Pork scratchings revamped as health food

Pork scratchings have had a makeover and been reinvented as a health food. The traditional pub favourite has been revamped by an online food retailer which specialises in food for athletes and fitness fans and has devised a lower-fat, lower-salt version. 

MuscleFood.com has created what it claims to be the world’s first high protein pork scratching, which is said to taste like the regular snack, but without the high fat and salt content.

The makers say the lower-fat, low-carb pork scratchings offer a guilt-free treat for calorie counters, sports people and bodybuilders.

The pork scratchings, made from chunks of pork rind, contain 70% protein in each bag, or 24g of protein in a 35g bag.

They have 47% less fat than the traditional treat, with a bag of original high protein scratchings tipping the scales at 182 calories.

Nearly half of the pork rind - 43% - is made up of unsaturated fat, most of which is oleic acid, the same healthy fat as in olive oil.

“Pork scratchings are the last thing you’d expect to see healthy gym fanatics eat, but our customers cannot get enough of them,” said MuscleFood’s Darren Beale.

“Developing and stocking the best high-protein, low-fat products is important to us and it’s what our customers have come to expect. However, healthy doesn’t have to be boring, which is why products like these are great for spicing up the range and offering health-conscious consumers something different.”

But according to St George’s Hospital’s chief dietitian Cath Collins, pork scratchings – even the regular high-fat versions – are healthier than we are led to believe. “Two-thirds of all its fat is actually mono and polyunsaturated fats, beneficial for heart health, with 13% of its fat coming from stearic acid, a type of saturated fat that doesn’t raise cholesterol levels,” she said.

“Because what you’re eating is effectively concentrated collagen from skin, it has an amazingly high protein content to keep you feeling full, and benefits muscle and bone health.”

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