Many people are using keto diets to help them with weight loss because it can be a very helpful way of losing weight for many different types of people. These high-fat, moderate to high-protein and low-carb diets are easy and don’t require a lot of effort on the user.
Because keto diets are fat and protein-intensive, there are a lot of things that people aren’t sure if they can consume whilst using a keto diet. One food commonly asked about is mushrooms. Well, guess what? They’re an accepted food on a keto diet, so let’s learn a bit more about mushrooms and keto diets.
What Is A Keto Diet?
A keto diet is a diet that sends your body into ketosis. Ketosis makes your body use up your body’s excess fat stores as fuel rather than getting its fuel from the sugar in carbohydrates. It causes your liver to produce more fatty acids, which your body then converts into ketones. It is these ketones that your body then uses as fuel once ketosis had started.
The main breakdown of a keto diet is this: high fat, medium protein, low carb. It is the type of diet that should be discussed with your doctor before you undergo it because it causes major metabolic changes to your body and isn’t safe for everyone.
Doctors have put patients with certain types of epilepsy on keto diets, usually a modified version of the Atkin’s diet (which is not quite so harsh on your liver or kidneys) because it has been shown to stop seizures in some patients.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic process where your body converts fat into energy after your stores of glycogen from carbohydrates have been used up and not replenished. This occurs because the liver is sending out more fatty acids, which are then turned into ketones.
When you consume carbohydrates, your body converts these into sugar or glucose, which your body uses for energy. However, any glucose your body doesn’t use is stored in the form of glycogen. This allows for fat to build up under your skin because your body uses the stored glycogen rather than converting the fat.
An excess of ketones can be a sign of trouble in people with diabetes (especially type 1) as this can mean their blood glucose is too high and their body is having trouble processing it. However, it can be effective for people with type 2 diabetes because it’s a low-carb diet.
What Exactly Is a Mushroom?
We’ve all seen mushrooms at the supermarket, greengrocer, or farmer’s market, but have you ever stopped to ask what they actually are? Mushrooms are one of the many species of fungi. Mushrooms are, essentially, the ‘fruits’ of a much larger fungus that grows under the ground.
The mushrooms you are used to eating are most likely either saprophytes or mycorrhiza. The first grow on dead organic matter like fallen leaves, dead wood, and plant roots. Many gourmet and medicinal mushrooms fall into this group, including white button, shiitake, oyster, and crimini mushrooms. The second type of mushrooms are found on the roots of living trees and include varieties such as chanterelles, porcini, and truffles.
Are Mushrooms Healthy?
Yes, they are. Mushrooms are low calorie, full of fiber, and a prime source of important vitamins and minerals. They are often chosen as a meat substitute because they are a good source of protein. They contain twice the protein of most vegetables and are useful in a diet situation because they help keep you feeling full after you’ve eaten.
Mushrooms contain vitamin B, C, and D. Vitamin B is an important vitamin for skin and heart health. Vitamins B2 and B3 are considered to be important in maintaining healthy nerve function and red blood cells. Vitamin D is helpful for strong bones and teeth as well as being necessary for the immune system. Mushrooms are the only non-animal source of Vitamin D, which is good news for vegetarians, vegans, and people who have issues with dairy.
These health fungi are also sources of important minerals such as iron, copper, phosphor, selenium, and potassium, all of which have important roles in your body’s day-to-day functions.
Where Should I Get Mushrooms From?
Just because mushrooms grow in the wild, doesn’t mean you should go picking them and eating them, as it can be very difficult, and in some cases almost impossible, to distinguish between poisonous and non-poisonous varieties.
The safest way to purchase mushrooms is from your local grocer or accredited mushroom farmer. They provide only the best quality mushrooms and you can be assured that the varieties they sell are safe to eat.
Of course, if you are looking for a different way you can always learn to grow them yourself. For example, you can get a kit that lets you grow oyster mushrooms in 10 days and would make for an interesting weekend project that is also very beneficial.
Are Mushrooms Good For Keto?
Indeed. These healthy fungi are great for keto diets because they are low-calorie, contain a good amount of healthy protein, and lots of vitamins and minerals. As a bonus, they’ll help leave you feeling fuller for longer, so you’ll have fewer carb cravings due to your body burning through fuel quickly.
You can substitute them for meat for a ‘meat-free Monday’ meal or if you’re looking to cut back on meat. Alternatively, suppose you are vegan or vegetarian and considering a keto-diet. In that case, they can be used as one of your main protein sources because of the amount of protein they contain.
Mushrooms are a very healthy food that you should consider including fairly often in your diet if you like them. They are keto-friendly because they are low calorie and don’t contain carbohydrates, as well as being full of helpful vitamins and minerals, protein, and fiber. So add some mushrooms to your keto-diet plan today.