Publication date November 2, 2023

Is Jello healthy? Here is What You Need to Know

You may have been snacking on this jiggly wiggly substance since childhood, but is jello healthy for you?

Jello is a sweet gelatin-based dessert that most of us are familiar with, as it has been since 1897. Usually, it is served at community gatherings and school cafeterias and you may have it in your pantry as well.

Let’s look at the making of this dessert to get to the answer – is jello healthy for you?

What is Jello? 

Jello is a sweet food, usually sold as a pre-made dessert or powdered mix. Primarily, it is made of gelatin, a protein derived from animal collagen.

If you were wondering does jello have collagen, the answer is yes, it has collagen.

Collagen basically is one of the main building blocks of connective tissues, bone, and skin. It includes multiple essential amino acids, including glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline.

Even though “Jell-O” is a brand name owned by Kraft Foods, the item is sold by many manufacturers today.

Jello is a flavoured, gelatin-based dessert that is low in calories and fat. However,  it is also high in sugar and artificial sweeteners, which may not be beneficial to your health. 

How is Jello Made

Gelatin comes from collagen taken from animal bones and skin, then it is combined with sugar, flavouring, and other ingredients to make jello.

Jello comes in a variety of flavours in the market, including strawberry, cherry, orange, and lime. 

Here are a few points on how is Jello made:

  • The first step in making jello is mixing gelatin and water in a bowl. The amount of gelatin required depends on the recipe and is often in the form of powder.
  • After mixing the gelatin and water, the mixture is gradually heated to cause the gelatin to dissolve. The next step is adding sugar to this. 
  • It is then poured into the mold and chilled for several hours after all the components have been added.
  • Now the last step is to cut these big jello pieces into small appealing design before they goes on the market. 

Now that we know what jello contains, it might be safe to say that low nutritional value and sugars do not make jello good for you. 

But wait, we have sugar-free options too, are they safe for us? Let’s find out!

is Jello bad for you?

Sugar-free jello does contain some artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and acesulfame potassium, so diabetics should take it in moderation. 

The American Diabetes Association advises against excessive use of artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, due to the possibility of developing an unhealthy relationship with food as a result of consuming calorie-free products.

Because of this, it is suggested that a diabetic shouldn't just eat sugar-free jelly as a snack.

Excessive consumption of artificial sweeteners  may cause weight gain, brain tumors, bladder cancer, and many other health hazards

However, the main component of jello, gelatin provides some advantages. 

It is a tasteless gelling substance made from collagen that is collected from animal body parts. 

Let’s have a look at what health benefits gelatin offers to get the answer is jello healthy for us?

Health Benefits of Jello 

Despite the fact that Jello is high in sugar and does not contain much nutritional value except very trace amounts of some vitamins and minerals, the gelatin in the jello contains collagen, which can potentially offer a few benefits.

Brown sugar

Source: Rousselot

Here are the main benefits of gelatin:

1. Good for strong bones

When it comes to the health benefits of gelatin, one of the key benefits is its collagen, which has favorable effects on bone strength. 

The collagen and amino acids it contains play an important role in our bone strength. Over time as we age, unfortunately, our bones naturally weaken and become more brittle and fragile.

Hence, it becomes crucial to prevent bones from weakening and ensure they stay strong and healthy by consuming gelatin powder that can help with bone health and bone mineral density.

2. Boosts strong muscles 

A study found that collagen supplementation also increased muscle strength and body composition in elderly men with sarcopenia. Sarcopenia involves muscle mass and strength loss due to age. 

Therefore, collagen helps improve muscle loss and promote muscle strengthening in the elderly. 

So if you are someone who is going through the same thing, it can be beneficial to start eating some jello. 

3. Promotes heart health 

Consuming gelatin and collagen, which is based on connective tissue also plays an important role in keeping arteries flexible and elastic. 

Arteries are the blood vessels through which your heart pumps blood all throughout your body. 

And without flexible arteries, they are more likely to become clogged and potentially cause chronic diseases, such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke. 

4. Beneficial to the skin

Another benefit of gelatin is that the collagen in it has the key function of offering strength and support to the body, primarily through the skin. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, collagen plays a crucial role in forming the dermis (the middle layer of the skin), replacing dead skin cells, and providing structure and elasticity to your skin. 

In short, collagen can provide several benefits to you, including support for skin health, promoting heart health, and joint support.

If you have a question, about how much protein is in jello, the company that primarily makes jello states that for one serving (96g) one snack cup of Jello contains 1.2 g protein. 

The Final Thoughts 

Jello is mostly made from gelatin, which is commonly derived from collagen taken from the bones and skin of animals. 

Unless plant-based gelling against are used in it, it is unsuitable for vegetarian and vegan diets. 

Also, it has a small amount of nutritional value and often contains artificial sweeteners or sugar, which may have negative health effects. 

While it is true that gelatin and collagen have some health benefits, it is unlikely that the amount of gelatin in jello is enough to make a noticeable difference to your health. 

Despite its popularity, it may not be the healthiest food choice for you. If you or your children want to eat jello, it is best to avoid the packaged jello and make your healthier version at home. 

You can use fresh fruit juice and gelatin or if you are vegetarian or vegan then you can also go with several vegan alternatives to gelatin. 

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