Low carb dieters enjoy munching on bags of pork rinds – because they’re low carb. But are they really healthy? Find out if pork rinds are good for you.
More people are snacking on pork rinds these days – thanks to the popularity of low carbohydrate diets. Potato chips may be off-limits to snackers on a low-carb diet, but pork rinds are still “Atkins-friendly”. Are these salty, crunchy snacks a good alternative to potato chips? Are pork rinds healthy?
Are Pork Rinds Good for You: What Are They?
Pork rinds are pig skins cooked by deep-frying or roasting. Frying pork rinds melts away some of their fat – unlike potato chips which retain most of theirs during the deep-frying process. Once pork rinds are fried until crispy, they’re packaged into bags and transported to supermarkets where they can be found in the potato chip aisle.
Are Pork Rinds Healthy: Pork Rind Nutrition
Pork rinds are carbohydrate-free, which accounts for their growing popularity among people on the Atkins diet. Although many people believe they’re lower in fat than potato chips, pork rinds have roughly the same amount of saturated fat (3 grams), and only slightly less total fat. They do have more monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids than potato chips. They’re roughly equal in terms of calorie content, with each having around 150 calories per ounce.
Where pork rinds really fall from grace is when you look at their sodium content. Some packages of pork rinds contain up to five times the amount of sodium in an equal-sized serving of potato chips. They’re definitely not a good snack choice for anyone with heart disease or high blood pressure.
Pork rinds have significantly more protein than potato chips, but the protein quality is low. Because the protein in pork rinds isn’t used very efficiently by the body, don’t count on this snack to be a significant source of protein.
Are Pork Rinds Good for You: The Final Word
Overall, eating pork rinds is really no better than eating potato chips – unless you’re on a low-carb diet. If you’re sodium sensitive, you may be better off munching on a bag of potato chips. A healthier snack alternative for people not on a low-carb diet is air-popped popcorn. An ounce has 25 percent fewer calories – and no saturated fat. Popcorn is a whole-grain food – and a good source of fiber.
The bottom line? Pork rinds may be satisfying, but they’re too salty and high in fat. Try air-popped popcorn the next time you need a crunchy snack.
Nutrition Data website.