LONDON: A vegetarian superfood, which is made from fungus, can cut the risk of having a heart attack and help people stay slim.
What's more, the miracle item can also slash the risk of suffering from diabetes, says the study published in the British Nutrition Foundation's journal.
According to experts, a diet rich in mycoprotein can lower cholesterol and could help reduce high levels of blood glucose and insulin. It may also prolong a feeling of fullness after a meal, potentially helping people to slim.
Mycoprotein is a meat-free form of high quality protein which is made by adding oxygen, nitrogen, glucose and minerals to a natural fungus called Fusarium venenatum.
It is found in meat free products like mince, sausages, escalopes, deli food and ready meals.
To reach the conclusion, the researchers reviewed data relating to the benefits of mycoprotein, a key ingredient in meat substitutes like Quorn.
The review discovered reported cholesterol reductions of up to 14 per cent among people eating 190 grammes of mycoprotein a day for three weeks.
A single serving of meat substitute mince contains 80 grammes of mycoprotein, the study found.
Also a reduction in cholesterol of around 10 per cent among people with elevated cholesterol levels eating 120 to 140 grammes of mycoprotein a day was reported.
As for the expanation, the researchers said that mycoprotein might be useful in the management of obesity and type 2 diabetes because it slows the transport of food sugars from the stomach to the bloodstream. This has the effect of lessening the peaks and troughs often seen in blood glucose and insulin levels after meals.
"Mycoprotein is a really healthy food and the bonus is all these benefits on top. If it fills you up and helps to reduce the impact of blood sugar and reduce cholesterol, it sounds like it is a bit of a superfood," the Daily Express quoted nutritionist Angela Dowden, as saying.