Is Mushroom Good for Diabetes?

Sarah Gaur

November 18, 2022

Diabetes is one of the most debilitating health concerns that affect many of us. Several lifestyle issues like weight gain, a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits are the root causes of this lifestyle disease.

With the current pace of life and lack of time for self-care, the condition is worsening. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow a healthy diet plan to control diabetes. 

Mushrooms are healthier snacking options for  diabetes. They are available in a variety of forms, sizes, and colours. They have been used globally for several years in various cuisines because of their unique taste and texture. Mushrooms are classified as vegetables in cooking, even though they are fungi. 

Nutritional Value of Mushrooms

One hundred grams of mushrooms contain:

  • Water: 89.8g
  • Protein: 2.18g
  • Fat: 0.45g
  • Iron: 0.74mg
  • Magnesium: 10.5mg
  • Potassium: 376mg
  • Sodium: 1mg

Mushrooms for Diabetes: An Overview

Mushrooms are highly recommended  for people with diabetes. It aids with the symptoms and severity of diabetes in multiple ways.

If you have diabetes, mushrooms are safe to consume since they have a low Glycemic index and Glycemic Load content. Therefore, it means they won’t increase your blood sugar levels. Additionally, its vitamin B and polysaccharide content can provide added health advantages. It includes improved insulin levels and cholesterol management, which is especially important for those with diabetes. 

As per research, mushrooms prevent insulin resistance. That helps with better absorption of blood glucose. In addition, mushrooms add taste to your foods without adding extra carbohydrates or calories and have anti-diabetic benefits.

It also reduces the possibilities of other health risks that come hand-in-hand with diabetes. 

Controls Blood Sugar

Mushrooms are high in potassium, a mineral that helps to reduce the detrimental effects of sodium on the body. Potassium helps reduce blood vessel tension, which can decrease blood pressure. Insulin transports sugar from the bloodstream to the cells, either used for energy or stored. Insulin fails to transfer sugar into the cells when the body has more fat. Therefore, it leads to increased blood sugar levels. 

As per research, your body can produce less insulin if its potassium levels are deficient. Consequently, it can result in elevated blood sugar levels. Low potassium levels cause people to produce less insulin, have increased blood sugar levels, and be more prone to develop type 2 diabetes than those with healthy potassium levels.

Helps with Weight Loss

According to studies, mushrooms help people lose weight. Mushrooms have a low-calorie count but are high in protein, dietary fibre, and other nutrients. It implies that mushrooms can provide sufficient daily nutrients without requiring you to eat other less nutritious foods. People who consume mushrooms stay satiated for long. Therefore, this prevents people from overeating. 

Mushrooms contain antioxidants. They result in a lower chance of hypertension and other metabolic problems. Mushrooms additionally aid in burning fat in the body since their nutrients help  in regulating blood glucose levels. It keeps the body active due to active energy supply, allowing you to exercise more.

Nutritional Benefits of Mushroom


As per research, ergothioneine and glutathione are antioxidants. They are abundant in mushrooms. When food breaks to generate energy, some molecules called free radicals are released. These free radicals are highly reactive and unstable molecules. They keep moving in search of molecules to react with to become stable. This process in excess is called oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress leads to the oxidation of cells. It can be harmful to the cells as it can damage the components of the cells like the DNA, cell membrane and proteins etc. It can result in various disorders, including cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and coronary heart disease. Additionally, free radicals can cause premature ageing and inflammation. Antioxidants prevent excess development and damage from free radicals. 

Vitamin B

Vitamin B like riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid are abundantly found in mushrooms. According to research, this composition is beneficial to heart health. Red blood cells benefit from riboflavin.

Niacin is advantageous to the digestive system as well as skin health. Pantothenic acid is advantageous to the neurological system and aids in the healthy production of hormones. Vitamin B helps our bodies release enzymes more actively and promotes their proper functioning. In addition, it assists them in performing various cellular operations, including the breakdown of carbohydrates and the circulation of nutrients across the body. 

