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Review: Are Shiitake Mushrooms Low Carb?

Updated: Aug 17, 2019

During a recent trip to Costco, I came across Snak Yard Shiitake Mushrooms. I love mushrooms and in big letters on the front of the bag were two of my food buzzwords: crispy and crunchy.

Could these be the keto snack to fulfill my low carb dreams?

Anyone who knows me will tell you that sweets were never a problem for me. I can usually take them or leave them. Salty, savory, crunchy things ... now those—often carb-filled—foods continue to tempt me.

Shiitake Mushroom Nutritional Content

According to the nutritional information, for a serving—30 grams—there was 8g of fat and only 1 net carb. Honestly, I don't know how much I trust this though since the carbohydrate section of the mushroom nutritional information doesn't seem to add up.

I'm not sure how a product can have 8g of carbs, 7g of fiber, but also have 4g of sugar (which includes 3g of added sugar). If anyone can explain this to me, please do.

My best guess is that without those 3g of added sugar, there would be 8g of total carbs—7g fiber and 1g sugar. So, they decided they didn't need to update that total carb number. Josh describes this as "a really fucky way of doing that math." I have to agree.

So, in reality, Snak Yard's Shiitake Mushrooms are 4 net carbs per serving. If you're monitoring a ratio of macros for keto or low carb a serving of these mushrooms would be:

  • 60% fat,

  • 13% net carbs, and

  • 10% protein.

So, not the worst in the grand scheme of things, but if you're going for the usual keto ratios of 70, 5, 15, then I'd say these are only worth it if you really like mushrooms. I could definitely see the argument of someone focusing on low carb saying these are a low carb snack.

What a serving of 30 grams looks like.

How Do Shiitake Mushrooms Taste?

Okay, the bag kept its promise. These mushrooms make for a strangely addictive crispy and crunchy snack. It has a great crunch and a decent mouthfeel.

If you ever had Chicken in a Bisket crackers, then these taste pretty similar. If you haven't, I would describe the taste as a salty nothingness with a slightly earthy aftertaste. Someone better with words would probably say there is a savory or meaty taste similar to umami because, you know, mushrooms (something, something high in glutamates). Which isn't bad. As I said, strangely addictive. Most likely from the satisfying crunch from eating them.

In fact, I would argue the crunch is more satisfying than a crunch of pork rinds. I think due to the density of the mushroom.

What Are Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most popular mushrooms worldwide and are mostly grown in Japan.

These mushrooms contain many of the same amino acids as meat, which make them popular amongst people trying to eat less or no meat.

There are also some studies that suggest some of the bioactive compounds in shiitake may protect against cancer and inflammation. In addition, many people believe these mushrooms can help boost your immune system, strengthen your bones, and aide in heart health. I don't know about all that, but I do know I find mushrooms tasty.

So, are these mushrooms the end all be all to my continuous hunt for a great low carb snack? No ... but they definitely made it into my rotation.

For a deeper look at my low carb journey, follow me on Instagram at @KaitandKeto.

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