Carbs in Mushrooms: Understanding the Nutritional Value of Mushrooms
The amount of carbs in mushrooms varies a bit by species, but overally, mushrooms have whole carbs that come primarily through fiber
Do you know about the amount of carbs in mushrooms? We often get asked about the nutritional value of mushrooms, including the carbs associated with our fungal friends. Below we look at some numbers associated with carbs in mushrooms. Before getting to the numbers, let’s talk a little about what carbs are. Carbohydrates are one of the three primary macronutrients, along with fat and protein. There are three main dietary categories of carbs; fiber, starches, and sugars.
Here is an excerpt from Healthline that sums up the role of carbs:
“The main purpose of carbohydrates in the diet is to provide energy. Most carbs get broken down or transformed into glucose, which can be used as energy. Carbs can also be turned into fat (stored energy) for later use. Fiber is an exception. It does not provide energy directly, but it does feed the friendly bacteria in the digestive system. These bacteria can use the fiber to produce fatty acids that some of our cells can use as energy.”
Of course, there is more to carbohydrates. For instance, there is the concept of “whole” carbs versus “refined” carbs. Refined carbs are in foods that have been processed and the natural fiber is removed from the food. Some examples of refined carbs include white pasta, white bread, white rice, and sugar-sweetened fruit juices. On the other hand, whole carbs are foods that have not been processed and are more in their natural form. This includes the natural fiber found in the food. Whole carbs are found in vegetables, whole fruit, whole grains, legumes, potatoes, and mushrooms.
Understanding obesity and carbs in mushrooms
Eating real, unprocessed food is important for health purposes. There has been a myth circulating for awhile now that says carbs cause obesity. However, that is not completely true. Refined carbs and added sugar can certainly lead to obesity. However, the same has not been shown with fiber-rich, whole-foods that contain “whole” carbs. Carbs are not an essential nutrient for human health. The body does not require carbs to function, and ultimately, the body can use ketones from fat for energy. However, many nutritious foods do provide carbs, like the whole foods mentioned above. Naturally, mushrooms are on that list.
Carbs in mushrooms: A look at some popular mushrooms and the amount of whole carbs in them
The statistics on the white button mushroom is coming from the USDA. The other mushrooms listed below are reported by FatSecret.
Carbs in mushrooms - White button: One cup of whole white button mushrooms, which weighs 96 grams, contains 3.1 grams of carbohydrate.
Carbs in mushrooms - Oysters: A single piece of oyster mushroom is said to have 9.52 grams of total carbs, with 3.6 grams being from fiber.
Carbs in mushrooms - Portabella: A single piece of portabella mushroom is said to have 4.26 grams of total carbs, with 1.3 grams coming from fiber.
Carbs in mushrooms - Shiitakes: A single piece of shiitake mushroom, weighing 19 grams continues 1.3 grams of total carbs.
The amount of carbs in mushrooms makes them a healthy low-carb option
There are a variety of other reasons that mushrooms are a healthy food. To start, let’s look at what Harvard’s School of Public Health has to say about mushrooms. “All varieties of mushrooms are low in calories and fat, and contain modest amounts of fiber and various nutrients. Perhaps the more interesting properties of mushrooms are their non-nutritive plant substances—polysaccharides, indoles, polyphenols, and carotenoids in which cell and animal studies have shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects.” Those of you who are on a low carb diet can look to mushrooms as a healthy way to stick with your diet. People who eat a keto diet can utilize mushrooms as well.
LIVESTRONG has some interesting insight on mushrooms worth sharing. First, it mentions how, “mushrooms provide not only the nutrients typically found in fruits and vegetables, but also those found in meats and grains.” This study, which comes from Nutrition Today, also discusses some additional nutrition benefits from mushrooms. “The study found that mushrooms can provide anywhere between 10 to 20 percent of your daily requirement of copper, niacin, pantothenic acid and selenium and over 20 percent of your daily requirement of riboflavin.”