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Why crickets? There are many protein products on the market, many you’re probably already familiar with including whey and soy proteins. To explain why crickets are a smart and healthy protein choice, let’s look at how they stack up.

Many countries have long looked to insects for protein including Africa, Thailand, Mexico, Brazil and the Netherlands. Crickets are a complete protein meaning they contain all of the essential amino acids the body is not able to produce and must get from the diet. They are also naturally gluten free and high in fiber. Cricket powder is made by drying whole crickets and grinding them down to be used for supplemental nutrition or in other foods like bars. This means they are minimally processed, easier to digest and don’t contain harsh chemicals.

Cricket flour has almost triple the protein as steak and double the protein of chicken. Cricket protein is also very low calorie, low carbohydrate, low fat, loaded with fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and healthy fatty acids including omegas. One serving of crickets boasts almost 17% of your daily B12 requirement. Crickets are also a natural iron absorption enhancer, and since they contain twice as much iron as spinach, including them in your diet helps contribute to muscle and brain function as well as oxygen consumption by cells.

Whey protein is also a complete protein and contains calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.  It is also fast absorbing contributing to muscle protein synthesis post workout, making it a popular choice among bodybuilders and athletes.

Whey protein is not a great option for anyone who has a dairy allergy or simply prefers to avoid dairy. Many whey products contain whey protein isolates which are heavily processed, resulting in denaturation of the proteins and a reduced effectiveness of the protein. These products can also cause digestive distress and reduce beneficial gut bacteria.

Soy protein is a common choice for those who have dairy allergies and are looking for a complete protein. Soy proteins are made from soybeans which are naturally low in saturated fat and also a great source of fiber, iron, calcium, zinc and b vitamins. Soy is also fast absorbing, making it a good choice for athletes.

Whole soy products like edamame and tempeh contain beneficial fiber, can be extremely healthful and even cancer preventative. The majority of soy protein powders are packed with highly processed concentrates and isolates, completely lacking in fiber and using hexane which is a neurotoxin possibly liking to neurological conditions.

While soy and whey products are good options for many of the population and boast large amounts of protein, both are heavily processed which can lead to health and digestive issues in the long term. Crickets are minimally processed and boast enormous health benefits including protein, fiber and lots of essential nutrients. Crickets have a mild flavor, can be added to smoothies and baked foods making them the all around most nutritional and healthy choice for the every wellness connoisseur or elite athlete.  

Per serving 100 grams Calories Fat Carbs Protein Fiber
Cricket 121 5.5 grams 5 grams 14 grams 6 grams
Whey 120 2 grams 4 grams 23 grams 1 gram
Soy 338 3.4 grams 7 grams 81 grams 6 grams

 

Sources:

Babcock, C. (2017, June 15). Cricket Flour Has 3x More Protein Than Steak. Retrieved January, 2018, from https://draxe.com/cricket-flour/

Goldman, L. (2016, May 09). Benefits of Soy Products, Soy Isoflavones and Cancer. Retrieved January, 2018, from http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food-safety/article/pros-and-cons-soy-foods

Hoffman, J. R., & Falvo, M. J. (2004, September). Protein – Which is Best? Retrieved January, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905294/

Montgomery, K. S. (2003). Soy Protein. Retrieved January, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595159/

Whey protein isolate. (2018, January 21). Retrieved January, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whey_protein_isolate

Ivy Karlinsky

Author Ivy Karlinsky

Ivy has a degree in Nutrition & Exercise Science from Bastyr University, is a Certified Personal Trainer, marathon runner, lover of movement and whole foods. She is passionate about creating wellness through nutrition and helping others understand how food choices drive performance, energy and overall health. Ivy fiercely believes in sustainability and representing a product that is not only nutritionally sound but also environmentally responsible. When Ivy is not at the gym or working with clients, you can find her running around Seattle, cooking, volunteering for Girls on the Run or reading a book.

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