Are mushrooms OK for keto diet?

The keto diet has become one of the most popular diets for weight loss and overall health, but there is still some confusion around which foods are keto-friendly. Mushrooms are a controversial food in the keto community. Some argue they contain too many carbs, while others say they can fit into a low-carb lifestyle. So, are mushrooms OK to eat on the keto diet? The quick answer is yes, mushrooms can be part of a keto diet in moderation.

Mushrooms contain very few digestible carbs and high amounts of fiber. This makes them a nutrient-dense, low-carb food choice. However, their carb counts can add up quickly, so portions need to be monitored. When eaten in reasonable amounts, mushrooms provide important nutrients and health benefits that can support the keto diet.

Are Mushrooms Low Carb?

To determine if mushrooms are keto-friendly, we need to look at their carbohydrate content.

The quick answer is yes, mushrooms are low in net digestible carbs.

Mushrooms contain carbohydrates in the form of fiber and sugars. However, the digestible carb content is very low.

Here are the carb counts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of some popular mushroom varieties (1, 2, 3):

Type Total Carbs Fiber Net Carbs
White mushrooms 3.3 grams 1 gram 2.3 grams
Portobello mushrooms 5.4 grams 2.5 grams 2.9 grams
Oyster mushrooms 8.4 grams 4.7 grams 3.7 grams

Fiber does not raise blood sugar levels or require insulin to be metabolized. For this reason, we calculate net carbs by subtracting fiber.

As you can see from the table, the net digestible carbs in mushrooms are very low. Even the higher-carb varieties contain less than 4 grams of net carbs per serving.

This makes mushrooms an excellent low-carb vegetable choice for keto.

Are Mushrooms Keto-Friendly?

Based on their low carb content alone, mushrooms can definitely fit into a keto diet. However, we need to look at a couple other factors to determine if they are fully keto-friendly.

The quick answer is yes, mushrooms are generally keto-friendly.

Here’s why:

Nutrient Density

Mushrooms are packed with important nutrients:

  • B vitamins – riboflavin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid
  • Minerals – selenium, potassium, phosphorus, copper
  • Antioxidants – ergothioneine

They are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D as well.

On keto, nutrient density is key since you are eliminating many food groups. Mushrooms provide a big nutritional boost for a low amount of carbs.


Mushrooms contain 1-2 grams of fiber per 3.5 oz (100g) serving.

Fiber has many health benefits: it helps regulate digestion, promotes gut health, increases satiety and stabilizes blood sugar levels. It’s also necessary to subtract fiber from total carbs to calculate net carbs on keto.

Choosing fiber-rich foods like mushrooms allows you to stay in ketosis while getting enough fiber, which many keto dieters lack.

Heart Health

Studies show mushrooms support heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol and blood pressure (4).

Since keto diets can raise LDL cholesterol in some people, eating mushrooms is a good way to counter this effect.

Satisfying Meat Replacement

One of the biggest concerns with keto diets is overconsumption of meat and lack of variety.

Mushrooms have a meaty, umami flavor and texture that satisfies. Adding them allows cutting back on meat and adding more vegetable nutrients.

So in summary, mushrooms are low in carbs, high in nutrients and fiber, and help promote heart health. This makes them a smart addition to a well-rounded keto diet.

Portion Control is Key

Mushrooms contain minimal digestible carbs per serving. However, it’s important to watch your portions when incorporating them into a keto diet.

Here are some tips for watching portions:

  • Weigh or measure mushrooms instead of eyeballing.
  • Stick to 1-2 servings per meal.
  • Avoid going overboard on higher carb varieties like oyster mushrooms.
  • Pair with low-carb foods like meat, eggs or non-starchy veggies.
  • Avoid massive mushroom dishes like risottos.

Aim for 4-6 oz (100-200g) per day from a mix of mushroom types to stay within keto macros. This ensures you get their nutritional benefits without too many carbs.

You can also consider taking a mushroom extract supplement like cordyceps or lion’s mane to get concentrated benefits.

Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a nutrient powerhouse packed with health-promoting compounds.

Here are some of the top scientifically proven benefits:


Mushrooms contain unique polysaccharides such as beta glucans that stimulate the immune system (5).

Studies show they may enhance the activity of natural killer cells, T-cells and cytokines to fight viruses and cancer cells (6).

Gut Health

The prebiotic fiber in mushrooms feeds beneficial gut bacteria. This helps balance the microbiome, reducing inflammation and promoting healthy digestion (7).

Heart Health

Ergothioneine and other antioxidants in mushrooms help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Mushrooms also provide potassium which supports healthy circulation (4, 8).

Anti-Cancer Properties

Compounds like conjugated linoleic acid, ergothioneine and selenium have anti-tumor effects. They may lower cancer risk and help prevent metastasis (9, 10).


