With so many sugar-free jello flavors and so few calories, you may have asked yourself, is sugar free jello keto friendly? I know I did! In fact, that’s one of the first foods I stocked up on when I began a ketogenic diet to help me lose more than 100 pounds.
I mean, have you checked out that nutrition label? This easy keto dessert only has 10 calories, which includes zero carbs and only one gram of protein. My keto newbie logic was I could eat ALL of the low calorie gelatin desserts I wanted and not have to worry about weight gain. Score!
Now that I’ve been around the keto block a time or two, I can tell the difference between the best keto snacks … and which snacks are a great way to throw you back into a pattern of never ending yo-yoing weight.
Before you learn the truth about sugar-free Jello, I wanted to let you know this blog contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you click through. Those pennies add up to keep this healthy fat blog afloat.
Is Jello Keto Friendly?
So when it comes to curbing your sweet tooth with a sugar-free jello recipe, which is it? Should you skip the sugar-free jello packs on a low carb diet, or in the famous words of Bill Cosby is it OK to say “Hello Jell-o?”
While there’s no shortage of Keto Police that want to let you know what’s considered keto vs. what’s not, when most people debate what’s a good keto option, they never back it up with the facts. The Keto Police are basically there to scream, “That’s not keto!” and then move on to the next unsuspecting keto newbie who just wants to figure out the best way to keep her blood sugar low.
Sobbing from the constant verbal lashings by those nasty Keto Police isn’t the way to do it.
In fact, let’s defund the Keto Police since their only purpose is to say mean things to hurt new keto dieter’s feelings. Or perhaps we can sick ’em after Bill Cosby since America’s favorite dad seems to have done a thing or two to make that dubious smile of his even more creepy, mmm-kay?
Now that I’ve offended at least one person, let’s chat about how I determine which foods are the best option on a keto diet. The best way to determine if a food is keto friendly is to look at the nutrition facts and food ingredients.
Let’s start with the nutritional value since that part only takes a quick glance.
Jello Nutritional Information:
As I quickly touched on at the top of this article, there isn’t a whole lot to the nutrition labels of the various flavors of sugar-free Jello. With just a quick glance, this leads new keto dieters to believe this sugar-free dessert is a good choice on a keto diet.
The Jello label shows all zeros in the categories of fat, carbs, and sugars. The only numbers higher then zero that appear on the nutrition label are 65 mg of sodium and 1g of protein. Since even a clean keto diet requires more electrolytes and moderate protein, that makes sugar-free Jello a good snack, right?
Mmm, not so fast.
First of all, the sodium listed on a sugar-free Jello nutrition label isn’t an excellent choice when it comes to the high quality electrolytes you need. Read here to learn the best way to get more electrolytes in your keto diet.
Also, the collagen protein used isn’t necessarily the high quality protein needed to thrive on a ketogenic diet. And by isn’t necessarily, I mean it’s absolutely not! When you consume gelatin from low quality sources, you could be doing more harm to your gut health than good.
In the event you’re keeping score, that’s two strikes against sugar-free Jello. Let’s see if we can find a third, shall we?
While on the surface the macros seem to fit right into the sugar-free desserts slot on your keto meal plan, let’s take a closer look at how the ingredients stack up as a healthy low-carb diet option.
While the ingredients in various sugar-free Jello flavors may differ slightly, here’s what you get when whipping up a batch of strawberry sugar-free Jello:
- Adipic Acid (for a tart flavor)
- Disodium Phosphate
- Maltodextrin (from corn)
- Fumaric Acid (also for tartness)
- Acesulfame Potassium
- Red 40
If you follow dirty keto, you may glance at this label and think everything is A-OK. After all, even though this gelatin mixture has more than just a few simple ingredients, it has low calories, costs very little money, and heck – with the main ingredient listed as gelatin, you may even consider it a good source of protein. (I actually wouldn’t be surprised if a food marketer put that right on the label 🙄)
While it’s true collagen protein is a great way to improve your health, we already talked about how the low quality gelatin used in highly processed products like Jello isn’t a great option to reduce joint pain or improve gut health. When you eat junk, you feel like junk – simple as that.
While adding a keto sweetener is fine in a homemade Jello recipe, the artificial flavor added to the sugar-free Jello packets you buy at the grocery store are toxic. These sweeteners have been shown to contribute to various health problems.
The main sweeteners used in sugar-free Jello include Aspartame and Acesulfame Potassium.
Acesulfame Potassium, also known as Ace-K, contains the carcinogen methylene chloride. Long term exposure to Ace-K can result in:
- Mental Confusion
- Liver Effects
- Kidney Effects
- Visual Disturbances
The side effects of Aspartame are no slouch either since dozens of studies have linked this sweetener to cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, seizures, stroke, and dementia.
So while these sweeteners may not immediately kick you out of ketosis, none of those other long term side effects point to sugar-free Jello as a healthy option.
Whether you choose Black Cherry, a berry mixture, or even an original flavor like orange, the low carb content can’t really make up for the terrible side effects that come with keeping the really bad artificial sweeteners in your diet.
As if we haven’t already established that a jello mixture from a box isn’t a good idea, here comes artificial dyes. At the end of each ingredient list you find various artificial colors. For example, Red 40 is used in strawberry sugar-free Jello.
Whenever a food product uses artificial colors, as opposed to coloring their products with real food options like fresh strawberries, that’s never a good thing. When used in high quantities, these dyes have so many negative health effects. A few side effects of Red 40 in particular include:
- Upset Stomach
- Inability to Concentrate
While you may have noticed the phrase when used in high quantities, so you think this doesn’t apply to any special occasions you opt for this jiggly dessert, these dyes are common in processed food sources. If you’re eating Jello, you may also be stocking up your cabinets with other foods labeled as low carb or keto friendly.
I’m not saying you’re a bad person for eating processed foods instead of whipping up all of your recipes from scratch. Heck – you’re a busy person, and who’s got time? I just want you to be aware of the risks that come with many processed foods.
The side effects listed above are especially harmful for children, so be sure to do an inventory of your pantry in order to spread the joy of health to your children as well.
Is Sugar Free Jello Keto Friendly? The Wrap Up:
While the answer to this question looked promising, I wouldn’t recommend indulging your sugar free Jello kick with the boxed stuff you purchase from the store. Between the sweeteners, dyes, and the low quality collagen used, it doesn’t matter that this dessert is low in grams of net carbs. This dessert isn’t doing your keto diet any favors.
The good news is, when cravings strike for this low calorie dessert – you can find a keto Jello recipe online. You can even top your own gelatin dessert with whipped cream made only from heavy whipping cream. I feel this addition, plus the fresh ingredients used, totally kicks the original Jello in a box’s butt!
Make Weight Loss on Keto Easy
Learning to avoid the really bad sweeteners on a keto diet is just one piece of the weight loss puzzle. If you want to learn all of the steps I used to get started with my successful journey to lose 100 pounds, check out the Keto Quick Start Course.
This is the same course hundreds of women have used to finally figure out how to lose weight on a keto diet. In less than 60 minutes, you’ll learn the strategies that lead to consistent weight loss on a keto plan.
With bonuses like the Fasting Fast Start Guide, you’ll save more money on keto in the first month than the cost of the entire course! That doesn’t even mention all of the time and frustration learning how to follow keto the right way saves you.
Is Sugar Free Jello Keto Friendly?
Related Articles from Eating Fat is the New Skinny: