Pork skin is a crunchy and flavorful snack made from fried pork skin. They have long been a popular snack in the Southern United States and are a staple food in many cultures around the world, including Mexico, where they are known as chicharrones.
Fans of keto and low -carb diets enjoy pork skin as a low -carb substitute for potato chips or pretzels. Aside from popularity, you might be wondering if eating fried pork skin is good for you. This article looks at how pig skin is made and whether it is healthy.
How is Pig Skin Made?
Pork skin is considered a by -product of edible pork processing. The leather is frozen and sold to a company that manufactures leather on a large scale. To make the skin, the pig skin is boiled first to soften and make fat under the skin. When it has cooled, the excess fat is scraped off, so only the outer layer of skin remains.
Next, the skin is cut into strips or small pieces and dehydrated at very low temperatures until golden, dry and brittle. This can take several hours or overnight, depending on the dehydration equipment used.
Finally, the dried pork skin is fried at a high temperature, around 204 ° C, until fluffy and crispy. The puffed crust is usually seasoned with salt and pepper or any combination of flavors. Popular pork skin flavors include barbecue, salt and vinegar or cinnamon sugar.
Pig skin nutrition
Crispy skin is rich in protein and fat. They are free of carbohydrates, which makes them attractive to those on a low -carbohydrate diet. However, they are very low in beneficial vitamins or minerals.
A medium -sized single serving sachet that holds 2 ounces (57 grams) provides:
- Calories: 310
- Protein: 35 grams
- Fat: 18 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sodium: 1,040 mg
As a processed snack, pork skin is known to contain high sodium. A medium -sized single -dose packet provides nearly half the recommended daily sodium limit. U.S. public health agencies and nutritional guidelines recommend limiting sodium to 2,300 mg per day.
Some brands of pigskin also contain artificial colorings, flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) and preservatives.
Potential health problems
Eating too many processed snacks can cause or contribute to health problems, especially if they are high in calories, sodium, or both, such as pork skin. Both tasty and sweet snacks are considered ultra-processed foods, which means they are industrially produced, ready to eat, and often high in salt, sugar and fat.
A study of nearly 16,000 adults found that those who ate more calories from highly processed foods had a higher body mass index (BMI) and more belly fat. Excess fat stored in the abdominal area, or visceral fat, is associated with insulin resistance. For those who suffer from this condition, the body does not respond adequately to the hormone insulin, which can increase insulin and blood sugar levels and eventually lead to diabetes and heart disease.
A diet rich in sodium can also increase blood pressure, which can contribute to heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. A blood pressure prevention study that followed more than 3,000 adults for 20 years found that those who chose sodium -rich foods had the highest risk of death of all causes.
About half of the fat in pig skin is saturated fat, which is thought to contribute to heart disease, as it can raise cholesterol levels. However, not all saturated fats have the same effect on your body.
The two main types of saturated fats in the skin are stearic acid and palmitic acid. Studies on stearic acid have found that it has a neutral effect on cholesterol levels. However, palmitic acid can raise cholesterol depending on the general diet.
If you want to include pork skin in your diet, it is best to eat in moderation. Instead of eating it out of a bag, try using it as a crunchy sauce like bacon on grilled vegetables or salads. That way, you can enjoy their taste but minimize calorie and sodium intake.
When shopping for pigskin, it is a good idea to compare brands. Look for one that is low in sodium and free of artificial flavors and colors. However, keep in mind that if you eat enough, they will still contribute a lot of calories to your diet.
Most pig skins are made from pig skins raised on conventional large -scale pig farms. However, some of the smaller organic pig farms produce pig skin. If you are worried about conventional pig farming practices, look for brands made with organic pigs raised in pasture.
Pork skin is a salty, carbohydrate -free, protein -rich snack made from fried pork skin. They have a sufficient amount of calories and are quite high in unhealthy saturated fats. Also, one serving of pork skin provides almost half the amount of sodium you need to eat in a day.
If you want to eat pork skin, look for brands that are low in sodium and free of artificial ingredients. Also, like all processed foods, enjoy it in moderation as an occasional snack.