Did you know that Jello has become so popular that it has been hailed as Utah’s official state food in 2001?
But here’s an unexpected surprise: Jello sales have declined for the past few years.
Natural foods and diets like keto have taken over the food industry.
To keep up, Jello jumped onto the bandwagon and released a product line which they claim is sugar-free.
Keto dieters rejoice!
But before you get your hands on this “keto-friendly” Jello, there are some things that you should know first. Read this article to find out!
What is Sugar-Free Jello?
Jello is a gelatin-based dessert that became popular in the US in 1987. Even though it’s sweet, it’s known for having low calories, making it an excellent option for people on a diet.
Then here comes the Sugar-free Jello, which is a Jello variant that doesn’t contain any sugar.
Sugar-Free Jello Ingredients
The main ingredient of Jello is gelatin made from animal collagen, a substance found in the bones, ligaments, tendons, and skin of animals. (*)
This substance is extracted from the said animal parts by boiling, drying, and treating those with a strong base or acid. To extract the collagen, the resulting mixture is filtered. To make gelatin, the extracted collagen is dried, powdered, and sifted.
Aside from gelatin, here are the other ingredients that makeup Jello:
This is the ingredient that gives drinks a bubbly fizz. For Jellos, this is used to add tartness. It’s also the ingredient responsible for the jiggly texture and consistency of Jello.
This is mean to act as an acidulant which gives Jello its tart flavor.
It functions as a preservative for gelatin.
To make it more appealing, food colorants (natural or artificial) are added to gelatin.
You’ll be surprised to know that it still contains some sweetness despite not having sugar. Well, that’s because this product contains artificial sweeteners. It uses three sweeteners, and these are as follows:
The primary sweetener in a sugar-free Jello is Aspartame, a sweetener that’s also considered keto-friendly. It contains only 1g net carbs per 1 gram of serving. (*)
Besides containing only a small amount of carbs, it’s also won’t raise your blood sugars, so it does not affect ketosis.
This is an ingredient extracted from corn and commonly found in artificial sweeteners.
This one is considered one of the best artificial sweeteners for keto as it contains 0 relative net carbs. (*)
Types of Sugar-Free Jello
What most people don’t know is there are two types of sugar-free Jello. If you want to stick to your keto diet, you must understand and learn to familiarize yourself with the differences between these two types. This is because the products use different types of sweeteners which may or may not affect ketosis.
Here’s what you need to know:
Sugar-Free Jello Mix
The Jello mix used a sweetener called Maltodextrin. It’s primarily found in starchy plants and is not recommended for the keto diet. (*) This is because it has a high glycemic index that falls between 85 to 105.
This means that it can raise blood sugar levels so that it can interfere with your ketosis.
Sugar-Free Jello Packs
The second type of Jello is the Jello packs. This one uses aspartame which is an artificial sweetener that people on the keto diet can use.
Benefits of Sugar-Free Jello
Hunger is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face when on keto. Since you’ll be eating fewer carbs, you will feel hungry during the first few weeks of your keto diet. One of the best benefits of consuming sugar-free Jello is it’s a low-calorie and low carb way to fill you up whenever you’re feeling hungry.
But, you need to make sure that what you’re buying is sugar-free Jello as the regular ones will spike your blood sugar and kick you out of ketosis.
And since Jello is made mostly from gelatin, it also contains collagen protein. This type of protein carries out a wide range of functions related to bones and skin. The consumption of collagen is associated with the following benefits:
- Joint pain relief
- Better kin health
- Bone loss prevention
- Healthier skin and nails
Sugar-Free Jello Flavors and their Nutrition Facts
Aside from being low in carb, another great thing about Jello is it comes in a wide range of flavors, so you can surely find a flavor that will suit your taste. Below are some of the Jello flavors that you can enjoy:
- Strawberry Kiwi
- Black Cherry
- Lemon Lime
Despite having different flavors, their products have the same nutrition facts. Regardless of which flavor you choose, you’ll get the following macronutrients per serving (89g)of Jello:
- Calories: 10
- Fat 0g
- Protein: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 0g
Is Sugar-Free Jello Keto Friendly?
Now that we’ve already gathered all the information we need to know about this sugar-free gelatin. And it’s about time to answer this question—is it suitable for a low-carb diet?
The answer to this is simple—it depends on the type of sugar-free Jello you plan on consuming. If you’re talking about Jello packs, yes, it’s keto-friendly as its sweeteners are low in carb and have a low glycemic index.
On the other hand, you should avoid Jello mix at all costs if you’re on keto. Its sweetener (Maltodextrin) contains high amounts of carb (13 grams) and has a high glycemic index.
Potential Health Issue with Sugar-Free Jello
Despite being low carb, a lot of people still shy away from consuming this Jello because of its aspartame content.
As per the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), aspartame is safe for human consumption.
Despite that, this artificial sweetener has been demonized for years as it’s being associated with some side effects like headache, dizziness, and seizures. It’s also connected to the increased risk of cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s, and many more. (*)
But as of now, there’s still insufficient evidence to refute or confirm the said claims.
Also, aspartame consumption is not recommended for people with the following medical conditions:
- It contains phenylalanine (50%)
- Tardive Dyskinesia
How to Make Aspartame-free Jello
If you have any of the medical conditions mentioned, or you want to stay on the safe side, you’ll be happy to know that you can make aspartame-free gelatin.
The good news is this homemade gelatin is not just easy to do—it’s also low carb. It contains only less than 2 grams of carbs per serving.
- 4 packets gelatin (unflavored)
- A cup of boiling water
- A cup of cold water
- 0.5 cups of low carb and keto-friendly sweetener
- 1 teaspoon of sugar-free flavoring
Step 1. Add cold water to gelatin and stir gently.
Step 2. Add the hot water, flavoring, and sweetener. Whisk until everything is fully dissolved.
Step 3. Refrigerate and wait for it to set.
Using it for Keto Dessert Recipes
Now that you have your gelatin let’s start making some keto desserts! Here are some of the recipes that you can try:
Just place the gelatin in the mold of your choice and top it off with whipped cream.
All that you need to do is mix the ice water with Jello until the cubes have melted. Use an electric mixer to whip the heavy whipping cream and sugar-free sweetener until you see stiff peaks forming. Then whip the gelatin in the resulting mixture until fully combined.
Pour everything into cups and refrigerate for two hours.
Final Words: Is Sugar-Free Jello Keto Friendly
Yes, you can eat sugar-free Jello on keto! It’s not just low carb—it’s even zero-carb! But please bear in mind that not all types of sugar-free gelatin are suitable for the keto diet—only the Jello packs. Additionally, regular Jellos are to be avoided at all costs.