Beta Glucan

As per studies, beta-glucan is a soluble dietary fibre that improves metabolic functions. It is also associated with lower cholesterol and improved cardiovascular health. Bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae, and lichens produce it in their cell walls. Beta-glucan is taken as a supplement either orally or as a part of the food. Also, Beta-glucan include fibres and polysaccharides found in mushrooms, yeasts, and cereals.

In addition, they have anti-cancer, antimicrobial, anti-allergic and immune-modulating properties.
They have the potential to lower the chances of cardiovascular disease. Beta-glucan plays a vital role in regulating the immune system and modulating cell responses. Beta-glucan binds to specific receptors, which trigger a cellular response that aids in immunosuppression caused by chemo and radiation.


Mushrooms contain copper. Copper aids in the formation of red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body and helps promote other vital functions of the body, such as keeping bones healthy and neurons active. Copper boosts the synthesis of collagen, which gives skin its strength and structure.

As per studies, it also produces elastin, which provides the skin with suppleness and resilience. Additionally, copper helps produce superoxide dismutase, which is an antioxidant. It helps fight the harmful free radicals in the body. 


Mushrooms are a rich source of potassium. Potassium is the body’s third most essential nutrient. As a result, it aids the body in fluid regulation, nerve control , and muscle movement. According to research, most potassium (around 70%) is present in the muscle cells, remaining in your bones, liver, and red blood cells. It acts as an electrolyte within the body. 

Electrolytes dissolve in water to form positive or negative ions that carry electricity through the body. The ions of potassium have a positive charge. The body uses this electricity to control various functions, such as fluid balance, nerve impulses, and muscular activity. As a result, a deficiency or excess of potassium in the body can impact vital functions of the body. 

Other Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms Boosts Immune System

Mushrooms’ anti-inflammatory properties boost the immune system’s effectiveness. They stimulate the immune system’s macrophages, improving its capacity to combat pathogens and helping you become less vulnerable to significant infections. As per research, Beta-glucans, a kind of polysaccharide in mushrooms, help combat inflammation and regulate the immune system. Beta-glucans bind to and activate receptors present in immune cells. It enables them to detect cancer cells and other foreign cells  and trigger an active response.

Mushrooms Improves Heart Health

One of the leading cause of heart issues is high sodium intake. So it’s advisable to substitute salt with a healthy alternative. Mushrooms contain glutamate ribonucleotides. They improve the flavour of dishes when used instead of salt. These chemicals give food a savoury flavour while not affecting blood pressure or heart disease risk. They include anti-inflammatory elements, antioxidants, vitamin D, and various other bioactive components that assist in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and artery stiffness.

Mushrooms Strengthen Bones

Vitamin D is necessary for bone and muscular function. Mushrooms are the only plant-based products with vitamin D. As per studies; mushrooms help maintain bone health. Vitamin D is essential for bone health and muscular strength. Healthy amounts of vitamin D assist the body with maintaining bone density and lower the risk of fractures, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis. The vitamin also helps stimulate the immune system, which aids in the battle against diseases like the cold and fever. It also lowers the risk of various ailments, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, and diabetes.


Pick firm and fresh mushrooms. It would help if you avoided damaged mushrooms or exhibited indications of rotting. Some mushrooms contain psilocin and psilocybin, two substances that can cause hallucination. Poisonous mushrooms can be lethal, resulting in vomiting, nausea, coma, convulsions, insanity, and other symptoms. In addition, the packaging and storage conditions of mushrooms can potentially encourage the growth of dangerous germs. For example, storing mushrooms in an airtight container without refrigerating them can result in poisoning, known as botulism. Therefore, refrigerate mushrooms in a paper bag or in their original packing to avoid botulism.

The Conclusion

If you have diabetes, mushrooms are good for you for their low Glycemic index and Glycemic Load content. Therefore, your blood sugar levels will not rise post-consumption. Additionally, its vitamin B and polysaccharide content provide health advantages. It includes improved insulin levels and cholesterol management, which is especially important for those with diabetes. Also, mushrooms are a versatile and low-calorie food option that helps you stay within your daily calorie limit without compromising taste. 

