The Protein Content in Mushrooms

If you’re vegan, vegetarian or just prefer a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you’re likely relying on plants to help meet your protein needs. Mushrooms have a very meaty flavor and texture when cooked, but that’s where their likeness to meat ends.

Are Mushrooms a Good Source of Protein? Mushrooms vs. Meat?

Mushrooms are a source of plant protein, but not a ‌good‌ source. Depending on the variety, they range from 1.4 grams to 2.8 grams of protein per cup.

The protein in 100 grams of each is:

  • Chicken breast: 31 g or 62% DV
  • Steak: 28.7 g or 57% DV
  • Pork loin: 27.3 g or 55% DV
  • Duck: 23.5 g or 37% DV

Even duck, the meat with the lowest protein per 100 grams, is over 18 times higher than the same weight of mushrooms with the most protein.

While mushrooms are often referred to as vegetables and thought to be plants, they’re actually fungi. Mushrooms may look like a plant but can’t survive through photosynthesis, putting them in their own kingdom along with organisms like yeast.

Mushrooms have an earthy, umami flavor, making them a great meat substitute in various plant-based meals. Depending on the variety, mushrooms can have nutrients typically found in meat, like iron and some B vitamins.

Texture, taste and micronutrients aside, mushrooms and meat are not comparable in protein.

Each variety of mushroom has a unique nutrient profile, so their protein can vary based on type. Mushrooms only have 1 to 2 percent of your daily value (DV) for protein per 100 grams, according to the USDA. This is less than protein-rich vegetables like lima beans, green peas, spinach, asparagus and artichokes, according to the USDA.

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