Are Insects Paleo?

Beijing Snack....Scorpions on a stick
Scorpions on a stick (Photo credit: ming1967)

How do you know if somebody is doing CrossFit?

They will be sure to tell you all about it!

The CrossFit community is a passionate group to say the least. With all seriousness, you can definitely tell if somebody is avid about CrossFit, and has been doing it for awhile… Their muscles will be bulging out of their shirt.

With this growing nationwide Crossfit trend, many CrossFit enthusiasts are practicing the accompanying Paleo diet.

As a bug guy, this Paleo lifestyle struck my curiosity… “Are insects Paleo?”

What Is Paleo?

You’ve heard it called the caveman diet. Others call it the ancestral, primal, real-food, or nutrient-dense diet. Whatever you call it, the Paleo way of eating mimics the eating habits of our ancient ancestors.

Paleo (short for Paleolithic) is about eating the foods that were prevalent during the Paleolithic era. Sorry, jelly-filled powdered donuts where not available back then. Needless to say, eating Paleo is very challenging for most. In terms of weight loss, and changing your body shape; results can be amazing.

Paleo foods include lean meats, seafood, grass-fed beef, veggies, roots, berries, various nuts, and eggs. Pasteurized dairy products, grains, legumes, and refined foods are strictly off limits. So where do insects fit in on the spectrum?

eating scorpions
Eating Scorpions (Photo credit: istolethetv)

Are Insects Paleo?

While the thought of eating bugs is repulsive to some; insects are a healthy, protein packed, meat alternative food option.

So is this healthy meat alternative Paleo? Short answer… Yes.

According to Paleo traditionalists, anything with a face is Paleo; and that includes insects. With this definition, apparently cannibalism is also Paleo.

A Paleo diet is less about avoiding grains, legumes, pasteurized dairy and refined foods; and is more about eating nutrient rich foods that work well with your body. Insects like crickets, scorpions, grubs, and grasshoppers are packed with protein and are actually very healthy when prepared correctly.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, some insects contain twice the protein of raw meat and fish, while others, particularly in their larval stage, are also rich in fat, vitamins and minerals. Now that’s Paleo!

Paleo Flow Chart

CrossFit Flow Chart


Insects food stall in Bangkok, Thailand

Entomophagy- The Practice Of Eating Insects

Eating insects might seem like a gross act, better left for ‘Bizarre Foods’ host Andrew Zimmern. The truth is Entomophagy, or the act of eating insects, is a way of life for millions of people worldwide. People in less developed countries rely on insects for protein and other nutrients needed for survival. Scientists have long been touting insects as a protein-packed meat alternative that could help meet the world’s growing food demand.

While the practice of eating insects, may be unsettling for some people’s palates, different species of beetles, ants, bees, grasshoppers and crickets are eaten in 23 countries in the Americas, 29 countries across Asia, and 36 countries in Africa. In Thailand alone, 200 different insect species are consumed and are commonly sold as street snacks throughout the country.

Learn more about different country’s insect cuisine by clicking here.


Anthony Ball is a Content Marketing Manager with Bulwark Exterminating, an industry leader in providing high quality pest control service. Bulwark is fully operational in nine states, including thirteen major cities. While Bulwark provides pest extermination for common pests like ants, roaches, crickets and spiders; the company's differentiating aspect is great personalized service. Bulwark uses the finest and most effective products in the world to solve common pest problems.

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