Energy and weight management

Mushrooms are a low energy food. A 100gm serving of mushrooms makes up only 1% of your recommended daily intake of energy but at the same time provides over 60% of a number of essential vitamins.

This makes mushrooms a great way to help you get your recommended daily intake of a range of vitamins and minerals without getting too much energy. They provide so much more than many high energy foods and are particularly helpful when trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight.

Mushrooms are a low energy food - a food can claim to be a low energy food if the energy content is <170 kJ per 100 g. The energy they do contain comes mainly from protein. What is significant in terms of energy is that the vitamins and minerals present in mushrooms help your body use the energy it gets from other foods more effectively. This helps your body to maintain energy levels through the day rather than the quick sugar peak you get from some foods.

Energy is a requirement on Nutrition Information Panels (NIPs). We measure energy in kilojoules in the same way we measure distance in kilometres and weight in kilograms. The percent Daily Intake (DI) values used in a NIP are based on an average adult diet of 8,700 kilojoules (kJ).

Protein, fats and carbohydrates are converted into energy in different quantities:

  • 1 gram of protein is equal to 17 kJ
  • 1 gram of fat 37 kJ
  • 1 gram of carbohydrates 17 kJ
  • 1 gram of dietary fibre 8 kJ
  • 1 gram of alcohol 29 kJ

Everything you do requires energy, the most obvious being activities like walking, running and swimming but you also need it for cell repair and even sleeping. Energy is also essential for growth and development. Just as you put fuel in a car you get energy by eating food.

In addition to the energy sources you need vitamins and minerals help your body break down proteins, carbohydrates and fats to convert them in to a form of energy you can use . If we use the comparison of the body being a car and food the fuel, then vitamins and minerals are the spark plugs that let you use that fuel. Without those spark plugs to catalyze the reaction then you won’t go anywhere. One group of nutrients that are particularly helpful in this regard are the B vitamins. So a serving of mushrooms, which are a good source of a number of B vitamins, will put some spark in your life.

Mushrooms fill you up without carbs

With less than 1 gram of carbohydrates per 100gm serving, mushrooms are a power packed way to fill up without carbo-loading. Mushrooms are low in carbohydrates and energy yet are tasty and filling. Results of a preliminary study conducted at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggest that increasing intake of low-energy-density foods (meaning few kilojoules given the volume of food), specifically mushrooms, in place of high-energy-density foods, like lean ground beef, can be an effective method for reducing daily energy and fat intake while still feeling full and satiated after the meal.