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Mushrooms are Not a Meat Alternative

At a recent barbecue, the host was gracious enough to offer his vegetarians guests grilled Portobello mushrooms. If you’ve ever had one, they are quite meaty and tasty. However, they are in no way an alternative to meat. The reason, of course, is that mushrooms are a poor source of protein. A 3-ounce mushroom has less than 3 grams of protein.

Don’t let that discourage you, though. Mushrooms are a great addition to many dishes and meals, by multiple virtues.

1. First and foremost, they are extremely low in calories, with only 35 calories per cup of sliced mushrooms.

2. Mushrooms are a good source of potassium, a nutrient most Americans don’t get enough of. A cup has over 500 mg, about 15 percent of the recommended daily amount.

3. They have virtually no fat, and their 5 grams of carbs are equally divided between fiber and sugars.

4. Lastly, mushrooms taste great.

A cool trick used by savvy dieters is to mix chopped mushrooms into ground beef in order to reduce the calories and fat. You can add mushrooms to pasta dishes, omelets, and even raw to salads.

What do you use mushrooms for?

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