Jello is a popular temptation for many people on restrictive diets because it is fat-free, has limited calories, and is low carb. But do the benefits of gelatin outweigh the sugar contents, or is Jello good for weight loss?
We won’t bite off more than we can chew, but grab a spoon and dive right in as we explore the pros and cons of incorporating this jiggly food into your diet and whether or not it’s a good idea.
Can Jello Help You Lose Weight?
Using jello for weight loss is like eating ice-cream or cookies. Jello can be eaten on occasion, but it won’t help you lose weight. So if you’re serious about getting fit, or wondering if jello is bad for you, it’s best to forget about jello completely.
However, if you really can’t give up jello it can be eaten once every few weeks. Just remember that jello lacks nutritional value and is no more than a sugary treat. So if you’re craving something sugary and fruity, alternatives like frozen bananas and mangos can satisfy your sweet tooth. By substituting fruit, you’re getting many more nutrients even though it lacks the gelatin that jello contains.
Health Benefits of Gelatin in Jello
The health benefits of jello are few and far between, but the gelatin itself has a vast amount of benefits because it’s one of the main ingredients for vital structures of the body (such as skin, bones, tendons, and more). If you haven’t heard about these benefits, consider that gelatin is made from collagen and both are beneficial to healthy skin, joints and bones.
Some other possible benefits of gelatin include:
- Decreases the growth of cancer (studies were only done on mice and pigs)
- Contributes towards bone and joint health
- Minimize liver damage from alcohol consumption (a study done on rats shows glycine, an amino acid in gelatin serves as a protective barrier)
- Improve gut flora
- Assist with quality of sleep
- Improves hair and skin
- Help regulate blood sugar for those with type 2 diabetes
- Helps with memory & attention
Many of these claims aren’t conclusive in humans, but it can give you an idea of the potential benefits.
This may lead you to think jello is good for weight loss, but research on gelatin suggests gelatin supplementation is ideal and no serving of jello can provide a significant dose of gelatin.
If you would like to attempt to add more gelatin to your diet to possibly reap the potential rewards of increasing your collagen consumption, you may consider looking into the bone broth diet or other forms of supplementation instead.
Nutritional Value of Jello
As mentioned, jello is a fat-free, low carb, and very low-calorie snack, many people think it’s a guilt-free treat. However, jello’s main ingredient is sugar along with gelatin, artificial flavoring, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, and other food coloring elements.
That’s tons of artificial ingredients in addition to one serving coming at 285% of your daily sugar intake. Therefore, the benefits of jello, or more accurately the gelatin in jello are not worth the sugar intake alone.
See the following nutritional information for 100 grams of jello:
- Calories: 300
- Fat: 0g
- Sodium: 337.5mg
- Carbs: 71.2g
- Fiber: 0g
- Sugars: 71.2g
- Protein: 7.5g
This amount of sugar is very unhealthy and can lead to spikes in blood sugar. However, sugar free jello might be better for weight loss, but it’s still not recommended due to the lack of nutrients.
Not to mention, there’s not many micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) or macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) in jello. And the sodium in jello is 22% of the recommended daily values.
When considering if jello is good for weight loss, everything is pointing to no but you can make it slightly healthier if it’s truly a must-have.
Making Healthier Jello
To make a healthier jello, you want to eliminate as much of the sugar, artificial ingredients, and sodium as possible while still keeping it tasty enough. Bonus points if you add extra gelatin too.
Buying jello powder or sheets can help you increase the nutritional content of the jello, but be sure not to add too much if you still want it to jiggle.
Using fruit juice for flavoring and coloring can help cut back on the artificial ingredients. Yes the juice will have sugar in it, but making jello with juice will still have less sugar than store bought jello.
If this still isn’t sweet enough for you, you can always add in artificial sweeteners too.
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If a person is trying to lose weight there are healthier food options than jello and the gelatin contents do not outweigh the sugar, or lack of nutrients. An ideal snack contains a good balance of important macronutrients and micronutrients where jello doesn’t provide much of either.
Limited jello consumption may be acceptable if it’s an occasional treat, but it has no place in a healthy diet.
So if you’re wondering whether or not jello is good for weight loss, the answer is no. Try not to get caught up in trending diets or fads diets and always look at the nutritional values before eating any food on a daily basis.
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