Pork Rinds on Carnivore Diets: A Quality Option For Snacking

I know many of you will be non-snackers and the thought of eating in-between meals may be odd to think about. The thing is for people who graze (or snack as we call it for humans) is that they have prepared themselves to almost always be chewing something, don't get me wrong this is an […]
Josh Koop
February 5, 2020

I know many of you will be non-snackers and the thought of eating in-between meals may be odd to think about. The thing is for people who graze (or snack as we call it for humans) is that they have prepared themselves to almost always be chewing something, don't get me wrong this is an addiction more than a need, hence why it is good to find something that is less of an issue.

Pork Rinds on Carnivore Diets? Due to their very low content, they are a good snack that doesn't increase caloric intake too greatly, one caveat to tracking the protein isn't a complete protein so it can cause some over-evaluation in your protein intake if you track within an app.

They seem to be a nearly perfect snack that is high in protein and low to zero carbs and fat. What most don't gather due to only reading a label though is that the protein in a pork rind isn't complete and isn't really useful to the body by itself.

If you count this into your protein intake for the day you are most likely much more short on your intake then first thought.

Pork rinds on a table in a bowl for snacking - Pork Rinds on Carnivore Diets
How can you tell me that doesn't look great and tasty!

What Is A Pork Rind?

A pork rind is the skin of a pig and a byproduct of the rendering of lard. This method is a way of making the very tough skin of a pig edible. They are a favorite snack of the Americas and are useful within a carnivore diet due to their higher sodium content and lower carb and fat content.

These are also called by the Spanish name, chicharrón.

Wikipedia

Most traditional pork rinds references are to a snack food commercially sold in plastic bags. These are made with a two-step process that starts by taking the pork skin and rendering it. They are then dried and then fried and puffed.

The Pork Rind Renaissance

Once upon a time, probably 5-10 years ago pork rinds were a poor person food from a gas station, something you picked up due to overall road travel needs. Over the last 4-5 years though as low carb diets like carnivore diet and the ketogenic diet grew, so did the fascination with pork rinds.

While pork rinds may seem unhealth at the outset with 9 grams of fat, potato chips come in at 10.5. In additon about 43 percent of pork rind fat is the "healthy" oleic acid also found in olive oil.

Mens Health

They have exploded in recent times with tremendous growth in amazingly creative flavors from Korean BBQ to honey mustard and more. Now they are making an explosion back into restaurants and being featured as appetizers due to the rise in popularity.

Pork Rinds in a pot for eating - Pork Rinds on Carnivore Diets

Are There Side Effects of Eating Pork Rinds?

They aren't without issue overall as it does make it much easier to overeat as they are fatty and salty. You need to keep your eyes open for hidden sugars and carbohydrates added.

Along with this, they do provide very little in the form of real nutritional value to caloric intake. This means when you are counting calories these can be expensive food with less overall quality calories.

Pork Rind Seasonings Can Be High In Sugar

One large side effect of eating pork rinds is when you don't pay attention to the nutritional information which is listed on the bag. When flavoring is added there is a high chance it will contain a decent amount of sugar which is frequently an afterthought.

You want to make sure you are choosing your pork rinds based on the lowest amount of carbohydrate and sugar you can find which fits your dietary allowances.

Do Pork Rinds Cause Diarrhea?

Typically not if you have enough water intake, but there are some brands available that will have maltodextrin included in the ingredients. This has been said to cause diarrhea in some people when consumed in high amounts.

Why Are Pork Rinds Not Considered A Complete Protein?

While most people learning to become carnivores may see protein on a label and assume it is equal to the protein from a steak or other product this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, a great many proteins you may choose that is man-made and on the shelf in a box will not be complete or will be a humans attempt to make one.

You may have seen the following on the package of your pork rinds:

"not a significant source of protein"

At the root of the discussion though is that pork rinds are considered an incomplete source of protein. This is due in large part specifically because they contain very low amounts of some essential amino acids, including methionine, tryptophan, and histidine.

The amino acid composition of pork rinds is of overall poor quality. PDCAAS is the gold standard used here, which essentially compares the quality of the protein to milk protein. Pork rinds which are largely made of collagen, are full of fairly useless amino acids and severely lacking in a lot of the more vital and important ones.

This is why we consider them a snack but they aren't very functionally helpful to your body for the repair work and better health. If on the road and in need of food then this would be taking the good choice to help yourself but try not to make it a habit.

Healthy Pork Rinds Brands We Recommend:

We have some of our own personal favorites which I order very frequently to allow me to enjoy some crunch and flavor on occasion. Hopefully one of these is a perfect fit for you if so I would love to hear in the comments section below!

4505 Spicy Green Chili and Lime Pork Rinds

These are like the spicy cheese poofs I used to get growing up and are a perfect match opposite of the dill I purchase.

This family size if broken into individual zip locks will last a long time for multiple snacks and meals for the work and travel days.

Southern Recipe Spicy Dill Pork Rinds

For some reason, dill became all the rage in potato chips long after I started keto and then moved to carnivore.

I looked all over for something to fill that dill flavor and these are my first choice. I would suggest these for anyone who loves dill, I have yet to find another one that was better!

Pork Panko - Bread Crumb Replacement For Baking

These are amazing for those who like to have nice crispy crusts on chicken wings or other snack items.

These I have used for the last 2 years on keto to make all kinds of snacks from in recipes that had breadcrumbs as an ingredient.

Final Thoughts

I personally enjoy having some pork rinds with my lunch or as an emergency snack in with my work stuff. Since I have odd hours sometimes it can be 8-10 hours before a real break occurs as you can't leave in the middle of catastrophic problems.

Due to this, it means strategic planning of snacks and meals that can exist on the go, I definitely can't have a steak at lunch at work in almost all cases. I have yet to find that on the menu in the complex where I work, one day a guy can dream right!

If you read this far you are amazing! I would love to hear from you in the comments below if I helped you gain knowledge and useful information, additionally I would like to know if I got anything incorrect that you believe should be researched more and updated. As always to get the word out please join our new Carnivore Rx group on Facebook and share this out on social media!

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