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Can You Eat Pork Rinds on the Carnivore Diet?

The Carnivore Diet is an extreme elimination diet, which leaves a lot of people confused as to what their options are, especially when it comes to snacking. One question I see a lot is whether or not you can eat pork rinds on the Carnivore Diet. You can, just with caution.

Are Pork Rinds Meat?

If you are following a strict Carnivore Diet, you will have eliminated everything except meat and other animal products such as fat and potentially dairy. The problem with pork rinds, and indeed many other alternative meat products, is they aren’t always meat.

Many pork rinds are just food fillers with meat flavoring. Others may contain meat in the form of pork skin but will have additional fillers and flavoring that you shouldn’t eat on the Carnivore Diet. 

This is one of the aspects of the diet that makes eating non-fresh foods tricky. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what is in processed food products. But, if you are following the diet strictly, you have to know what it is you are putting in your body.

“Processed foods are essentially made by adding...ingredients such as sugar, salt, fat, and artificial colors or preservatives.” [1]

Katherine D. McManus

MS, RD, LDN, Harvard Health Publishing Contributor

As I noted above, you can eat pork rinds on the Carnivore Diet. But, I would recommend you avoid most of what you find at the store. So much of what you see in supermarkets are full of junk and flavoring made to taste like real meat. 

Since food labeling isn’t always straight forward, it can be hard to know what you are getting. I’ve found this out the hard way. Even at supposed health food stores like Whole Foods, many of the pork rind options are not Carnivore Diet-friendly.

Pork Rinds Suitable for the Carnivore Diet

I’ll be the first to admit that I love a tasty snack. That was one of the hardest parts about switching over to the Carnivore Diet. So, when I started the diet, finding Carnivore Diet friendly alternatives to my favorite snacks was a priority. 

There are many snacks you can’t replace. No matter how hard you try, you can’t turn jalapeno poppers carnivore friendly. When it comes to pork rinds, though, the best option I found was Utz Original Flavored Pork Rinds. 

pork rind

Pay attention to the fact that I specifically mention the original flavor options. Utz Pork Rinds come in many different varieties, including BBQ flavored and Hot and Spicy.

These options have additional flavoring that may not be Carnivore Diet-friendly. Make sure you stick to the original flavored options. 

The other issue with flavored products is that they can mess with your mind. These products taste fantastic. That’s why many processed foods are so addictive [2]. If you’re just getting started with the Carnivore Diet, eating unnatural flavoring may set you on a binge of non-carnivore friendly foods. 

Play it safe and stick to the original flavor pork rinds if you want a snack.

various pork rinds

Conclusion

Yes, the Carnivore Diet is an elimination diet and more restrictive than what you may be used to. That doesn’t mean you’re confined to a life of dry chicken breast, though. There are plenty of choices, not just for primary meals but also for snacking. 

Pork rinds tend to be one of the better snacks on the Carnivore Diet as they can come without all the artificial flavors. So, if your daily diet is starting to seem bland, I encourage you to give the above Utz Pork Rinds a try. Remember to stick to the original flavor and you’re good to go.

References:

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/what-are-ultra-processed-foods-and-are-they-bad-for-our-health-2020010918605/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4334652/
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Timothy Woods

Timothy Woods is an advocate of the carnivore diet, athlete, and a pure health-enthusiast. He started this blog in order to educate people about the all-meat diet and to debunk all the myths that surround it.