Pork crackling is pork belly, which is basically uncured bacon, that has been cooked until crisp. Like bacon, pork crackling is high in total fat, saturated fat and calories. While pork crackling may not make the healthiest addition to your diet, knowing the nutrition information can help you make adjustments to your diet to fit in the occasional splurge.
Pork crackling is a concentrated source of calories, meaning it has a high calorie content compared to serving size. A 1/2-cup serving contains 262 calories. If you follow a 2,000-calorie diet, a small serving meets 13 percent of your daily calorie intake.
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More than 75 percent of the calories in pork crackling comes from fat. A 1/2-cup serving contains 22 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat and 39 milligrams of cholesterol. So, in addition to being high in total fat, pork crackling is also high in saturated fat. One small serving meets 40 percent of your daily value for saturated fat. The percent daily value recommendation is based on a 2,000-calorie diet for healthy adults, and is meant as a guide to help you make healthy food choices. A diet high in saturated fat increases blood cholesterol levels. To keep your heart healthy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that you limit your intake of total fat to 20 to 35 percent of calories, saturated fat to less than 10 percent of calories and dietary cholesterol to less than 300 milligrams a day.
The rest of the calories in pork crackling come from protein. A 1/2-cup serving contains 14 grams of protein, meeting 28 percent of your daily value. In addition, the protein is a high-quality source of protein, providing all of the essential amino acids. While protein is an essential nutrient, most Americans get more than enough protein in their diets, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most healthy men need about 56 grams of protein a day, and healthy women 46 grams a day.
Although not cured like bacon, pork crackling is high in sodium. A 1/2-cup serving contains 726 milligrams, meeting 30 percent of your daily value. Consuming excessive amounts of sodium increases blood pressure. To keep your blood pressure within an acceptable range, and reduce your risk of developing hypertension, limit your daily sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams.
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- U.S. Department of Agriculture; Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010; Foods and Food Components to Reduce
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein