Are Mushrooms Good for People with Diabetes?
A nutritious diet that aids in blood sugar management is crucial in the treatment of diabetes, which is characterised by elevated blood sugar levels (1Trusted Source).
It’s easier said than done, though, and those with diabetes may struggle to figure out what they should and shouldn’t eat.
Mushrooms are regarded as having anti-diabetic qualities because they are low in carbohydrates and sugar.
If you’re diabetic and looking for a healthy food option, this article will show you why mushrooms are perfect for you.
The common white or button mushroom is only one of many varieties. Shiitake, portobello, and oyster mushrooms are also popular.
They may look and taste very different, but they all share a similar nutritional profile marked by low sugar and fat contents.
If you eat a cup of raw mushrooms (around 70 grammes), you’ll get: (2Reliable Source)
Carbs: 2 grams
Sugar: 1 gram
Protein: 2 grams
Fat: 0 grams
Vitamin B2, or riboflavin: 22% of the Daily Value (DV)
Vitamin B3, or niacin: 16% of the DV
Selenium: 12% of the DV
Phosphorus: 5% of the DV
Several B vitamins and selenium can be found in abundance in mushrooms. The eight members of the B vitamin family, which are water-soluble, have been repeatedly associated to better cognitive performance. In the meantime, selenium is an effective antioxidant that regulates thyroid activity (3
Glycemic index and glycemic load of mushrooms
Two classification methods are used to assess the impact of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels; these are the glycemic index (GI) and the glycemic load (GL).
Both are frequently utilised and well-known methods for treating chronic conditions like diabetes (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
The GI system classifies foods into three groups based on their potential impact on blood sugar levels and grades them on a scale from 0 to 100 (8 Trusted Source).
low GI: 1–55
medium GI: 56–69
high GI: 70–100
The glycemic response to low-GI foods is typically more gradual. On the other hand, they will skyrocket after consuming anything with a high GI.
Another option is to classify meals according to their GL, which considers not only the GI but also the amount of carbohydrates and the typical serving size. Calculated by calculating the GI by the total amount of carbohydrates in a given serving size and dividing by 100. (9Trusted Source).
In addition, the GL system divides foods into three groups (10Trustworthy Source):
ow GL: 10 and under
medium GL: 11–19
high GL: 20 and above
A low GL, like a low GI, suggests that a food has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels, whereas a high GL implies a more noticeable impact.
Despite their fungus classification, mushrooms are included in the category of “white vegetables,” along with onions and garlic, because they have a low GI of 10-15 and a GL of less than 1 per cup (70 grammes), respectively (11).
Potential benefits for people with diabetes
Diabetes mellitus type 2 may benefit from the use of mushrooms.
Gestational diabetes affects about 14% of pregnancies globally and has negative effects on both the mother and the child. Eating a diet high in veggies like mushrooms and other vitamin-rich foods may help guard against this condition (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
Mushrooms’ high vitamin B content may help protect older adults with vitamin B deficits and people with diabetes taking the medicine metformin to manage their blood sugar from experiencing impaired cognitive function and dementia (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
Mushroom polysaccharides, one of its key bioactive constituents alongside B vitamins, may have anti-diabetic effects.
Polysaccharides have been studied for their potential to reduce blood sugar levels, improve insulin resistance, and lessen pancreatic tissue damage in animal models of type 2 diabetes (18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).
Mushrooms include a variety of polysaccharides, including the soluble fibre beta glucan, which helps regulate blood sugar levels by delaying the digestion and absorption of sugars (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).
The risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, both of which are linked to poorly managed diabetes, may be lowered by consuming polysaccharides (25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source, 27Trusted Source).
However, further study is required to determine the exact role that mushrooms’ B vitamins and polysaccharides play in helping diabetics.
Supplementing your diet with mushrooms
Raw, grilled, roasted, sautéed, or in a sauce or soup are just some of the many ways you may incorporate mushrooms into your diet.
This low-carb mushroom and cauliflower rice dish is a great option if you’re searching for creative ways to incorporate these ingredients into your diet.
The ingredients for this dish are:
1.5 cups (105 grams) of mushrooms, sliced
1.5 cups (200 grams) of cauliflower rice
1 cup (30 grams) of spinach
1/4 cup (40 grams) of onion, chopped
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 celery stick, sliced
1 small garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp (45 ml) of vegetable broth
Salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste
Put the olive oil in a big skillet and heat it over medium heat. Cook the onions and celery for 5 minutes after being added. Then, stir in the garlic and allow it to cook for a minute or so.
The mushrooms should be added next and cooked through by sautéing. To that, add the cauliflower rice and the remaining ingredients (save the spinach) and boil until tender. The final step is to include the spinach and season it with salt and pepper.
The two of you will love this recipe as a side dish for lunch or dinner.
The bottom line
Since mushrooms have a low GI and GL, they are a healthy option for diabetics.
Additionally, the vitamin B and polysaccharide content of these foods may provide additional health benefits, especially relevant for those with diabetes, such as better blood sugar and cholesterol control.
Mushrooms not only help prevent diabetes, but also provide taste to food without adding excess carbs or calories.