Best Pork Rinds For Low Carb
When you are craving something crunchy while following low carb one of the best choices are pork rinds. Also known as pork skins or pork cracklings. The vast majority have 0 net carbs so they are a go to snack for lowcarbers. Pork rinds are made when the skin of a pig is fried and puffs up creating a crunchy, puffed up snack that have been enjoyed by people for years.
Among the 3 brands of pork rinds we reviewed, we highly recommend UTZ Pork Rinds.
LowCarbr's Star Rating
What To Look For When Buying Pork Rinds?
1) Freshness - Lets face it pork rinds are not as popular as most snack food with the general public. Some stores may not sell that many pork rinds, so it is important to look for expiration dates to ensure you did not receive an expired product.
2) Flavor - Many pork rinds can be bland. You have two options to liven them up. You can purchase pre-flavored ones such as hot, bbq, or even salt and vinegar. The second option is to add flavor to plain pork rinds such as dipping them in hot sauce, adding your own spices or even dipping them in a low carb ranch dip.
3) Texture - Some pork rinds are lower quality, they are either using less fresh pork skin or cooking them too long which leads to a tough pork rind. The brands below are all known for using quality ingredients that lead to a more consistent finished product.
What Should You Avoid When Buying Pork Rinds?
1) Low Quality - Some pork rinds that are created for the lowest possible cost in my opinion are not worth it, they often are made with low quality ingredients, cooked in questionable oil and are almost as hard as a rock.
2) Pork rinds from stores that do not sell a high volume, some stores do not sell a lot of pork rinds so they are often the same bags sitting on shelves for a long time. This isn't idea as it obviously isn't getting you the freshest highest quality pork rind
Lets get started with our reviews:
Pork Rinds Nutrition Facts
The following nutrition facts are for plain pork rinds, the nutrition can vary depending upon spices, flavoring or what you dip the pork rind in so adjust accordingly.
Pork rinds have 9 grams of fat in 1 oz, with 0 carbs and 0 net carbs and an amazing 17 grams of protein.
UTZ Pork Rinds
UTZ Pork Rinds were the best overall value when taking price and quantity received into account along with taste and freshness. Commonly grocery store pork rinds come in smaller bags and are often somewhat crushed from shipping.
UTZ Pork Rinds come in larger 18 oz plastic containers, the plastic containers help keep the pork rinds from getting crushed or turned to dust while shipping which is great when you are making an online purchase.
Another common complaint is salt content, many brands have an abundance of salt, UTZ brand is lightly salted which still gives you that pork rind flavor without crazy amounts of sodium.
Mac's Original Pork Rinds
Mac's Original Pork Rinds (or Chicharrones) are a great value, they have many different flavors such as original, Salt & Pepper and Spicy. They are not as good of a value as the UTZ brand as they are shipped in smaller packages and are not in a plastic container so some people complained they were crushed during delivery.
Overall these are great for those individuals who would like a more flavorful pork rind outside of only the original flavor.
Old Time Fat Back Skins
These are only sold in smaller bags, so they present the same downfall mentioned earlier, they are also the most expensive per bag. The positives far out weight the negatives, they offer a variety pack that contains all the different flavors.
Flavors include BBQ, Original, Slat & Vinegar, Plain, and Chili-Lime.
The Final Verdict
Overall, you cannot go wrong with any of these brands, they are all known for freshness and quality. Often I buy the Utz brand because they are the best value and flavor them myself. If you are a busy on the go person then the Old Time Fat Back Skins might be best because the y are in smaller packages and are pre-flavored.
Some Common Questions and Answers About Pork Rinds
The first question most people ask is are pork rinds healthy or are they bad for you? Overall they are cooked pork skin and are fairly common snack on a low carb diet. As pork rinds do have a decent fat content it isn't recommended you eat them if your carbs are high. While on low carb they should be perfectly fine.
Are Pork Rinds Good For Keto?
The body goes into ketosis (for those following a keto diet) when carbs are low and the body is fueled from fat. So yes, pork rinds have no carbs and will not kick you out of ketosis. It is a great quick snack for those in ketosis who want something crunchy. One area to keep in mind is to review the nutrition facts of the pork rinds as some may have sugar in the spices they are shaken in.
Are Pork Rinds Paleo?
Pork rinds probably are not paleo, while they do not have a lot of carbs they are friend which depending on how you follow paleo may not fit within your paleo guidelines.