Reducing energy density (ED) of the diet is an important strategy for controlling obesity. This 1-year, randomized clinical trial examined the effect of substituting mushrooms for red meat ('mushroom diet'), compared to a standard diet ('meat diet'), on weight loss and maintenance among 73 obese adults (64 women, 9 men). The subjects completed anthropometric measurements and 7-day food records four times during a standardized weight loss and maintenance regimen. At the end of the 1-year trial, compared to participants on the standard diet, participants on the mushroom diet (n=36) reported lower intakes of energy (mean ± [SE]=-123 ± 113 kcals) and fat (-4.25 ± 6.88 g), lost more pounds and percentage body weight (-7.03 ± 3.34 lbs, 3.6%), achieved lower body mass index (-1.53 ± 0.36), waist circumference (-2.6 ± 3.5 in.) and percent total body fat (-0.85 ± 0.53), and had lower systolic and diastolic pressure (-7.9 and -2.5 mmHg); their lipid profile and inflammatory markers also improved. After initial weight loss, subjects following the mushroom diet maintained that loss well. Those who completed the full 12-month trial still weighed a mean of 7 lbs less than baseline. Thus, encouraging adults to substitute mushrooms for red meat was a useful strategy for enhancing weight loss, weight maintenance, and health parameters.
Keywords: Blood pressure; Body composition; Energy density; Lipid profile; Mushrooms; Weight maintenance.
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