Is Sugar-Free Jello Keto-Friendly?

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Written by Brenda Peralta, Registered Dietitian and medically reviewed by Jennifer Olejarz

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Satisfying sweet cravings while on a keto diet can be challenging. While some keto desserts can help, they often provide lots of calories, which may work against your weight loss goals. 

People often have no-sugar jello as a light alternative keto dessert since it doesn’t provide calories or carbs. It can be a handy treat, especially on hot summer days. However, is sugar-free jello keto-friendly? 

In this article, we’ll talk about everything related to this sweet treat and a ketogenic diet. 


What is no-sugar jello?

Jello is made from gelatin. Gelatin can be found in animal collagen, for example, from the bones of certain animals like pigs and cows. The bones are treated with heat or acid to extract all of the collagen. Once the collagen is obtained, it is ground to get gelatin. 

You can purchase natural gelatin or flavored gelatin, with sugar or without.

The unsugared version is a mix of gelatin, food coloring, artificial flavors, and artificial sweeteners. 

Since each brand has its unique blend, it is always important to check the nutrition label to see the ingredients. 

There is a way to get vegetarian or vegan jello from plant-based gums or seaweed. 


No-sugar jello nutrition facts 

This sweet treat has been marketed as the best solution for those who don’t want to include sugar in their diet. 

But what is its nutritional composition? How many carbs does it contain? 

The nutritional content can vary based on the ingredients used for each brand. Here, you can find the nutrition facts for one example.

Serving size: 100 g

  • Calories: 5
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Net carbs: 0 g
  • Total carbs: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 1.1 g

As you can see, this product has no calories, no carbs, and no fat. This makes it an excellent option for those looking for something sweet without impacting their carb intake.  

That said, it doesn’t provide you with nutrients. It is not a source of vitamins or minerals. Thus, you need to add other elements to your diet to make it healthy. 



Are you allowed to eat sugar-free jello on keto?

Yes, sugar-free jello is keto-friendly. However, it is important to look at the ingredients and the nutritional value. 

In some cases, these products are made with maltodextrin, a carb that helps provide a little sweetness. In this case, maltodextrin can increase the carb intake. 

Whenever you are going to buy it, ensure that you are reading the nutrition label. Ideally, it should have 0-5 g of net carbs, and it shouldn’t have any maltodextrin in the mix. 

Keep in mind that it is a highly processed food full of additives, artificial flavors and colors, and no nutrients. You can have it once in a while, but it’s not something you should eat every day.


How much sugar-free jello can you have for a keto diet? 

The amount depends on how many carbs there are in the brand you buy. 

For example, if it doesn’t have carbs, you can almost have the amount you want. However, since it is processed food, my advice is not to have more than 1-2 servings, and not to eat it every day. 

On the other hand, if the jello has carbs, look for a brand that has less than 5 g per serving.


What kind of sugar-free jello can you have on keto?

You can have different brands while on a keto diet, for example:

  • Royal Gelatin. They offer several flavors like strawberry, cherry, lemon, and orange. These have 0 g of carbs, making them an ideal snack or sweet treat. 
  • Starburst Gelatin. Even though it has maltodextrin as one of the ingredients, it has 0 g of carbs. 
  • Jell-O. It has 0 g of carbs per serving, making it an ideal option for those on a keto diet. They also have a variety of options for you to choose from. 
  • Snack Pack. They are ready-to-eat gelatin snacks, ideal for those that don’t have a lot of time to make them. They do contain 1 g of net carbs.  

If you don’t want to have a packaged option, you can always make it at home. For this, you need natural gelatin, fruit juice or food flavoring, food coloring (optional), and no-sugar sweeteners. 

If you use fruit juice, keep in mind that it will contain carbs. 




What can you eat with no-sugar jello?

You can add any food along with this jello since it is no-sugar and won’t increase your carb intake. 

For example, you can add some natural fruit like berries to the mix to add some more flavor. However, remember that fruit does increase your carb intake, meaning you need to be careful with the portion size. 

If you don’t want to increase the carb content, you can add other things to make it a complete snack. For example, one of my favorite things to add is protein powder. If you mix lemon no-sugar jello with some vanilla protein powder, it tastes like lemon pie. 

Finally, you can have it after dinner or lunch for a sweet treat. 


Keto-friendly sugar-free jello alternatives

If you are not a big jello fan or looking for something different, other things can help you with your sweet cravings. Here are some other sweet keto-friendly alternatives for you to have. 

  • Keto pudding 
  • Lemon fat bombs 
  • Keto cheesecake 
  • Keto muffins 
  • Chia pudding 
  • Dark chocolate
  • Fresh strawberries with whipped cream

It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes you can actually fight sugar cravings with salty snacks, like:

As long as it’s low in carbs, you can have any snack or dessert you want. Still, remember to keep track of the carbs it contains and the calories to avoid exceeding your limits. 


FAQ about sugar-free jello on a keto diet 

Are you still having questions about this sweet snack and the keto diet? Here are the most frequently asked questions. 

No, regular jello is very high in carbs and sugar, which can get you out of ketosis. 

On average, in 100 g of jello, you can have around 80-85 g of sugar. This is a very high sugar intake, even for someone not following a ketogenic diet. 

Yes, if you mix natural gelatin with fruit juice you can make your version at home. Remember that fruit still has some carbs, which need to be accounted for. 

If you want it to be entirely no-sugar, you can buy food flavoring and add a sugar substitute to provide the sweetness. 

It depends on the brand and if they use maltodextrin, but in most cases, it has 0 g of carbs. If they use maltodextrin, it can increase the carb content of the food. 

No, artificial sweeteners don’t have carbs, so they don't kick you out of ketosis. 

However, artificial sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame are often mixed with maltodextrin to provide more volume. In this case, it can increase your carb intake. 

Yes, it can help you enjoy a sweet treat without the extra calories. 

By switching from regular jello to a no-sugar kind, you can significantly reduce your caloric intake, which helps with weight loss. 

Technically, you could. It doesn’t provide you with any calories or sugars. However, it is a highly processed food full of additives, so it’s not the healthiest option. Plus, it doesn’t provide any nutrients. 
Try to include more natural foods in your diet, like fruit. You can sprinkle some sweetener on it if that will help make it more enticing.