Crickets have high levels of cholesterol
Crickets do have high cholesterol, but that’s no reason not to eat them. Bugsolutely cricket flour contains 316mg per 100g of dietary cholesterol. For comparison, eggs contain 373mg of cholesterol per 100g. However, there is an important distinction to be made between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy substance that occurs naturally in the human body and is essential to certain functions. Our bodies produce all the cholesterol they need, while also absorbing a certain amount from high cholesterol foods such as meat and dairy. Studies have shown that when we eat more high cholesterol foods, our bodies regulate themselves by producing less cholesterol. This keeps our blood cholesterol levels healthy.
Dietary cholesterol is not the bad guy when it comes to heart health. While high levels of blood cholesterol are dangerous, research is beginning to demonstrate that genetics, not diet, are the main contributor to high cholesterol levels. A 2015 study by the American Society for Nutrition also found little correlation between dietary cholesterol intake and heart disease risk. Repeated research and analysis has found high cholesterol foods such as eggs to be healthy and safe for consumption.
What about fats?
When it comes to fats and our health, it is important to discuss the quality of the fats we eat, and not just the quantity. Crickets and other insects are excellent sources of healthy fats. Of the total fat present in crickets, approximately 25% is monounsaturated, 20% is saturated, and 55% is polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats are associated with numerous health benefits and are commonly found in foods like avocados and nuts. Polyunsaturated fats are safe in small quantities, and include omega-3 fatty acids which have been demonstrated to reduce inflammation and increase heart health.
Additionally, the science on saturated fats has been shifting, as a 2010 study found that there is no link between dietary saturated fat consumption and cardiovascular disease. Bugsolutely cricket flour contains 5.94g per 100g of saturated fat, which is similar to the levels found in peanuts and walnuts.