In addition to ergothioneine, mushrooms contain antioxidants like selenium and glutathione. These neutralize free radicals to protect against oxidative damage and aging (11).

Vitamin D

Exposed to UV light, mushrooms produce significant amounts of bioavailable vitamin D. Higher vitamin D intake is linked to reduced risk of cancers, heart disease, infections and more (12).

Brain Health

Compounds in lion’s mane, cordyceps and other mushroom species may stimulate nerve growth factors to enhance cognitive function and memory (13).

As you can see, adding mushrooms to your keto diet provides impressive benefits ranging from stronger immunity to reduced cancer risk.

Tips for Adding Mushrooms to Keto Diet

Here are some simple ways to incorporate more mushrooms into your ketogenic eating plan:

  • Omelets & Scrambles: Add sliced mushrooms to egg dishes for extra flavor and nutrients.
  • Ground Meat: Mix diced mushrooms into ground beef or turkey patties.
  • Salads: Top salads with grilled portobello caps or shaved raw mushrooms.
  • Snacks: Wrap cream cheese and cooked bacon around mushroom caps.
  • Soups & Stews: Add mushrooms to bone broths or keto tomato soups.
  • Sides: Sautee with butter/oil and season generously.
  • Pizzas: Use portobello caps as the crust and load with keto toppings.
  • Meat Replacement: Make vegetarian dishes like stuffed mushrooms or mushroom stroganoff.

Experiment with different mushroom types and preparation methods to find your favorites. Always weigh or measure to keep portions in check.

Are All Mushrooms Keto-Friendly?

For the most part, you can consider common mushroom varieties keto-friendly. However, be cautious with more obscure exotic species.

Some medicinal mushrooms tend to have higher carbs, such as:

  • Reishi – 7g net carbs per 100g
  • Chaga – 6g net carbs per 100g
  • Lion’s Mane – 5g net carbs per 100g

Medicinal varieties can contain some starch and higher sugars that increase their carb count. It’s best to take these in supplement form rather than relying on them as a vegetable.

The other category to watch is wild mushrooms. These can vary more in carb content, and some types are toxic if eaten raw.

Only forage for mushrooms or eat wild varieties if you are 100% certain of the identification and have expert knowledge.

When in doubt, stick to common farmed mushroom types from the grocery store. Oyster, portobello, white button and criminis are all safe bets.

Mushroom Carb Counts: Low vs High Carb

The carb content can vary quite a bit between mushroom species.

To make it easier, here is an overview of low vs higher carb options:

Low Carb Mushrooms (<3g net carbs per 100g):

  • White mushrooms
  • Portobellos
  • Criminis
  • Enokis
  • Shiitakes
  • Chanterelles

Higher Carb Mushrooms (3-5g net carbs per 100g):

  • Oysters
  • Morels
  • King oyster
  • Lobster
  • Porcini

As a general guideline:

  • White and brown varieties tend to be lowest carb
  • Delicate, gilled mushrooms are often higher carb
  • Watch portions of higher carb varieties

Focus on low carb mushrooms as your staples, and use higher carb ones sparingly as a treat.

Mushroom Nutrition Facts

Let’s take a detailed look at the nutrition profile of mushrooms to understand their value on a keto diet.

Here are the macros and calorie counts in 100g raw white mushrooms (1):

Calories Fat Protein Total Carbs Fiber Net Carbs
22 0.3g 3.1g 3.3g 1g 2.3g

As you can see, mushrooms contain minimal calories and fat. Their protein and net carb content are also low.

Now let’s look at some of the key micronutrients found in mushrooms (1):

Vitamin % DV Mineral % DV
Riboflavin 32% Phosphorus 12%
Niacin 10% Copper 9%
Pantothenic acid 14% Selenium 13%
Folate 16% Potassium 12%

Mushrooms offer sizable amounts of B vitamins like riboflavin and folate. They also provide minerals like phosphorus, selenium, copper and potassium.

Some varieties like shiitakes contain over 100% DV for copper in a 100g serving.

For only 22 calories and 2g net carbs per serving, mushrooms supply significant micronutrients. This makes them a smart choice on a nutrient-focused keto diet.


Mushrooms can be included as part of a healthy keto diet. They provide a powerhouse of nutrients and health benefits for minimal digestible carbs.

Varieties like white, portobello and criminis are excellent low-carb additions. Their meaty texture can help replicate dishes you may be missing.

For the best results:

  • Enjoy mushrooms in moderation – 1-2 servings per day
  • Stick to low carb types as your staples
  • Weigh or measure portions
  • Pair with non-starchy veggies, eggs, meat
  • Supplement with medicinal mushrooms instead of eating

Adding mushrooms allows you to boost nutrition, replace meat and increase variety on your keto diet while still maintaining ketosis. Their impressive nutrient profile and health benefits make them a smart plant-based choice.

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