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You can eat mushrooms in all phases of the Atkins diet.
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The Atkins diet is based on the idea that if you strictly limit your intake of carbohydrates, you'll force your body into burning stored fat for energy and end up losing weight. All sources of carbohydrate aren't restricted, however. While the Atkins plan instructs dieters to avoid carbohydrate sources like bread, pasta, grains, fruit, all forms of sugar and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, especially in the initial stages of the program, a set amount of carbohydrates from low-carbohydrate vegetables are allowed. Speak to your doctor about the advantages and disadvantages of the Atkins diet before beginning the plan.
Atkins Phases Allowing Mushrooms
The Atkins diet is divided into four phases which progress from the most restrictive initial Induction phase to the least restrictive phase 4, or Lifetime Maintenance phase. Foods allowed during phase 1 are free for dieters to eat during any of the following three phases, says the main Atkins site. In phase 1, you're allowed 20 grams of net carbohydrate per day, with 12 to 15 grams of these carbohydrates coming from a list of recommended vegetables. Most salad vegetables are on this list, including mushrooms.
Amount of Mushrooms Allowed
On the Atkins diet, 1/2 cup of mushrooms is considered a single serving. This amount contains 1.2 grams of net carbohydrates, a total that is calculated by subtracting the amount of fiber per serving from the total grams of carbohydrates per serving. Dieters are instructed to measure a serving of salad vegetables like mushrooms raw, unlike vegetables higher in net carbohydrates, which are measured cooked. There is no restriction as to how many mushrooms you can eat during each phase of the Atkins diet as long as you stay under your daily carbohydrate limit, though it's best to include a wide variety of vegetables to ensure an adequate intake of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.
Types of Mushrooms Allowed
Any type of mushroom is allowed on the Atkins diet, from white button mushrooms to porcini mushrooms to shiitake mushrooms. According to information provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database, a 1-cup serving of most popular varieties of mushrooms, such as white or portobello, contain approximately the same amount of net carbohydrates. In addition, the Mail Online reports that all mushroom types may offer similar significant health benefits since they are rich in vitamins, minerals such as selenium and antioxidants that may help lower your risk of cancer.
While you're on the Atkins diet, add sliced, raw mushrooms to salads or saute them in extra-virgin olive oil along with onions and use them to top grilled or broiled steak or chicken. Tuck a mixture of several varieties of mushrooms into an omelet, or combine them with chopped bell peppers and fold them into scrambled eggs. Stuff large mushroom caps with a mixture of cooked turkey sausage, cheese and seasonings and bake until the cheese is melted and golden. You can also add mushrooms to stir-fries and use them in Atkins-friendly soups and stews.