Are Pork Rinds Keto-Friendly?

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keto dish with pork rind

What do you do if you’re on a diet and have a snack attack? Many of us know by intuition that certain foods are unhealthy when we get the munchies. That includes French fries, potato chips, and deep-fried chocolate Twinkies. Another snack that might seem like a bad choice is pork rinds. It’s pork AND deep-fried. You might be surprised to find out that keto pork rinds are a thing.

So, it’s important to dig deeper and take a closer look at this old-school snack. Could something that seems 100% unhealthy actually provide some health benefits? As always, it’s important to break down the food to find out if it’s something that you should eat on this low-carb diet.

First, too much of a good thing is a thing. Fun Fact: Pork scratchings/rinds have 0 carbs. There’s also about 5g of fat per serving but more on that later. Keto dieters can enjoy a wide range of low-carb/high-fat LCHF snacks and desserts.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s still important not to overdo it. While pork rinds and fat bombs are Keto-friendly this doesn’t mean you should eat lots at one sitting.  The key is to get the facts then make sure you’re eating the “right” amount of the snack foods.

What’s the Keto Diet?

This is one of today’s most popular diets along with Paleo and Vegan. Keto is a low-carb diet like Atkins and South Beach but takes a somewhat different approach. Unlike previous low-carbohydrate diets keto significantly boosts “good” fats.

Past low-carb diets also boosted protein and fats. However, the main difference is the keto diet puts good fats front and center. This includes ones like omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats. Meanwhile, it reduces other fats like saturated and trans fats.

Most people don’t realize the ketogenic diet actually dates back to the 1920s. That’s when it was used to treat conditions like diabetes and epilepsy. It’s critical for people with these conditions to avoid blood sugar spikes and the keto diet achieved that goal.

Today the keto diet is back but this time it’s mostly used for weight-loss. The diet works by hacking the human body’s systems so it gets energy from stored fat and “ketones” instead of food carbs. It produces results similar to fasting without actually skipping meals.

The keto diet has surged in popularity in recent years and has also spawned various modified keto diets. There’s a vegan version that’s high-fat but also higher-carb. You can also do other versions that include higher-carb pre-workout meals and Keto-Alkaline that focuses on alkaline foods vs acidic ones.

Studies show that the keto diet might provide various benefits. They include ones like weight loss, lower blood pressure/cholesterol, and lower risks of diseases like type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. More research is needed to learn more about the effects of low-carb/high-fat on health.

One of the big differences in the keto diet versus others is the issue of snacks and desserts. For example, you can enjoy pepperoni, parmesan, and tortilla chips. There’s even something called “fat bombs” that are basically mini cheesecakes.

What Are Keto Pork Rinds?

It might be surprising how puffy and crunchy pork rinds are since it’s different from the pigskin that’s eaten at pig roasts. The traditional cooking method involves simmering the pork skin, chilling for 4+ hours, drying, frying, and seasoning.

One key step in the process makes pork rinds healthier than “cracklings.” The artery-clogging fat is removed when pork rinds are made, which explains why this food contains 5g of fat and nearly 45% is unsaturated (healthy) fat.

If you want to make your pork rinds truly keto-friendly you can do that by cooking with lard. That’s because companies typically use cheap/unhealthier vegetable oil to cook their pork rinds. Studies show that such oils can lead to inflammation.

So, what makes pork rinds a good choice for keto snacks? It starts with 0 carbs. When you’re on a low-carb diet that makes it an ideal food from the get-go. It’s also a high-fat diet and you’re getting 5g of fat.

However, that’s not all. As mentioned, crackling is the pork skin snack you’ll want to avoid since it’s higher in saturated fat.

The zero carbs are also a plus compared to high-carb snacks on the market. That includes ones like breakfast bars, potato chips, saltine crackers, and even dried fruit.

There’s evidence in the 1960s companies influenced scientists so they blamed fats instead of sugar for heart disease. It turns out white sugar causes a lot more health problems than fat.

It’s worth noting that there are several pork rinds on the market. So, you’ll find some differences in factors like fat, salt, and even spices.

Look for pork rind products with fewer main ingredients. They usually have about five. Meanwhile, granola bars often have 15+ ingredients and some of them could cause health problems. They include ones like sugar, corn syrup, vegetable/seed oils, and others.  

Top Ideas for Keto Snacking

1. Hummus

You might have heard about this trending dip and wondered what it’s about. It includes healthy ingredients like sesame seeds but isn’t low-carb due to the chickpeas. The bean clocks in at about 60g of total carbs. That’s higher than 50g total carbs for a whole day on keto!

You can make hummus keto-friendly by swapping out the chickpeas and swapping in other options like:

  • Almonds
  • Artichokes
  • Avocado
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini

2. Pepperoni Chips/Crisps

In a sense, these are like mini crustless pizzas. You can make them with light tomato sauce, cheese, and herbs/spices. While pizzas are often considered unhealthy it’s greatly due to the pizza crust made of refined wheat flour. Full-fat cheese is full of healthy fat and actually boosts metabolism.

3. Breakfast Tapas

This Spanish food is a great option for any time of the day. It includes ingredients like chorizo (sweet sausage), cheddar cheese, bell pepper, and cucumber. This is definitely a tasty and filling snack that you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

4. Dark Chocolate

It’s important to use dark chocolate vs. other options like milk or white chocolate. That’s because it’s less processed and is closer to the natural cacao bean.

Many people have the idea that chocolate is “unhealthy.” That’s because it’s often highly processed and loaded with white sugar.

5. Cheddar cheese

Cheese made with real dairy is also a keto-friendly snack. 100g of cheddar cheese has just 1.3g of carbs and is full of healthy fat. It also contains all 9 essential amino acids (EAA), calcium, and Vitamin D.

6. Whole foods

This is easily one of the healthiest options when picking keto stacks. They include options like:

  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Olives
  • Eggs

These ingredients get back to basics but are also timeless snack foods that you can prepare quickly and easily like keto pork rinds.

keto snack ideas

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