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Is Sugar Free Jello Keto-Friendly? (Curb your sweet tooth!)

Satisfying your sweet tooth on a keto or low-carb diet can be so tricky! Luckily, sugar-free jello exists. But Is Sugar Free Jello Keto? Let’s take a deep dive into all things jello and find out if this is the right treat for you.

Red sugar free jello in a clear bowl with two spoons.

❓ What is jello?

Jello is a jiggly dessert made from gelatin, sugar, and flavorings. It’s delicious to eat on its own or as part of a dessert like a trifle or a jello pound cake. There is even jello salad which is jello mixed with fruit, and other ingredients such as carrots, vegetables, cream cheese or cottage cheese, marshmallows, and nuts. It’s quite a concoction. Regular jello is not ideal for a keto or low carb diet because it contains sugar which can easily kick you out of ketosis. Thankfully, these days there are always plenty of options for every diet, including sugar free jello! But is commercial sugar-free jello okay for keto? Read on for more!

🍁 Types of jello

  • Jello packets: Just like the brand Jell-O, for these little packets all you have to do is add water. The flavorings, color, and sweetness are already there. You can choose from regular which has added sugar, or the sugar-free versions which has sweeteners instead of white sugar.
  • Gelatin powder: This is my preferred way to make jelly. Gelatin powder is unflavored and unsweetened. It is an excellent choice for adding your own flavors and colors and mixes well with zero-carb sweeteners.
  • Gelatin leaves: Gelatine sheets and powder are pretty much interchangeable. Some professionals prefer the gelatin leaves as it tends to have a crystal clear set but when you’re making homemade jello from scratch, either will do.
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🌈 What are the Sugar-Free Jello Flavors?

Strawberry, lemon, raspberry, orange, cherry, black cherry, peach, and lime.

🀷‍♀️ What are the ingredients in sugar-free jello?

  • Gelatin: Gelatin is a flavorless food, derived from collagen, usually from a cow or pig. It’s made by boiling the bi-products of the animal such as skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments with water.
  • Adipic Acid: Is an E food number additive (E355) and also aids in gelling and flavor.
  • Disodium Phosphate: Is a salt that is added for thickening.
  • Maltodextrin: This is made from vegetable starch and improves the texture of the jello. It can be slightly sweet, and has a higher glycemic index than sugar which means it’s not keto-friendly.
  • Fumaric Acid: Is another E food number (E297) and acts as a coagulant, helping the jello to set in a semi-solid state.
  • Artificial sweeteners: Aspartame and Acesulfame Potassium add sweetness to the jello.
  • Artificial Flavor: Jello contains less than 2% of this. It doesn’t state what the artificial flavor is made from.
  • Salt: A natural flavor enhancer.
  • Color: Most likely artificial color, but it is not stated.
Red sugar free jello in a clear bowl with two spoons.

🩸 Health Benefits

Sugar-free jello is absolutely loaded with artificial ingredients. According to the nutrition label it is sugarless, and you would think that that would mean this type of jello keeps your blood sugar low, can aid in weight loss as it is very low in calories, and is a great way to add sugar-free desserts to your low-carb keto diet. You may think this is a great keto-friendly snack, however, it includes an ingredient called maltodextrin which kicks you out of ketosis.

❔ How many grams of net carbs per serving?

Here is the nutritional information for the strawberry flavor per 1/4 package serving of sugar-free jello:

Calories:10

Total Fat: 0g

Saturated Fat: 0g

Trans Fat: 0g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Sodium: 50mg

Potassium: 0

Total Carbohydrate: 0g

Dietary Fiber: 0g

Total Sugars: 0g

Added Sugars: 0g

Protein: 1g

There are zero carbs per serving in this sugar-free jello according to the nutrition label.

πŸ€” Is sugar free Jello keto friendly?

As the packaged commercial version is loaded with artificial dyes, flavors, and sweeteners, sf jello is technically not keto. A clean keto diet focuses on non-processed, healthy foods meaning these artificial ingredients are just not allowed. Although sugar-free Jello seems to fit the keto macros on paper as it has zero grams of net carbs per serving, it contains maltodextrin.

Maltodextrin, with its incredibly high glycemic index, triggers significant surges in blood sugar and insulin levels upon intake. This might pose a severe obstacle to weight reduction and can abruptly interrupt your state of ketosis. With a glycemic index range from 105 to 185, maltodextrin is even more impactful than white sugar, which has a glycemic index of 65. In fact, maltodextrin tops the chart of the glycemic index. Therefore, if regular sugar can disrupt ketosis, maltodextrin is guaranteed to do so! It is misleading to label a product as sugar-free when it contains maltodextrin, given its substantial effect on blood sugar.

What is dirty keto? I know, sounds a little naughty but basically, it is where your goal is to just stick to the macros, regardless of how good or bad the ingredients are. Unfortunately, sugar free Jello doesn’t even fit dirty keto because of the maltodextrin. Homemade Sugar-Free Jello is the only sure way to get your jello kick without worrying about getting kicked out of ketosis.

✨ How to make jello for a clean keto diet

Made with simple ingredients, my lemon-flavored Sugar Free Jello Recipe is so easy to whip up and contains no artificial flavoring and no artificial colors. Instead of artificial flavoring, I added lemon juice, squeezed straight from the fruit. The sweet and tart flavor is mouth-watering! Other than fresh fruit juice, the ingredients in this Keto Jello Recipe are cool and hot water, unflavored gelatin powder, keto sweetener (I used a stevia and erythritol blend but you can try different sweeteners like monk fruit, or allulose), and a little natural food coloring to make it lovely and yellow. Topped with heavy whipping cream, coconut whipped cream, or cool whip, this sweet treat is even better than regular jello and the best option for a ketogenic diet. Check out the full ingredient list and step-by-step instructions here to make your own homemade jello!

Yellow jello with whipped cream in a stemless wine glass garnished with blueberries.

βž• What can I add to keto jello to make it even more fun?

  • Cream: Adding a little heavy cream makes jello into more of a pudding. It’s a great idea to toss it in a blender for a couple of minutes to whip it up.
  • Yogurt: Another way to make a jello whip is by adding only 3/4 cup of boiling water, and then adding a cup of full fat greek yogurt. Just like the heave cream, pop it in a blender and whip it for a few minutes.
  • Fruit: Keto-friendly fruits like a few fresh strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries are SO good when they’re mixed into jello.

πŸ₯£ How to make sugar-free jello (store-bought)

You’ll need:

  • Jello: 1 packet of jello mixture. Sugar-free, of course! It can be any flavor as long as there is no sugar added.
  • Water: 2 cups of water. One cup will be boiling hot to dissolve the jello, and the second cup is cold water to help it set quicker.

How to make Sugar Free Jello from a packet

  1. Mix jello with hot water: Begin by adding 1 cup of boiling water to the gelatin mixture and stir it for two minutes until it’s completely dissolved.
  2. Add cold water: Next, stir in the cold water.
  3. Chill: Refrigerate for 4 hours or until it is firm.
Red sugar free jello in a clear bowl with a spoon lifting a bite of jello.

πŸ’™ Other questions about keto ingredients

Red sugar free jello in a clear bowl with two spoons.

πŸ˜‹ More keto recipes to try

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