The question “How much protein is in a cricket” is one of the many that I get along with “Why would you eat crickets” and the inevitable “Yuk” when people find out that I include them in at least one of my daily meals.
Protein is an essential part of our diets as it a major component of the body’s tissues. Around half of the body’s proteins are found in structural tissues such as skin and muscles. it is therefore essential for growth as our bodies continually renew tissues.
Proteins are made up of around 22 amino acids and they combine together in various ways within the body depending on the body’s requirements. Some go towards making muscles, bones, skin and hair while others are used to produce enzymes within the body.
Of the 22 amino acids 9 are classified as “essential” for the body. These are phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine and they must come from our diet as they cannot made quickly enough or in sufficient quantities by our own bodies.
Complete Amino Acids
These are generally found in animal protein foods meat, fish, poultry, eggs and milk
Incomplete Amino Acids
These are foods that lack one or more of the essential amino acids and are generally derived from plant based sources. However by combining different plant based foods in our diets we can still get the complete amino acids by having, for example, a meal made up of grains with legumes (rice and peas or everyone’s favourite beans on toast).
Most adults with limited daily activity should be able to cover their protein needs through a standard healthy diet and the general rule of thumb is .80g of protein per KG of body weight.
If we take a woman weighing 60kg based on the calculation above her daily protein requirements would be 48g (60x.80)
These figures would change depending on different circumstances e.g increased activity or pregnancy but as you can see below this can be easily achieved
2 large eggs – average15g of protein
100g Chicken – average 20g of protein
Now if we take the same woman but she is now training say 3 to 4 times a week or training for a long event like a marathon then these figures would change as we can see below
“So how much protein does a runner actually need? The latest guidelines recommend something I call protein pulsing, where protein is consumed more frequently throughout the day rather than as a large amount straight after exercise. This has been based on scientific findings demonstrating that our bodies can only absorb and utilise a certain amount of protein at any given time. It works on the principle that you need to consume up to 0.4g/kg BW from your three daily meals. For most runners this will equate to around 20-30g of protein. Those of you who also include weight training would also benefit from an additional 0.4g/kg BW portion before you go to bed to enhance your recovery.”
Excerpt From: Renee McGregor. “Fast Fuel.”
Protein and loosing weight
Adding protein to your diet helps in weight loss as it slows down the digestion process in turn making you feel fuller for longer and when eaten with carb rich foods also helps slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. So instead of snacking on high carb “treats” why not try some of our Honey & mustard crickets or a handful of nuts.
Remember that eating more protein alone can also have its own issues like overeating any food. The body cannot store surplus protein and in some cases too much protein and could cause kidney issues if excess protein is consumed over a long period.
The protein content of insects varies depending on the species and it can even be different between sub species and like most things diet and environment are among the contributing factors effecting this.
In the table below you can see the protein content in 100g of cricket powder compared to the same 100g of different protein sources.
A more detailed table an be found in Edible insects future prospects for food and feed security by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation found here (page 69 table 6.3)
So before ruling crickets completely out of your diet why not try one of our sample sized Kric8 cricket protein powder packs? These 15g pouches contain enough cricket powder for a batch of cookies, muffins or if used in a smoothie it will add around 9g of protein the same as an egg.