No matter what type of diet you’re in, you’re going to crave a salty, crunchy, and savory snack every once in a while. When you do, your first instinct would probably be to reach for a bag of potato chips, only to end up finishing the whole bag and feeling bloated and filled with regret.
Potato chips are not as healthy as you think — yes, even if it’s made from a vegetable. You might want to consider a different snack to satisfy your cravings: pork rinds. Pork rinds are becoming more popular among people because of their similarity to potato chips, only with more nutrients and health benefits that won’t make you feel like you cheated on your diet.
Let’s take a deeper look at the differences between pork rinds and potato chips regarding their nutritional value, texture, taste, and more.
Pork rinds and potato chips are made from different ingredients but cooked in similar ways. Potato chips are, you guessed it, made from potatoes that are peeled and sliced into thin pieces before being fried in oil until they're crisp. Pork rinds, on the other hand, are made from pig skin and are typically fried or baked.
While pork rinds and potato chips both have that loud “crunch”, the texture of these two differs in other aspects. For starters, potato chips are often thin and flaky.
Pork rinds, on the other hand, are bigger and come in all different shapes and sizes. As the pig skin is cooked, its edges start to round up in the corners, giving the final product a light, crunchy, and airy texture.
One of the most noticeable differences between the taste of potato chips and pork rinds is the level of saltiness. Potato chips tend to be significantly saltier than pork rinds, which can make them less enjoyable. All the different seasonings can be blamed for this as they are required to make the chips taste less plain.
Pork rinds, since they are made from pig skin, have a distinct porky flavor. They can be eaten as is, without any added flavoring, or they can be seasoned with salt, vinegar, salsa, or other pork rind seasonings to taste.
A typical bag of potato chips contains a lot of fat and calories. A single serving (about 15 chips) has about 140 calories, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 9 grams of fat.
In comparison, a serving of pork rinds contains 70 calories, 0 grams of carbohydrates, and 8 grams of protein.
Pork rinds are often seen as a healthier and more guilt-free alternative to potato chips because they contain fewer calories, saturated fat, and carbohydrates. They also have high levels of protein and, specifically, collagen protein.
Absolutely. When looking at their nutritional value side by side, you’ll want to reach for a bag of pork rinds instead of your usual potato chips.
Pork rinds are animal products, making them low in carbohydrates but high in protein. These are nutritional macro-nutrients that help to promote satiety and can help to keep you feeling full for longer. That means you would feel satisfied after eating fewer pork rinds than you would after annihilating a whole bag of potato chips.
The fat content in pork rinds is mostly healthy fats like oleic acid and stearic acid. Oleic acid is a healthy fatty acid that can help to lower cholesterol levels, while stearic acid can help to reduce inflammation.
All these nutritional facts make pork rinds perfect for those on a keto diet or paleo diet, which are both focused on low-carb and high-fat intake and aimed to improve the body’s cholesterol levels.
It might be surprising to hear that pork rinds have better nutritional content than potato chips and are actually the healthier snack alternative. Because they are low in carbohydrates, they will not raise your blood sugar and instead help to reduce your overall calorie intake, leading to sustainable weight loss.
Compared to potato chips, pork rinds are higher in the essential macronutrient protein. Protein is involved in many bodily processes, including the growth and repair of tissues, the production of enzymes and hormones, and the transportation of nutrients throughout the body.
With these benefits, pork rinds easily fit into your healthy diet. Plus, you can have it more often as little amounts are enough to make you fill full and satisfy your salty and crunchy snack cravings.
With pork rinds winning the duel by a landslide owing to their nutritional benefits, you’ve just been given a healthier and more satisfying alternative snack. While potato chips have been your go-to, it might be high time to ditch them and opt for a bag of crunchy, airy, and flavored pork rinds with BBQ, lime, and many more choices instead.