1 Cup per Day of a Natural Meat Substitute Results in Weight Loss
Previous research has shown that increasing your consumption of low-energy-density foods such as vegetables, and lowering your consumption of high-energy-density foods such as meats―including cuts of lean meats―is one effective way to cut calories and increase weight loss. Unfortunately, eating more vegetables is unpalatable to many who prefer the savory taste of meat. The solution to this problem is to choose foods that some find make acceptable meat substitutes due to their rich flavor―mushrooms.
Not only are mushrooms an excellent meat substitute because of their wide range of savory flavors, but are also a food source that is rich in nutrients that can prevent disease and maintain good health. Listed below are some of the benefits of eating mushrooms:
Mushrooms are good for the bladder―Mushrooms are high in selenium, which is a natural element that researchers have found lowers the risk of bladder cancer in women.
Mushrooms provide Vitamin D― Like the human body, mushrooms produce vitamin D when exposed to UV rays. Before reaching the grocery store, some mushrooms are fortified with Vitamin D by exposing them to UV-B rays to convert their plant steroids into Vitamin D.
Mushrooms boost the immune system―Research has demonstrated that eating white button mushrooms may boost the immune system by increasing the production of antiviral and other proteins that are released by cells in response to a viral attack.
Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins―Many type of mushrooms are a good source of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B3 (niacin) which not only helps convert carbohydrates into sugars, but also aids the metabolism of fats and proteins.
According to research published recently in the FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) Journal, researchers report that aside from the nutritional benefits of eating mushrooms, that eating as little as one cup per day of white button mushrooms in place of meat can lead to healthy and effective weight loss in comparison to normal dieting.
In a one-year long study, 73 obese adults consisting of 64 women and 9 men with a mean age of approximately 48 years, were placed in either a test group eating one cup of white button mushrooms per day in place of meat, or in a standard diet control group. During the study period the participants bodies were measured and their food records analyzed.
What the researchers found after the one-year study was that in comparison to the control group, the group that ate 1 cup of mushrooms per day:
• Consumed fewer calories and had a lower fat intake (123 calories, 4.25 grams respectively, per day)
• Lost more pounds and percentage body weight (7 pounds, 3.6 percent of their starting weight)
• Achieved a lower BMI (body mass index) and a waist line measurement decrease of 2.6 inches
Furthermore, the researchers found that the weight lost by the mushroom eating group remained off afterward rather than wind up being regained as often occurs with other dieting methods.
The researchers concluded that their data shows that eating mushrooms as a meat substitute that can still leave a dieter feeling full and satiated is an effective weight loss method for cutting calories and reducing fat.
For an informative article about the health benefits of shitake mushrooms, click-on the link titled "Shitake Mushroom Demand: Is it Taste or Health?"
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Reference: “Positive effect of white button mushrooms when substituted for meat on body weight and composition changes during weight loss and weight maintenance – A one-year randomized clinical trial” FASEB J. (2013) 27, 852.4.; Poddar K.H., Ames M., Chen H., et al.