Are Pork Rinds Paleo?
Men’s Health almost got it right in proclaiming pork rinds to be “Junk Food that’s Good for You” (they recommend a low fat brand).
What Are Pork Rinds?
I was pretty confused about this at first, because they look like rice crackers or some sort of puffy snack made from wheat or another grain.
But actually, they’re just pork skin deep fried!
If you haven’t had it before, then that above description probably didn’t make it sound too appetizing. But take it from a recent convert, pork rinds are delicious!
They might also be called pork scratchings or pork crackling or Chicharrones.
Traditionally, they’ve been a by-product of rending lard, which was a favored cooking oil for many years, and the pork skin gets crispy and airy after the frying.
The photo below is some pork rinds I got at 4505 Meats in San Francisco.
Are Pork Rinds Paleo?
Yes (they’re tasty and healthy), and they are a great low carb and delicious Paleo snack (check our our extensive list of other Paleo snacks here).
But watch out for whether they’ve added food coloring, additives, preservatives, non-paleo flavorings to the pork rinds.
The most popular brand of pork rinds I found on Amazon.com contained maltodextrin, natural flavorings (these could be a lot of things), and monosodium glutamate (i.e. MSG). I guess that was why they’re so popular! So, you’ve got to look at where you’re purchasing your pork rinds from and what the ingredients are.
We highly recommend US Wellness Meat’s pork rinds (pictured below). Here are the ingredients for their BBQ spice flavor pork rinds: pork skins, pork lard, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard, oregano, black malabar pepper, turmeric, cayenne pepper.
But, What About The Fat in Pork Rinds? Isn’t That Unhealthy?
Good fats like lard are in fact healthy for you! Your body is made up of lots of fat (shock horror), but that fat is actually necessary for your nerve endings and cell walls to function and for you to absorb various fat-soluble vitamins. So, it’s pretty essential for you to eat good healthy fats.
And if you look at the nutritional data in pork rinds, you can see that they contain quite a bit of vitamins and minerals even in a 1 oz portion of pork rinds!
However, as with most foods, it’s still not ideal to overeat pork rinds (they are higher in omega-3 fats), and they’re so tasty, they can be easy to overeat.
Have You Tried Pork Rinds?
If you’ve tried pork rinds, let us know what you think of them in the comments below!