Are you struggling to find low-carb snacks on your ketogenic journey? Well look no further; pork rinds are a great option that contains a seemingly perfect keto macronutrient ratio.
The appeal of pork rinds comes with its multiple low-carb uses. Not only can you bring it with you to go, but many keto advocates are coming up with creative ways to use pork rinds as an ingredient for various ketogenic recipes!
In this article, we’ll dive deep into:
- What are pork rinds?
- Are pork rinds keto-friendly?
- Pork rinds nutrition facts
- The best uses for pork rinds
- Why we don't sell pork products
- Popular pork rind recipes
What Are Pork Rinds?
Pork rinds are the skin of a pig that is either fried or roasted in fat. Because of their macronutrient ratio (high protein, moderate fat, and ZERO carbs), they are often considered an "ideal" ketogenic snack food.
How are they made? First, the pork is simmered in boiling water. Immediately after they are divided into smaller, bite-sized pieces, also known as pellets. Then, these pellets are cooled off for three to five hours to ensure that the subdermal fat is solidified. Once the layer is hardened, it is trimmed off and disposed of. This is what makes pork rinds different from pork cracklins, which is the unhealthier, artery-clogging alternative.
After the fat is removed, the pellets are dried, placed on a tray, then put into a low-heat oven for approximately 8 hours. Now it’s time to fry the pork rinds. The pellets are placed in a fryer with an oil that has a high smoking point and heated to about 370 degrees.
Pork rinds must be seasoned immediately after frying so that the spices stick to its surface, making it more flavorful. Once the pork rinds are cooled, they’re ready to be served!
Tip: Opting to create your own pork rinds using lard rather than purchasing it from the store is a healthier alternative. Many companies use vegetable oil during the frying process. These oils are known to cause inflammation in your body.
Are Pork Rinds Keto-Friendly?
Pork rinds contain zero carbohydrates, which makes it a great ketogenic diet snack.
When you’re at the grocery store looking at the pork rind selection, you’ll notice there are several flavors which makes it a versatile snack, guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds no matter what you’re craving!
Pork Rinds Are Healthier Than Carb-Heavy Snacks
Be careful not to fall for the marketing ploys of other snacks like chips, breakfast bars, crackers, and even dried fruit. Many people have fallen under the assumption that anything fried or high in fats are unhealthy and can increase the risk of disease.
But research has disproven this belief. Scientific literature is now showing that saturated fats shouldn’t be the blame for things like heart disease. In fact, a study found that the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to shift the blame for heart disease from sugar to fats[*]!
The truth is, consuming healthy fats will not make you fat or unhealthy! Eating too many sugary carbohydrates is the true culprit to various metabolic diseases.
Pork Rinds Nutrition Facts
While the nutrient breakdown of pork rinds may differ depending on the brand, they are usually extremely similar.
A 1 ounce (28g) portion of pork rinds contains[*]:
- Calories: 152
- Fat: 8.8 g
- Carbohydrate: 0 g
- Protein: 17.2 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Sodium: 515 mg
Standard pork rind ingredients include:
- pork skin, salt, spices (differs depending on the brand)
One of the best ways to ensure optimal health is by ensuring that the food and snacks you eat contain the least amount of natural, healthy ingredients. Pork rinds never have more than four or five major ingredients!
On the other hand, a standard granola bar typically contains more than 15 ingredients, where most of them can be considered harmful in large amounts. Sugar, vegetable oils, seed oils, syrup, and honey are extremely common in granola bars, all of which are unhealthy.
The Best Uses for Pork Rinds
Pork rinds are praised within the ketogenic community because they can be used in several ways. The most common types of pork rinds you can purchase include:
- Crushed and used as breadcrumbs. In the mood for chicken tenders but don’t want to cheat? Use crushed pork rinds as a breadcrumb alternative to satisfy your cravings while still staying in ketosis.
- Ready to eat as a snack. Craving salt & vinegar chips on a road trip? Pork rinds can make a great alternative and taste just as great!
- Cooked in the microwave. Do you habitually eat popcorn while you watch movies? Substitute it with microwaveable pork rinds to stay on track with your low-carb goals.
A Great Replacement for Your Favorite Carb-Heavy Foods
Transitioning into a low-carb, keto diet can be difficult if you have a limited food selection. After all, you’re bound to crave something salty or sweet no matter how much discipline you have. That’s where pork rinds come in!
The keto community has gotten highly creative with making carb-heavy foods into a healthier, low-carb alternative using pork rinds.
Here are some of our favorite pork rind recipes:
- Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers - This recipe by Stupid Easy Paleo is a great substitute for your chicken finger desires which uses pork rind breading as a coating, providing a delicious keto-friendly meal!
- Keto Pancakes - Are you craving pancakes for breakfast but don’t want to slip into a carb coma? This Keto Pancake recipe by HealthfulPursuit.com uses ground unseasoned pork rinds instead of flour!
- Low Carb Asparagus Fries - In the mood for fries with your bunless burger? Make these delicious keto-friendly, pork rind influenced asparagus fries!
- Pork Rind Nachos - If you’re craving creamy, cheesy, and spicy nachos during your low-carb efforts, this simple recipe can be as easy as replacing chips for pork rinds!
- Low Carb Mozzarella Sticks - Everyone loves cheesy, tasty mozzarella sticks as an appetizer. This recipe tastes just like the real thing without the carb-laden breadcrumbs.
If Pork Rinds Are so Great, Why Don't We Sell Pork Products?
It's not that we have anything against pork. But as a company, we believe that quality really matters.
Here at CHOMPS, we want to maintain the gold standard for healthy and humanely raised animals. Today pigs are often not well-raised, which goes against our mission.
That's why we urge you to always check the label on pork rinds (and any other food products) to ensure that the animal products you consume are antibiotic-free, hormone-free, and humanely raised.
Tip: Look for the "Certified Humane Raised and Handled" label on pork products for the highest quality, cleanest sources.
A Perfect Snack for the Low-Carb Adventurer
To successfully adhere to a ketogenic diet, it’s imperative that you have low-carb snack alternatives whenever those cravings arise.
Pork rinds are one of the best snacks to always have in your pantry as a ketogenic advocate due to its perfect macronutrient ratio.
Whether you’re using them as a substitute for breadcrumbs, taking it with you as a snack for your travels, or heating them up in the microwave to munch on during a movie, pork rinds will satisfy your taste buds no matter where your low-carb journey takes you!