Since there are so many species of insects it’s hard to say in general what their nutritional value is. A little like trying to say something about the nutritional value of veggies in general. But still there are some things one can say about what makes them a healthy option.
1. High in protein
If you’d like to eat more proteins, but no meat, insects are a great source. They consist for 30-75% of proteins, about the same amount as beef. According to the Insectenkookboek, they also contain a protein that lowers your blood pressure without any side effects.
Omega 3 is an essential fat- our body doesn’t produce this by itself. I read online that some insect species have similar levels of omega-3 fats as fish. For those who’d like to eat less fish for environmental reasons, I guess it would be interesting to know which ones are high in omega 3, but there doesn’t seem to be much official data on this yet.
3. Lots of micronutrients
If you’re from an industrialized country, there’s about 20 percent chance you’re iron deficient. Insects usually contain more iron than meat. Insects also have a higher amount of calcium than meat, but a lower amount than milk. Vitamin B12 hardly occurs in insects, so for those who’d like to fully replace regular meat with insects, they still need to watch their B12 levels.
4. Less chance of diseases compared to meat
Insects differ a lot to humans genetically, so their diseases aren’t transmittable to us. You won’t have to worry about swine flu, bird flu or mad cow disease-like situations.
5. No antibiotics
No antibiotics are used in cultivating insects. This is good for human health in general as overuse of antibiotics encourages the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
One of my followers was curious whether there are any organic insects, as that might be even more healthy. Those are not available at the moment. I asked Dutch insect breeder Kreca and they are currently researching the possibilities to produce organic in the future.