Guest Post: Why fear bugs? Just eat them!
The health benefits of insects eating
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 Peanut Butter & Cinnamon 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!
The best protein for the human body
Protein (a group of acids) is a part of almost all foods we eat, legumes, meats, eggs, and even fruits and vegetables. The thing is, not all proteins are created equal; they differ in quantity, quality and digestibility too. Protein is the basic building block of the human body, we need it to repair muscle, bones, and skin, and to produce enzymes and hormones. That’s why we should choose protein sources carefully. Let’s look at some popular food groups and see how they compare.
There are 21 different amino acids and you need them in a correct ratio to make up the best protein. The best protein also needs to be easy to digest. Thankfully, both of these parameters can be measured in a lab so that we can reliably judge the quality of protein (6).
There are two main categories of protein: animal based and plant based. Animal proteins are usually easy to digest and have a favourable amino acid profile. Plant based proteins are protected by cellulose which makes them harder to digest and usually don’t contain the correct ratio of amino acids. This means that the human body will generally be able to utilise animal protein much better than plant protein.
There’s another food group that’s often overlooked in the western world, insects. They contain proteins that are the same quality as beef. They have a very similar amino acid profile and digestibility (7). It’s time we started taking the third option seriously and gave insects a try.
SENS protein bars are better than any regular protein bar on the market. In contrast with the current standard amongst protein bars, SENS bars have a straightforward and understandable list of 100% natural ingredients. The bars contain 20 grams of superior protein. Cricket protein is rich in B12, iron, calcium, zinc and is a lot more sustainable than any other protein source in the world. A 20 gram serving of protein is the ideal amount for a human body to digest efficiently while maximising protein intake.
Dark Chocolate & Sesame
Peanut Butter & Cinnamon
SENS energy bars are incredibly delicious. We achieved this solely with natural ingredients such as dried fruits, nuts, and cricket flour. SENS energy bars have a low glycemic index, they do not spike your glucose levels rapidly. Thanks to the high dose of fibre (Psyllium – a healthy seed coating fibre from Plantago ovate), the fruits and nuts are digested slower. Last but not least, all SENS bars contain cricket flour. Thanks to this flour, they are not only a fruity snack but a meal that gives you the necessary protein that your body needs.
SENS energy bars come in two flavours:
Dark Chocolate & Orange
Pineapple & Coconut
At SENS, we want to make insect eating the new normal. We see insects as the easiest way to rapidly improve the quality and sustainability of our diet.
SENS Foods focuses on the international market and offers free shipping to European Union countries. SENS bars are available online in all EU countries. We hope that SENS bars will soon be available in selected retail stores in Great Britain, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic. More countries will be added later on. SENS Foods currently provides full customer support in four languages: English, German, Dutch and Czech.
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
6) Gertjan Schaafsma, ‘The Protein Digestibility–Corrected Amino Acid Score’, The Journal of Nutrition 2000, http://jn.nutrition.org/content/130/7/1865S.long
7) Q. Yang et al., ‘Nutritional composition and protein quality of the edible beetle Holotrichia parallela.’, J Insect Sci. 2014 Oct 15, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25347830