Mushrooms are the latest trend in the world of weight management. According to a recent study, mushrooms were found to reduce one day’s calorie count by 123 calories. In order to obtain such results, participants ate a cup of mushrooms in place of a serving of meat. In a recent interview with Food Tank, Dr. Lawrence Cheskin, Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said that, “mushrooms are extremely low calorie and zero fat, yet nutritious and can substitute when ground up and cooked for ground beef.” As a principal investigator of this research, Cheskin chose to research mushrooms for their nutritional value as well their zero fat content and low calorie count. In explaining the results of his research, Cheskin says
“When we recommend substituting one food for another to save calories and help weight control, we rarely have tested whether people will “compensate” for the calories potentially saved by eating more of something else. This is why (in theory) you can lose 100 lbs by switching from lots of regular sodas to lots of diet sodas, but in practice, people often lose almost no weight by making that switch. We felt that certain solid food substitutions would yield better results…”
Mushrooms are the first solid food substitution Cheskin has chosen to study, and the results will have a lasting impact on weight management, and the fields of public health and nutrition. Cheskin has not yet tested other vegetables, and cannot say whether other vegetables will have similar effects if substituted for a serving of meat.
Cheskin shared that certain vegetarian diets may help with weight loss and maintenance; however, vegetarian diets high in starches and added fats may actually do the opposite. Replacing meat with mushrooms does not guarantee weight loss, but if paired with the right foods, this transition may serve as a sound method for weight loss.
As the founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, Cheskin is continuously contributing to the fields of Public Health and Nutrition. His research focuses on achieving better long-term weight control and obesity prevention. His future research will look at whether children’s diets can be improved, and whether using mushroom-substituted burgers in school lunches will help prevent obesity in children. Stay tuned!