Eating mushrooms can make people feel fuller than meat, research finds.
Feeling fuller from consuming the same number of calories can aid weight loss.
In one study, people who switched some of their meat intake to mushrooms lost 7 pounds and maintained this weight loss over six months.
Another study has shown that mushrooms are linked to a higher intake of crucial vitamins and minerals.
Other plant-based sources of protein work just as well as mushrooms to increase satiety.
For example, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, peanuts and quinoa are all relatively high in protein and contain many essential nutrients.
Professor Joanne Slavin, the study’s first author, said:
“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.
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.”
For the study, 32 people were followed for ten days.
Half the time they ate white button mushrooms for breakfast, the other half of the time they had meat.
The mushrooms and meat were balanced so they contained the same amount of calories and protein.
The results showed that people felt significantly less hungry after eating mushrooms than they did after eating meat.
Ms Mary Jo Feeney, a nutritionist for the Mushroom Council, who funded the study, said:
“This new study adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests mushrooms may aid weight management and satiety, and thus contribute to overall wellness.
Consumers are interested in the benefits of protein food choices, so it’s important for them to know that plant-based sources of protein, such as mushrooms, can be satisfying.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Appetite (Hess et al., 2017).