Nutrition Team

“Lose weight on a Mushroom Diet”, dubious as this may sound there is actually scientific evidence to explain it.

A study carried out by the Mushroom Bureau showed that by simply swapping meat for mushrooms in just four meals a week as part of a healthy balanced diet, 10 volunteers in a north London diet study group managed to lose an average 12.7 pounds over five weeks, with the top dieters shedding a stone and half.

Mother of two Margaret Hill (25) from Dagenham is a true success story, going from 13 stone 6 lbsto 11 stone 13 lbs. She said: “I’ve tried a few diets before but have never managed to stick to them for very long, so when I read about the mushroom diet I thought it would be perfect for me as I love mushrooms.”

“The easiest part of the diet was preparing the mushroom meals, they were so quick and easy. Plus they filled me up and tasted delicious - I hardly felt like I was on a diet and I didn’t miss eating meat every day. I got to enjoy my favourite meals of mushroom korma and mushroom risotto and still shed the pounds. To be honest I was amazed by my weight loss - a stone and a half in just five weeks - it’s the most I have ever managed to loose! I never thought I’d get my body back after I had my kids so I am over the moon. I look and feel fantastic.”

Margaret dropped 2 dress sizes, going from a size 16 to a 14. She lost 4.3% of her body fat and has moved from the overweight to the normal range category with a new body mass index of 23.5.

The North London dieters swapped meat for mushrooms in 12 meals, which included: Squash and mushroom tagine for squash & chicken tagine.

Mushrooms contain virtually no fat, sugar or salt and are a valuable source of dietary fibre. They are brimming with the five B vitamins thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folate; and contain the essential minerals potassium, selenium, copper, phosphorous and small, but nutritionally important, amounts of iron.

What's more, mushrooms are one of the highest antioxidant vegetables in the world, in the same league as the red pepper and spinach. They were recently elevated to superfood status.

Although meat and meat alternatives for example quorn and tofu are important parts of healthy balanced diet there is no need to have them every day.

By swapping mushrooms for meat there is no increase in hunger so people are less likely to snack between meals which is often the problem with low calorie diets. Basically mushrooms keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Tesco Diets have included delicious, nutritious and lower fat mushroom based recipes into their meal plans and recipe club. Favourites of our members are Spanish mushroom omelette and warm mushroom with feta salad.