experienced forager, it’s best to stick to the mushrooms you can find in your local grocery store or market.

There’s plenty of variety to be found there, from button and cremini to shiitake and portobello, so you won’t be short on options.

Also read: Are Aussie Bites Good for Weight Loss?

Incorporating Mushrooms into a Balanced and Healthy Weight Loss Diet

Alright, now that we’ve discussed the potential benefits and downsides of mushrooms in the context of weight loss, let’s dive into the fun part: incorporating these versatile fungi into your diet. Here are some strategies that you might find helpful.

Add Mushrooms to Your Favorite Meals

Mushrooms are incredibly versatile, and one of the simplest ways to incorporate them into your diet is by adding them to the meals you already enjoy.

They can add flavor and texture to a wide variety of dishes, making them a fantastic addition to your culinary repertoire.

For instance, if you’re a fan of pasta or egg salad, why not throw some sautéed mushrooms into your sauce for an extra dose of fiber and vitamins?

Or if you’re into stir-fries, mushrooms can be a fantastic addition, providing a satisfying meaty texture.

You can also add sliced fresh mushrooms to your salads, omelets, or sandwiches.

Explore Meatless Mondays with Mushrooms

If you’re looking to reduce your meat consumption, mushrooms can be a fantastic substitute.

This is particularly true for larger varieties like portobello mushrooms, which have a meaty texture that can stand in for beef in dishes like burgers or fajitas.

And here’s the kicker: By substituting mushrooms for meat, you’re not just cutting calories and saturated fats.

You’re also adding fiber and a host of beneficial compounds to your meal. So next time you’re planning a Meatless Monday, why not let mushrooms take center stage?

Spice Things Up with Fresh Herbs

Remember, while mushrooms are low in calories, the way you prepare them can change their nutritional profile.

If you’re sautéing mushrooms, for example, be mindful of the amount of oil you use. Instead, try flavoring your mushrooms with fresh herbs, which add flavor without adding calories.

Herbs like thyme, rosemary, and parsley pair beautifully with the earthy flavor of mushrooms. Plus, many herbs have their own health benefits, including high levels of antioxidants.

So you’re not just adding flavor, you’re adding nutrients as well!

Experiment with Different Types of Mushrooms

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of mushrooms. Each variety has its own unique texture and flavor, as well as a slightly different mix of nutrients.

For example, shiitake mushrooms are a great source of copper, while portobello mushrooms are rich in selenium.

So by varying the types of mushrooms you eat, you’ll ensure you’re getting a wide range of nutrients, which is always a good strategy when you’re aiming for a balanced diet.

Also read: Is Spam Good for Weight Loss?

Alternatives to Mushrooms for Weight Loss

If you’re not a fan of mushrooms or simply want to mix things up, don’t worry! There are plenty of other foods that offer similar benefits and can support your weight loss journey. Here are a few worthy contenders:

  • Beans and Lentils: Just like mushrooms, beans, and lentils are high in fiber, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied. They’re also a good source of plant-based protein, which is essential for muscle repair and growth, especially if you’re incorporating exercise into your weight loss strategy.

  • Leafy Greens: Foods like spinach, kale, and collards are extremely low in calories, but high in dietary fiber, making them a great choice for weight loss. They’re also packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can support overall health.

  • Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are sweet, delicious, and surprisingly low in calories. They’re also rich in fiber and antioxidants, and their natural sweetness can help satisfy sugar cravings without the need for high-calorie desserts.

  • Lean Proteins: Foods like chicken breast, turkey, fish, and tofu are high in protein, which can help to keep you feeling full and support muscle growth and repair. Remember, maintaining and growing muscle can help to boost your metabolism, supporting weight loss.

  • Whole Grains: Healthy foods like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread are rich in dietary fiber, much like mushrooms. This can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied, making it easier to manage your calorie intake.

  • Other Low-Calorie Vegetables: If mushrooms aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other low-calorie foods to choose from. Foods like bell peppers, zucchini, and cucumbers are all low in calories and high in fiber.

Also read: Are Rice Noodles Good for Weight Loss?


To summarise it all. Yes, mushrooms are good for weight loss due to their low-calorie content, high fiber, and other health benefits.

Whether you’re a fan of shiitake, cremini, or portobello mushrooms, adding these edible fungi to your diet can support your weight loss efforts.

Just remember, a healthy, varied diet and regular physical activity are key to long-term weight loss success.


Do mushrooms burn belly fat?

Mushrooms themselves do not directly burn belly fat. However, due to their low calorie and high fiber content, they can contribute to a balanced diet, which can lead to weight loss including in the belly area.

What kind of mushroom helps with weight loss?

Most edible mushroom varieties can aid in weight loss due to their low-calorie, high-fiber profiles. However, some studies highlight certain types like shiitake and white button mushrooms for their potential beneficial effects on weight management.

How to eat mushrooms for weight loss?

You can incorporate mushrooms into your meals in various ways – sautéed as a side dish, added to salads, stir-fries, or even as a meat substitute in dishes like burgers. The key is to prepare them in a healthy way, using minimal oil and avoiding high-calorie additives.

Are cooked mushrooms good for weight loss?

Yes, cooked mushrooms can still be good for weight loss. While cooking can reduce some nutrients, it doesn’t significantly impact their fiber content or calorie count. Just be mindful of the cooking method and ingredients used to avoid adding extra calories.

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Rahul is a professional nutritionist certified by the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and a personal trainer certified through the American Council of Exercise (ACE). He has a special interest in the science of nutrition and how it can impact the body.

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