Protein & Carbohydrates

The facts at a glance


Low KJ
Mushrooms are a very low kilojoule food with only 103 kJs per serve.


Waistline Favourite
Mushrooms have very little carbohydrate or fat, which is great for anyone watching their waistline.


Vegetable protein
Mushrooms have the amount of protein equal to, or better than, that found in most common vegetables.


Uniquely healthy
Researchers believe the unique protein, carbohydrate and fibre found in mushrooms can positively influence health.

Nutrients per 100g serve

Nutrient Mushroom
Energy kJs 103
Energy Cals 24
Protein g 3.3
Fat g 0.3
Carbohydrate g 0.3
Cholesterol mg 0
Fibre g 1.5

g = grams; mg = milligrams

Source: Nutrient Reference Values for Australia & New Zealand 2006; NUTTAB 2010


The types of protein found in mushrooms are truly unique. One example is lectins that have anti-cancer properties in the laboratory. Other mushroom proteins appear to have both anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties (Xu 2011). As the research continues we hope to get a better understanding of how mushroom proteins could be helping to keep us healthy.

Certain proteins, called hydrophobins, are found only in mushrooms, and these proteins contribute to the texture of the mushroom, making eating them so enjoyable. It is the combination of natural glutamates, protein and other natural flavour compounds that make the mushroom texture and flavour so pleasurable.


The fat level in mushrooms is almost negligible. There is some fat in the cell walls, and this is sufficient fat to store vitamin D that mushrooms naturally generate after they have been exposed to sunlight. The fat that is present is mainly the healthy unsaturated fat.


As you can see, the carbohydrate content of the mushroom is quite low, which means that it has very little effect on blood sugar (glucose) levels, making them perfect for people with diabetes.

Like protein, the carbohydrates found in mushrooms are unique. Some of the carbohydrate is in the form of glycogen, which is found in animals, and not as starch found in plants (Kalac 2013). Other carbohydrates in mushrooms appear to have anti-cancer properties. One Australian study identified two mushroom carbohydrates that inhibit breast cancer cell growth, probably by enhancing immune function (Jeong 2012).


The fibre in the mushrooms includes glucans and chitin, which have been linked to lowering the risk of cancer and controlling blood cholesterol levels (Jeong 2010; Gil-Ramírez 2013). Glucans stimulate the phagocyte system that consume alien cells within the body. Mushroom fibre is different to that found in fruits and vegetables, so it helps complement the health benefits of plant fibre.


As a very low kilojoule food, the mushroom is ideal for anyone trying to control their weight while eating highly nutritious foods.

With its deliciously rich savoury flavour, the mushroom makes an ideal inclusion into both vegetarian and meat dishes. It stands as one of the best value for nutrition foods available. A serve of mushrooms (100g or three button mushrooms) is a simple way to boost your vitamin and mineral intake for very few kilojoules.

More information on the nutrient content of mushrooms can be found in the fact sheet on vitamins and minerals.


  • Gil-Ramírez A, Clavijo C, Palanisamy M, Ruiz-Rodríguez A, Navarro-Rubio M, Pérez M, Marín FR, Reglero G, Soler-Rivas C. Study on the 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl CoA reductase inhibitory properties of Agaricus bisporus and extraction of bioactive fractions using pressurised solvent technologies. J Science Food Agriculture 2013; 93: 2789-2796
  • Jeong SC, Jeong YT, Yang BK, Islam R, Koyyalamudi SR, Pang G, Cho KY, Song CH. White button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) lowers blood glucose and cholesterol levels in diabetic and hypercholesterolemic rats. Nutrition Research 2010; 30: 49-56
  • Jeong SC, Koyyalamudi SR, Jeong YT, Song CH, Pang G. Macrophage immunomodulating and antitumor activities of polysaccharides isolated from Agaricus bisporus white button mushrooms. Journal of Medicinal Food 2012; 15 (1): 58-65
  • Kalac P. A review of chemical composition and nutrition value of wild-growing and cultivated mushrooms. J Science Food Agriculture 2013; 93 (2): 209-2018
  • Xu X, Yan H, Chen J, Zhang X. Bioactive proteins from mushrooms. Biotechnology Advances 2011; 29: 667-674