Mushroom protein beats meat for fullness

Mushrooms may be more filling than meat when matched in terms of protein content, researchers have found. Previous studies have already suggested that mushrooms can be more satiating than meat, but this effect has never been studied with proteinmatched amounts. In this study, which was funded by the Mushroom Council, US researchers gave a group of individuals proteinmatched meals of either 226g of sliced A. bisporus mushrooms (commonly known as white button mushrooms) and 28 g of 93% lean ground beef. According to the scientists, the participants reported less hunger and greater feelings of fullness after the mushroom breakfast. They also planned to eat less in the subsequent meal (‘decreased prospective consumption’). “As with previous published research, this study indicates there may be both a nutritional and satiating benefit to either substituting mushrooms for meat in some meals or replacing some of the meat with mushrooms,” said study author and professor at the University of Minnesota Joanne Slavin. The researchers admit that the mushroom and meat-based breakfast meals were matched for protein content but not for fibre, carbohydrate, fat, energy content or total weight. Mushrooms contain several different types of non-digestible carbohydrates such as chitin, b-glucans, raffinose, oligosaccharides and resistant starch. “The differences in portion size and fibre content between the two sandwiches may explain the greater satiating effect of the mushroom sandwich. The strongest predictor for satiety may be portion size, especially for overweight and obese individuals, who need to consume greater volumes of food to feel satiated.” The greater volume of mushrooms would likely take more time and effort to chew, which could promote a feeling of fullness. Chewing promotes saliva and gastric acid secretion, both of which may increase gastric distention and promote a feeling of fullness. Fibre content, which also contributes to food volume, may have contributed to the greater satiating effect of the mushroom breakfast, however “our results do not suggest evidence for a uniquely satiating effect with mushroom fibres.” write the authors. Nutrition research coordinator at the Mushroom Council Mary Jo Feeney said: “Consumers are interested in the benefits of protein food choices, so it’s important for them to know that plantbased sources of protein, such as mushrooms, can be satisfying.”