Help manage your weight with mushrooms

Fresh mushrooms are a low-energy-dense food, meaning you can eat more of them without expanding your waistline.

With approximately 60 per cent of the Canadian population and almost 30 per cent of Canadian children either overweight or obese, finding appealing strategies for achieving a healthy weight is crucial. A low-energy-density diet can be part of the solution with fresh mushrooms making a tasty and nutritious contribution.

The idea of a low-energy-dense diet is to choose foods with high water content, high fiber content, or a low fat content. Vegetables and fruit, including fresh mushrooms, fit that bill. Selecting foods with low-energy-density means you can have more of them without consuming large amounts of excess calories that can lead to weight gain. But does it really work? Here is what the research shows:

• Studies show that consistently choosing foods with low-energy-density, including fresh mushrooms, results in a better quality diet. The diet also has greater variety but fewer calories than a high-energy-dense diet, typically made up of more processed foods, baked goods, fried foods, snacks and high-calorie beverages such as alcohol and soft drinks.

• Researchers at Pennsylvania State University confirmed that people who eat a low-energy-dense diet consumed fewer calories, less fat and had higher intakes of several important micronutrients including vitamins A, C, and B6, folate, iron, calcium and potassium.

Fresh Mushrooms are a super low-energy-dense choice
• Fresh mushrooms make an excellent choice for low-energy-dense diets as they have a high water content, are low in fat and contain some fibre – three factors that contribute to satiety with fewer calories.

• A 100 gram serving of uncooked, sliced white button mushrooms is 50 per cent water by weight and rings in at a mere 22 calories.

Fresh Mushrooms Make a Healthy Difference
• Substitute a 4-ounce grilled portabella mushroom for a 4-ounce grilled beef patty (70% lean) and save 270 calories, 197 g fat, 8 g saturated fat and 93 mg cholesterol.

• Substitute ¼-cup fresh crimini mushrooms on pizza for 1 ounce pepperoni and save 125 calories, 11 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat and 33 mg cholesterol.

• Substitute ½ cup sautéed white button mushrooms in an omelet for ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese and save 100 calories, 9 g fat, 6 g saturated fat and 30 mg cholesterol.

For more health information and great mushroom recipes visit Mushrooms Canada online at

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