Pork Rinds: A Paleo-Friendly Snack?

Pork rinds, a crispy and savory snack made from fried pig skin, have gained popularity as a low-carb, high-protein alternative to traditional chips. However, their compatibility with the Paleo diet, which emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods, has been a subject of debate. This article delves into the nutritional profile of pork rinds and explores whether they align with the Paleo dietary guidelines.

Nutritional Profile of Pork Rinds

A 14-gram (0.5-ounce) serving of plain pork rinds contains:

  • Calories: 80
  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams (7% of daily value)
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugars: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 270 milligrams (11% of daily value)
  • Cholesterol: 20 milligrams (6% of daily value)

Pork rinds are notably low in carbohydrates, making them appealing to individuals following low-carb diets such as Atkins, keto, or paleo. They are also a good source of protein and fat, which contribute to satiety and provide energy.

Pork Rinds and the Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet, based on the presumed eating habits of humans during the Paleolithic era, emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods such as meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. While pork rinds are derived from an animal product (pig skin), their processing method, which involves deep-frying, raises questions about their Paleo compatibility.

Are Pork Rinds Paleo-Friendly?

The answer to whether pork rinds are Paleo-friendly is not entirely straightforward. Some proponents of the Paleo diet argue that pork rinds, made from a single animal ingredient (pork skin) and salt, meet the criteria of being minimally processed and derived from whole food sources.

However, others contend that the deep-frying process, which involves exposing the pork skins to high temperatures and potentially unhealthy oils, renders them incompatible with the Paleo diet’s emphasis on unprocessed, nutrient-rich foods.

Making Paleo-Friendly Pork Rinds

For those seeking a Paleo-compliant alternative to commercial pork rinds, making them at home using a healthier cooking method is an option. Here’s a simple recipe:


  • Pork skins
  • Salt (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
  2. Cut the pork skins into small pieces.
  3. Place the pork skin pieces on a baking sheet. If desired, sprinkle with salt.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pork rinds puff up and become crispy.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool before enjoying.

Other Paleo-Friendly Snack Options

While pork rinds may be a suitable occasional snack for some Paleo dieters, there are numerous other nutrient-rich and Paleo-compliant snacks to choose from, including:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olives
  • Boiled eggs
  • Vegetable chips (made from root vegetables such as parsnips or sweet potatoes)
  • Paleo-friendly protein bars

Whether or not pork rinds align with the Paleo diet is a matter of interpretation. While they are low in carbohydrates and high in protein, their processed nature may not meet the strict criteria of some Paleo advocates. For those seeking a Paleo-compliant alternative, homemade pork rinds cooked using a healthier method or other nutrient-rich snacks are viable options.

Are Pork Rinds Healthy? | High Protein Low Carb Keto Snack | LiveLeanTV


How unhealthy are pork rinds?

Pork rinds also have about 9 grams of fat, and over 3 grams of saturated fat per ounce, as well as 27 milligrams of cholesterol. Pork rinds have virtually no vitamins or minerals. Are they healthy? Not really, but there’s nothing wrong with consuming them occasionally if they are one of your favorite snacks.

Are pork rinds healthier than potato chips?

Nutritional Content 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.

Are pork rinds whole30 compliant?

No replicating baked goods, treats, or junk foods. No “Paleo” pastas, breads, tortillas, pancakes, muffins, cookies, brownies, ice cream, chips, deep-fried anything (including pork rinds), chocolate (with the exception of 100% cacao), cereals, etc.

Can you eat pork on paleo diet?

Paleo options include turkey, chicken, pork, lamb, beef, shellfish, salmon, and trout. Eggs: Paleo diet eggs should be either pastured, omega-3 enriched, or free-range. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are just a few paleo-friendly options.

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