Whoever thought pork rinds and diet would be used in the same sentence? Well, if you’ve just embarked on the keto journey or if you’re just trying to map out your start, good news, pork rinds have made the keto cut! Keep reading to discover the best keto pork rinds on the market.
In my opinion, you simply can’t go wrong with the gourmet brand pork rinds. Artisan pork rinds are carefully crafted with the refined palate in mind. The flavors are extraordinary and cater to your inner foodie. It’s hard to believe, and quite frankly exciting, that some of the mouthwatering pork rind flavors we discuss below can be enjoyed, guilt-free.
As we all know, the ketogenic diet is really more of a lifestyle choice, rather than a diet, but for the sake of simplicity, we will continue to refer to it as a diet here. The goal of the ketogenic diet is for your body to achieve ketosis. To accomplish this ketogenic state, one must eat a very low carbohydrate and high-fat diet. Pork rinds, which are essentially just pig’s skin, are the perfect keto-friendly snack. They are usually fried or baked, to make them crispy, and are often seasoned for palatability.
Best Keto Pork Rind Brands
I typically like to check the Environmental Working Group’s website when making any food purchases where the food has a label. The EWG evaluates three factors and grades the product accordingly. The three factors include “ingredient concern,” “nutrition concern,” and “processing concern.” Overall, the EWG rated Epic Oven Baked Pork Rinds a 5 out of 10, with no ingredient or processing concerns, simply a nutrition concern due to the high amount of fat, which is to be expected given the keto diet’s structure.
Epic Oven Baked Pork Rinds come in a variety of delicious flavors including Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, Chili Lime, and Sea Salt and Pepper. Additionally, Epic has classic pork rinds in delicious Maple Bacon and BBQ flavors. However, be careful, the Maple Bacon flavor does a have a little bit of added sugar. Additionally, the classic flavors do register at 1 gram of carbohydrates, so make sure you take that into account if you chose Epic’s classic pork rinds over the baked.
Field Trip’s Crispy Cuts Pork Rinds are another high-end pork rind. This snack is much more gourmet than what you would pick up at your local gas station. They come in three delicious flavors: Parmesan Peppercorn, Island BBQ, and Sweet Chipotle. My biggest concern with these is the cane sugar added to the Sweet Chipotle flavor; however, it still comes in at only 1 gram of sugar, which is more than acceptable. With 4 grams of fat, it is the perfect savory (or sweet, depending on your flavor of choice) keto snack.
Southern Recipe Small Batch Classic Pork Rinds is another artisan brand of pork rind. This brand has some of my favorite craft flavors including Spicy Dill, Korean Kimchi BBQ, Pineapple and Chile Ancho, and Blackberry Habanero. Coming in with 4.5 grams of fat, it’s definitely another great keto snack option.
These are just a few of my favorite brands that are great go-to, keto-friendly snacks that spice things up (no pun intended) with exciting, innovative flavors. However, pretty much all pork rinds make a great snack for the keto diet. My only word of advice would be to watch the amount of sodium in the brands you select as they can sometimes be quite high and, diet or no diet, you should always be cognizant of salt intake.
Pork Rinds Aren’t Junk Food
Believe it or not, pork rinds are a pretty healthy snack, in general, not just for people on the keto diet. Pork rinds are very rich in protein and low in carbohydrates. And, even though they are high in fats, that fat content doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad for you. A 2014 Men’s Health article stated that 43% of pork rind’s fat is oleic acid, which is the same healthy fat found in olive oil. Another 13% is from stearic acid which is harmless because it does not raise your cholesterol levels. Overall, fats have certainly gotten a bad rap over the years and this article helps to illustrate how fats in pork rinds are more beneficial than harmful.
For me, two hallmarks of a healthy snack are: first, whether or not it is real food; and second, limited ingredients listed in the nutrition facts. Pork rinds check both of these boxes. By real food, I mean something that, in theory, anyone could raise or cultivate without a factory or chemicals. Pork rinds are made of pig’s skin, and anyone could go out and raise a pig and make their own pork rinds. Additionally, the ingredient list on most pork rind packages is fairly limited. Typically, the ingredient list contains the pork rind, some type of oil, relevant seasoning, and a safe preservative.
Keto Pork Rind Recipes
1. Pork Rind Breading
Pork rinds are very versatile. While they are great all on their own as a healthy snack, they are also great additions to keto recipes or as a substitute for an ingredient to transition a non-keto recipe into a keto-friendly option.
One of the most innovative substitutions I have seen for pork rinds is to crush them up and use them in place of bread crumbs. Bread crumbs are such a staple in home cooking, finding a keto-friendly alternative is a must to keep the variety alive in the kitchen. Here’s a great pork rind “bread crumb” recipe to use as a substitute in any recipe that calls for bread crumbs that you may be trying to make keto-friendly.
2. Cheesy Pork Rind Nachos
Personally, when I am dieting, if I can fill the void of sweets and warm cheesy dishes, I usually have more luck. Pork rinds can actually help in both of these areas, as well as many others. One of my favorite ways to make a delicious, savory snack out of pork rinds is to use them in place of chips in a nacho spread.
If you think about it, nacho toppings are very keto-friendly, you just need to figure out a chip alternative, here’s where the pork rinds save the day. Here’s a recipe for pork rind nachos that definitely does not disappoint.
3. Keto Pork Rind Puppy Chow
Surprisingly, pork rinds may also be able to satisfy that sweet tooth, as well. Unseasoned pork rinds can be quite bland and, thus, the flavor is fairly malleable.
There are a lot of keto pork rind recipes incorporating cinnamon. But, personally, cinnamon just doesn’t quite check that sweets box for me. However, here’s a delectably sweet pork rind recipe that covers all the sweet tooth basis, with chocolate and peanut butter.
4. Pork Rind Tortillas
Last, but certainly not least, here is another favorite pork rind recipe that adheres to the ketogenic diet. These pork rind tortillas are to die for. And with all those taco lovers out there, a keto-friendly taco option is pretty much a necessity. Ringing in at less than 1 carbohydrate per tortilla, they are without a doubt keto-friendly. And they’re surprisingly simple to make, too.
Add Pork Rinds to Your Grocery List
Pork rinds are so versatile. Whether you’re looking for a delicious, healthy snack or trying to figure out how to make a conventional recipe keto-friendly, they can save the day. Pork rinds really are kind of the “jack of all trades” tool to have in your cooking and snacking arsenal.
Pork rinds can be manipulated to satisfy a craving for something sweet. They can also be the perfect keto-friendly substitute for chips to go along with that delectable keto dip recipe that you just found on Pinterest. And, as we have seen, they are the perfect “chip” to go along with your favorite keto nacho recipe. Not to mention, since pork rinds are heat-treated, they have a pretty substantial shelf life of about six to nine months; therefore, you don’t really have to worry about them going bad. They are also super easy to store since they don’t need any type of refrigeration, this also makes them a great road trip snack.
Whether you are about to embark on your keto journey, are a keto professional, or you’re just looking to clean up your diet a little bit, pork rinds are a great alternative to chips. I think it’s safe to say that pork rinds should definitely earn a spot on your grocery list.
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