If you don’t already consume mushrooms, you should give them a try. Try different recipes with mushrooms to increase the nutritional value of your meals. Mushrooms provide immense dietary value without adding harmful salt or fat to your diet. Contrary to popular belief, not all mushrooms are poisonous by nature. However, when one buys mushrooms which are not fresh or does not store them well, they lead to discomfort. The ones that aren’t harmful are pretty nutritious and delicious. Try adding them to your regular diet to notice significant changes. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is mushroom good for health?

A: Mushrooms are a high-fibre, protein, and antioxidant-rich low-calorie food. They can reduce the chance of significant health problems, including Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. They also contain essential antioxidants that help prevent any damage to cells.  

Q: What are the side effects of eating mushrooms?

A: Not all mushrooms bear any side effects. Moreover, it depends and varies from person to person. However, the toxins found in some of them can cause serious health problems. Heavy metals and other toxic compounds are in high concentrations in some wild mushrooms. Only eat mushrooms from a reputable supplier to prevent these risks. 

Q: What should not be eaten with mushrooms?

A: You should not consume rice and mushroom together. It prevents minerals and proteins from being absorbed, resulting in a low nutritional value. Also, it happens with ham and sausage when eaten together with mushrooms. Furthermore, it would help if you did not consume mushrooms and alcohol together. When Coprine (a mycotoxin) in certain mushrooms mixes with alcohol, it turns toxic. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and headaches. 

Q: Is Black mushroom good for you?

A: Black mushrooms don’t contain fat or cholesterol. They are high in riboflavin and niacin. Therefore, it is an excellent source of minerals, including potassium and vitamins. Black fungus has several advantages, including liver protection, cholesterol reduction, and improved intestinal health. It also contains a lot of fibre and antioxidants. 

Q: Which mushroom is best for the immune system?

A: Chaga, reishi, turkey tail, shiitake, maitake, lion’s mane, and cordyceps all have immune-balancing properties and antioxidants that help the body combat pathogens and boost immunity. 

Q: Can we eat mushrooms daily?

A: Yes, you can eat mushrooms daily. The limit of intake varies with each mushroom type. Daily mushroom consumption helps maintain a healthy heart, glucose level, weight and skin. Moreover, it has a good taste, making it fit for everyday consumption.  

Q: Can we eat mushroom and egg together?

A: Yes, eating mushrooms and eggs together is safe. You can have it for breakfast. Eggs are high in protein, and mushrooms are rich in essential nutrients with a low-calorie count. You can prepare scrambled egg mushrooms or can have both separately too.  

Q: Is mushroom a protein or a carb?

A: Mushrooms are a low-carb, low-fat item that also contains protein. Mushrooms have a low salt content. Therefore, 100 grams of mushroom contains 2.18 grams of protein and a mere 3.3 grams of carbs.  

Q: Is mushroom good for hair?

A: A mushroom-rich diet can help prevent hair loss and help with the growth of new hair. Mushrooms have high copper content, which helps to slow down greying. Copper directly impacts the generation of melanin in the blood, which causes pigmentation of hair. Moreover, copper aids in the absorption of iron from meals. Mushrooms additionally have high iron content. Copper and iron together promote strong, healthy hair. 

Q: Can we eat mushrooms with chicken?

A: Yes, you can eat mushrooms and chicken together. They both are good sources of essential nutrients like proteins. You can either eat them as separate dishes or stuff the chicken with mushrooms.

About the Author

A nutritionist by profession and a writer by passion, Sarah holds an MSc. in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics from Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences, Pune. She believes in changing lives, one meal at a time with a holistic approach towards overall healing. Her mission is to modify the nutritional habits and behaviors of our next generation to optimize their long-term health and reduce the likelihood of metabolic diseases. Apart from working, she loves to sing, swirl scribble and spread smiles.

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