We have been told fats are bad for us for a long time. Only recently the discussion has shifted towards the quality of the fats rather than just their overall quantity. We now know that some fats are healthier than others and that we should get a balanced spectrum of them. What you might not have known is that insects are among the best sources of healthy fats.
What are healthy fats?
There are several types of fats and each plays a different role in the human body. Monounsaturated are widely considered the healthiest fats, good sources are nuts, seeds, avocados, or olive oil. Polyunsaturated fats are healthy in small amounts, the most well-known fat in this category is the omega-3. Omega-3s are best sourced from fish or insects, they have anti-inflammatory properties (1) and are good for heart health (2) just to name a few benefits. Saturated fats are not as scary as they used to be portrayed, they are natural for us and should be a part of a healthy balanced diet (3). Trans fats, also known as hydrogenated fats, usually found in refined and processed foods, are very unhealthy, the human body can’t deal with them and they significantly increase risk of various diseases (4).
Healthy fats in insects
Now, let’s look at insects as a source of fat. Crickets, for example, contain about 25 % monounsaturated fats, 20 % saturated fats, and 55 % polyunsaturated fats, including the heart healthy omega-3s in concentrations similar to salmon which is considered one of the best omega-3 sources. The spectrum of fats might be affected by the foods that crickets are eating (5).
SENS bars are full of cricket flour and various kinds of nuts and seeds which makes their resulting spectrum of fats great. The Erdnussbutter & Zimt bar contains about 70% of healthy fats, 60 % are monounsaturated and 10 % polyunsaturated including about 1 % of those valuable omega-3s. The remaining 30 % is made up of natural saturated fats which leaves exactly 0 % for any type of processed fat! The Dark Chocolate & Sesame bar contains about 68 % of healthy fats, 36 % are monounsaturated and 32 % polyunsaturated including about 1 % of omega-3s. The remaining 32 % is made up of natural saturated fats which again leaves 0 % for processed fats!
Want to add some healthy fats into your diet? Try our insect based bars!
1) Thusgaard M. et al., 'Effect of fish oil (n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids) on plasma lipids, lipoproteins and inflammatory markers in HIV-infected patients treated with antiretroviral therapy: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.', Scand J Infect Dis. 2009, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19685375
2) Soumia Peter et al., 'A fish a day, keeps the cardiologist away! – A review of the effect of omega-3 fatty acids in the cardiovascular system', Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3712371/
3) Patty W Siri-Tarino et al., 'Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease', 2010 American Society for Nutrition, http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract
4) Qi Sun et al., 'A Prospective Study of Trans Fatty Acids in Erythrocytes and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease', Circulation. 2007, http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/115/14/1858
5) Hutchins RF and Martin MM, 'The lipids of the common house cricket,Acheta domesticus L. I. Lipid classes and fatty acid distribution.', Lipids. 1968, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17805864