The pork rinds they are a very appetizing snack for mucohs for their unmistakable flavor. This snack is produced from the skin of the pig, once it has been fried and seasoned. This food is very popular in many parts of Europe, especially in Spain, but also very common in the United States and Mexico, known there as chicharrones.
For those who want to introduce a high protein and low carbohydrate content into their diet, pork rinds can be used in ketogenic diets. However, they are considered by experts as a unhealthy food.
Therefore, we wanted to analyze where this image of the bark is found and what can cause us an abusive consumption of this food based on the fried skin of the pig.
How are pork or torreznos rinds obtained?
“From the pig to the walk”. This phrase is widely applied in Spain, where it has a very good reputation as a food. The skin, as pork by-product, it is also used to produce pork rinds, very typical in appetizers and as companions to drinks.
For its elaboration, the pig skin is previously cooked to achieve a soft texture and reduce the fat under the skin. Once cooked, the hairs and excess material that we do not want to take advantage of are removed.
From here, it is cut into strips and dehydrated to reduce its size. With the skin already dry, high temperatures are fried so that it acquires a crispy and rolled appearance.
Once we have fried the pork rinds, a good amount of salt and, optionally, pepper is provided, and it will be ready to eat.
Nutritional value of pork rinds
The carbohydrate content is practically zero in pork rinds. In return, we get a food with a lot of protein content and a lot of fats. As it is seasoned abundantly, it sins high in salt.
At the mineral and vitamin level, not many benefits are obtained from this product obtained from the pig.
A portion of some 100 grams of pork rinds, provides the following nutritional value:
- Energy: 545 kcal
- Protein: 61 g
- Grease: 31.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Sodium: 1,820 mg
Worst of all is its high fat content and salt content. Although the sodium provided depends on the manufacturer, in general they all contribute an amount too high for nutritional requirements.
To give an example, the public health agency recommends not to exceed, 2300 mg of salt daily.
On the other hand, we must also count on the fact that there are products based on pork rinds that provide preservatives and flavor enhancers, including the most common monosodium glutamate.
Why are barks considered an unhealthy food?
We are going to make a review of the main problems that we find if we make a habitual consumption of pork rinds.
Can be a processed food
Although there are homemade crusts, in general, the population consumes those that come in bags and that we find in the supermarket, so they are considered as processed foods.
In general, they provide a lots of calories and excess minerals such as sodium. On the other hand, it is not considered a functional food that contains vitamins or antioxidants based on polyphenols.
The consumption of these processed foods with high caloric intake is the cause of the increase in obesity in Western countries, especially in the United States. [Source of information]
The increase in excess calories in our body causes the storage of abdominal fat, which is related to a greater insulin resistance and cause of type II diabetes.
In turn, an increase in body weight above optimal values is linked to an increased likelihood of heart disease. This, along with an excess of salt, causes cerebrovascular events and disease.s of renal type. [See study]
High salt content
Eating a high-sodium diet can also increase blood pressure, which can contribute to heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease (7Trusted Source).
Those who prefer foods rich in salt have a significantly higher risk of death. [See information]
Excess saturated fat
The problem associated with pork rinds is that their fat content is not healthy.
It is true that there is saturated fat and unsaturated fat, but almost the 50% of the total fat content of the crusts are saturated, which is linked to strokes and high cholesterol levels.
Among the different types of saturated fats, we find the palmitic acid and the stearic acid.
Although no studies have been found in stearic acid that relate it to an increase in cholesterol, there is negative information about palmitic acid. [See study]
So, can I take pork rinds from time to time?
A healthy diet involves trying absolutely all foods. However, there are some that we should take daily, such as fruits and vegetables, and others that we can only take in moderation.
Pork rinds belong to the latter model. A lot of moderation is recommended and take it as a price in an appetizer.
If we can not resist, we can try to look for the brand of crusts that provides less salt content, since it is the most negative factor in this product. On the other hand, we will also try to look for that product with the lowest content of flavor enhancers and preservatives.