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How Mushrooms Fit Into Popular Diets

October 15, 2019

Over the years, a wide range of eating plans have emerged to fit various lifestyles, values and health goals. While the guidelines and logic behind them vary, one thing remains the same: Mushrooms are a winner across the board. 

Check out how mushrooms deliciously fit into some of today’s most popular eating plans. 

Note: While we know these are “popular” diets, we aren’t recommending them, and consumers should always check with their health care provider before starting a new diet plan. 

Keto Diet 

The Keto Diet, known formally as the Ketogenic Diet, is a low-carb, high-fat diet. The diet claims to lower blood sugar and insulin levels to shift the body’s metabolism away from carbs and toward fats and ketones.

How mushrooms fit into the Keto Diet:

One cup or 84 grams of whole mushrooms contain 2.7 grams of total carbohydrates1.

Mediterranean Diet 

The thinking behind the Mediterranean Diet is simple: Consume less red meat, sugar and saturated fats while increasing the amount of produce, nuts and good fats.

How mushrooms fit into the Mediterranean Diet:

With their umami-rich flavor, mushrooms are the perfect complement to other Med Diet stars, such as tomatoes and seafood, while filling that meaty flavor void. Mushrooms pair well with other ingredients and also shine on their own when simply roasted with olive oil. 

Paleo Diet 

The Paleo Diet, or Caveman Diet, is inspired by the foods that were available to and eaten by our hunter-gatherer ancestors. It’s focused on consuming whole foods like lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and avoiding processed foods. Since mushrooms are one of the oldest known foods, it’s highly likely they were a favorite of cavemen, thus a natural fit for the Paleo Diet.

How mushrooms fit into the Paleo Diet:

Unlike cavemen, it’s no longer necessary to forage for mushrooms when there are many varieties available at your local grocery store. They also check all the Paleo must-have boxes: they are unprocessed and can be found in nature. 

Whole30 Diet 

Whole30 is more of a weight-loss plan with a “change your life” approach, per the program’s founders. It begins with 30 days of eliminating sugar, alcohol, grains, dairy and legumes. At day 31, you begin reintroducing some of those foods.

How mushrooms fit into the Whole30 Diet:

Mushrooms are an approved food in the first 30 days of Whole30.

DASH Diet (Diet Approaches to Stop Hypertension) 

The DASH Diet is designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure by focusing on consuming foods high in potassium, calcium, protein and fiber such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. Followers of this diet also focus on reducing their sodium intake. 

How mushrooms fit into the DASH Diet:

According to a study exploring the flavor-enhancing properties of mushrooms, blending finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat enhances flavor and nutrition2. This culinary technique known as The Blend, also: 

  • Maintains flavor while reducing sodium intake.
  • Reduces calories, fat and sodium intake while adding nutrients like vitamin D, potassium (9% DV), B vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Enhances the overall flavor because of double the impact of umami2.

Ready to work more mushrooms into your diet? Find tasty, healthy mushrooms recipes here

1US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy. Version Current: April 2018. Internet: http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata

2Myrdal Miller, A., Mills, K., Wong, T., Drescher, G., Lee, S.M., Sirimuangmoon, C., Schaefer, S., Langstaff, S., Minor, B. and Guinard, J.-X. (2014), Flavor-Enhancing Properties of Mushrooms in Meat Based Dishes in Which Sodium Has Been Reduced and Meat Has Been Partially Substituted with Mushrooms. Journal of Food Science, 79: S1795–S1804.

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