Are Shiitake Mushrooms Keto? Shiitake mushrooms, also known as Shirataki can be a great addition to a keto diet. They are relatively low in carbs, but are also low in fat, meaning that you can load them up with plenty of fatty, tasty flavors guilt free!
Are Shiitake Mushrooms Keto?
Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most popular mushroom varieties out there, prized for their complex and delicious flavor profile. We do know that generally, mushrooms are safe to consume on keto, but how much is safe is a more complicated question and varies from mushroom to mushroom.
In the case of shiitake mushrooms, the answer can be a bit more complicated.
A Keto-Cap (aka A Keto Recap!)
If you’re new to keto and want a bit more information, check out our keto beginners guide.
As a quick summary, if you need it, the keto (also known as the ketogenic diet) is a low-carb, high-fat diet.
The whole concept of the keto diet is that your body transitions from burning glucose, in simple terms, sugars or carbohydrates, to burning fat as its primary fuel source.
For a keto diet, people will restrict their macros to eating;
- 70% of their calories from fat
- 25% from protein
- 5% from carbohydrates
Sticking to these macros for a period of time will put your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when your body has transitioned from burning carbohydrates as its primary fuel source to burning fat for fuel. It is at this point that you will start to see and feel the benefits of the keto diet.
There are a lot of new terms and abbreviations that you may come across, sometimes it can feel like a new language that you need to learn. In order to help you out and keep you on the right track, we have created a keto terms and keto abbreviations guide, bookmark these to make your keto journey easier.
Some people can be put off the keto diet because of the side effects, however, these are only short-lived and the health benefits of keto far outweigh the side effects.
One of the main benefits which attract people to the keto diet is that it can cause significant reductions in insulin levels (by up to 75%) and blood sugar levels, which can be attractive to those that struggle with diabetes, amongst other health complaints.
What Kind of Mushroom is Shiitake?
Shiitake mushrooms hail from East Asia, where they’re widely used in cooking. They’re especially popular in Japanese cuisine (over 80% of shiitake is grown in Japan) and are often referred to as having an “umami” flavor.
Umami in Japanese is used to describe a complex savory flavor, characteristic of meaty broths. Shiitake, accordingly, can be characterized as having a lightly meaty, smoky, and earthy taste. It also has a subtle sweetness, not characteristic of most mushrooms, which makes it even more prized among food lovers.
What is the Nutritional Value of Shiitake Mushrooms?
Shiitake mushrooms have a higher net carb amount than many others, but not tragically so, especially if used sparingly.
Here’s a comparison of nutritional value per serving (35g) vs per 100g to paint a clear picture:
|Macros per 100g||Macros per serving (35g)|
|Carbs: 6.8 grams |
Protein: 2.2 grams
Fat: 0.5 grams
Fiber: 2.5 grams
Sugar: 2.4 grams
|Carbs: 2.4 grams |
Protein: 0.8 grams
Fat: 0.2 grams
Fiber: 0.9 grams
How Many Net Carbs are There in Shiitake Mushrooms?
In order to calculate the number of net carbs, the fiber is deducted from the total volume of carbs.
After deducting the fiber amount from the total carb amount, we’re left with 4.3g net carbs per 100g product or 1.5g net carbs per serving.
Are Shiitake Mushrooms Keto Friendly?
All in all – yes, shiitake mushrooms are pretty keto-friendly, if not entirely ideal.
The one downside other than the higher-than-desirable carb content they have is they’re very low-fat, so you’ll need to cook them in a generous amount of healthy fat and/or pair them with another fat-rich product.
What are the Best Keto Alternatives to Shiitake Mushrooms?
If you’re unsure whether you can control the portion sizes when it comes to shiitake mushrooms, then substituting or using it together with a more keto-friendly mushroom would be a good idea.
In this case, the best substitute for shiitake mushrooms would be portobello mushrooms. Portobello mushrooms contain only 2.9g net carbs per 100g, which makes them an extremely optimal keto product.
They are somewhat similar in texture and taste – they both have firm, meaty texture (though portobellos’ is denser), and earthy flavor (though shiitake mushroom boasts a more complex flavor profile overall).
If you don’t have portobello mushrooms on hand, then either of their immature forms – white button or baby bella – would do the job, but the flavor profile of the dish in question would be less complex.
Another name for shiitake mushrooms (especially when made into noodle or rice form) is Konjac Noodles – I’ve listed our favorite below for you. They can be a great keto friendly noodle/ spaghetti alternative.
Staying hydrated on the keto diet is really important, for more on how much water you should be drinking, check out our guide to staying hydrated on the keto diet.
If you’re planning on dehydrating yourself(!) and drinking alcohol on the keto diet, check out our ultimate guide to drinking alcohol on a keto diet. Also, you may be interested in, how to recover from a cheat day.
Summary: Are Shiitake Mushrooms Keto?
Yes, Shittake (or shirataki mushrooms depending on spelling) are keto friendly. They are low in carbs. However, they are also low in fat, meaning that you will need to team them with plenty of fat to reach your daily macros. They come in various guises such as noodles, rice, whole or sliced, and on keto, you can enjoy them guilt-free.