Mushrooms are not a good substitute for meat

Where does this news come from?

A good meat substitute must first and foremost contain sufficient protein. Mushrooms contain about 2 grams of protein per 100 grams. This is similar to other vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and princess beans, but 10 times less than, say, steak. The quality of proteins is also lower than that of meat. They do not contain all the essential amino acids in the right proportions.

In addition, the meat substitute should provide enough iron and vitamin B12. In this regard, mushrooms also score lower than meat. They contain barely 0.2 mg of iron and no vitamin B12. Oyster mushrooms have a little more iron (0.7 mg), but still much less than steak (2.4 mg) ( ) for example.

How do you explain this news?

To assess whether a food is a good alternative to meat, you can use the following guidelines:

  • Protein: ≥ 10 g/100 g;
  • Total fat: ≤ 10g/100g;
  • Saturated fat: ≤ 5g/100g;
  • Sodium: <650 mg/100 g;
  • Iron: > 0.7 mg/100 g;
  • Vitamin B12: >0.13g/100g;
  • Vitamin B1: > 0.06 mg/100 g ().

It is clear that mushrooms contain too little protein (2 g), iron (0.2 mg) and vitamin B12 (0 g) to be a good substitute for meat. They contain enough vitamin B1 (0.07 mg), no fat (o grams) and not a lot of salt (5 mg).

Therefore, mushrooms are not suitable as a substitute for meat, but they contain many other valuable nutrients. They are rich in fiber, B vitamins, potassium and phosphorous (). So mushrooms fit perfectly into a healthy diet. But, just like other vegetables, it’s best eaten with plant-based protein sources like legumes, tofu, tempeh, or eggs.


Mushrooms fit well into a healthy diet. They are rich in fiber, B vitamins, potassium and phosphorous. However, they contain too little protein, iron, and vitamin B12 to replace meat. That is why they do not belong to the group of meat substitutes, but belong to vegetables.

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