Sugar free Jello is a popular low calorie dessert option. With its sweet taste and variety of flavors, Jello is a go-to treat for those looking for something sweet that won’t ruin their diet. But exactly how many calories are in a cup of sugar free Jello? Let’s take a detailed look.
Calories in Regular vs Sugar Free Jello
Regular Jello contains around 100 calories per 1/2 cup serving. This is because regular Jello is made with sugar, which contains calories. Sugar free Jello, on the other hand, is made with artificial sweeteners that provide the sweet taste without any calories. This means that sugar free Jello contains significantly fewer calories than regular Jello.
Specifically, a 1/2 cup serving of sugar free Jello contains between 5-10 calories, depending on the flavor. So a full cup of sugar free Jello contains approximately:
- 10-20 calories for a 1 cup serving size
As you can see, the calorie difference between regular and sugar free Jello is quite significant. By choosing sugar free, you can enjoy the same delicious Jello flavor for a fraction of the calories!
Calories by Sugar Free Jello Flavor
While all sugar free Jello is low calorie, the exact number of calories does vary slightly between flavors. Here is a breakdown of the calories in some popular sugar free Jello flavors:
|Sugar Free Jello Flavor||Calories per 1 Cup|
As you can see, most sugar free flavors contain between 10-15 calories per cup. Strawberry and lime tend to be on the lower end, while orange and cherry are higher. But overall, the differences are small.
Sugar Free Jello Nutrition Facts
Now that we know how many calories are in sugar free Jello, let’s look at some of the other key nutrition facts:
- Total Fat: 0g
- Sodium: 15-35mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 0-2g
- Protein: 0-1g
As these nutrition facts show, sugar free Jello is low in fat, sodium, carbs and protein. The calories come from the small amounts of starch and gelatin used to give Jello its consistency. But overall, sugar free Jello provides minimal nutrients.
However, keep in mind that sugar free Jello is intended as a low calorie dessert. So while it does not provide much in the way of nutrition, it can satisfy a sweet craving without excessive calories.
Sugar Alcohols in Sugar Free Jello
So if sugar free Jello doesn’t contain real sugar, what makes it taste sweet? The answer is sugar alcohols.
Sugar alcohols are low calorie sweeteners that provide the sweet taste without significantly impacting blood sugar levels. Common sugar alcohols used in sugar free foods include:
Most sugar free Jello products use these sugar alcohols to provide a sweet flavor without calories or carbohydrates. Some people can have gastrointestinal side effects from sugar alcohols, so they are something to be aware of. But in moderation, sugar alcohols are considered safe for most people.
Benefits of Choosing Sugar Free Jello
Given the significant difference in calories between regular and sugar free Jello, what are some of the benefits of opting for the sugar free version?
Lower Calorie Dessert Option
For those counting calories or following reduced calorie diet plans, sugar free Jello at just 10-15 calories per cup is an excellent low calorie dessert choice. It provides satiety for minimal calories.
Blood Sugar Control
The sugar alcohols in sugar free Jello have a very minimal effect on blood sugar levels. This makes it a good choice for those with diabetes who want a sweet treat.
Weight Loss Diet Friendly
On a weight loss diet, being able to satisfy a sweet tooth with a low calorie dessert can help with compliance and cravings. Sugar free Jello is diet-friendly at just 10-15 calories per cup.
Jello is often thought of as a kids’ food. Sugar free Jello allows kids to enjoy this sweet treat without excess sugar and calories.
Variety of Flavors
Sugar free Jello comes in a wide range of delicious flavors, from fruity options like peach and strawberry to flavors like pistachio and cheesecake. This makes it easy to find a flavor you enjoy.
Potential Downsides of Sugar Free Jello
However, there are some potential downsides to keep in mind with sugar free Jello:
Like many pre-packaged desserts and sweets, sugar free Jello is highly processed. It contains artificial sweeteners, flavorings and colors.
While the calories are low, sugar free Jello provides little in the way of beneficial nutrition like vitamins, minerals or fiber.
Contains Controversial Sweeteners
Some of the sugar alcohols used in sugar free Jello remain controversial. While considered safe by most experts, some health advocates recommend avoiding them.
Can Cause Digestive Issues
The sugar alcohol sweeteners known to cause digestive problems like gas, bloating or diarrhea in some people. Effects vary based on individual tolerance.
Ingredients in Sugar Free Jello
Sugar free Jello consists of the following main ingredients:
Provides the liquid base.
Gives Jello its characteristic jiggly texture. Gelatin is a protein derived from collagen in animal bones and skin.
Natural and Artificial Flavors
Flavors like fruit juice concentrate or artificial flavorings provide the sweet taste.
Low calorie sweeteners like xylitol, maltitol or sorbitol provide a sweet taste without sugar.
Food dyes like Red 40 provide bright, vibrant colors.
Vitamins and Minerals
Small amounts of added vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C and zinc.
So those are the main players that go into making sugar free Jello. The combination of sweeteners, gelatin and water allows it to set into its signature jiggly form.
How to Make Your Own Sugar Free Jello
It’s easy to whip up homemade sugar free Jello using just a few simple ingredients:
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 cup hot water
- Liquid water enhancer or sugar free drink mix for flavor
- Dissolve gelatin packet in 1 cup cold water and let sit for 1 minute.
- Add 1 cup hot water and stir until gelatin dissolves.
- Add liquid water enhancer or sugar free drink mix for flavor.
- Pour into mold and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.
This easy sugar free Jello recipe leaves out the artificial sweeteners and flavors for a cleaner homemade option. Feel free to get creative with your own flavor combinations!
How Many Cups of Sugar Free Jello Can You Eat Per Day?
Because sugar free Jello is so low calorie, people often wonder just how much of it they can enjoy per day while still remaining in a calorie deficit. Here are some guidelines:
– Most experts recommend limiting sugar free Jello to 1 to 2 cups per day at most. This provides a tasty sweet treat while keeping calories under control.
– Around 1 cup of sugar free Jello contains 10-15 calories. Two cups per day would be 20-30 calories.
– Larger amounts could potentially cause gastrointestinal issues due to the sugar alcohols. Moderation is key.
– Focus on getting nutrition from whole foods at your main meals, and enjoy sugar free Jello sparingly as a low calorie dessert.
So feel free to treat yourself to a cup or two of sugar free Jello daily as part of a healthy diet, keeping in mind that moderation and variety are advised when incorporating processed low calorie sweets.
Sugar Free Jello FAQs
Let’s wrap up with answers to some frequently asked questions about sugar free Jello:
Does sugar free Jello have carbs?
Sugar free Jello contains 0-2 grams of carbohydrates per serving, making it very low carb.
Is sugar free Jello Keto friendly?
Yes, sugar free Jello is keto diet approved and can fit into a ketogenic diet since it contains minimal carbs and will not significantly impact ketosis or blood sugar.
Can I make sugar free Jello with water instead of cold water + hot water?
Yes, you can make sugar free Jello with just water. The hot water helps dissolve the gelatin faster, but you can use all cold water if needed. It may just take a bit longer to fully dissolve.
What sweetener is used in sugar free Jello?
Sugar free Jello is sweetened with sugar alcohols like xylitol, maltitol, and sorbitol instead of real sugar.
What are the side effects of sugar free Jello?
Some people experience digestive side effects like gas, bloating or diarrhea from the sugar alcohol sweeteners used in sugar free Jello. Effects vary by individual.
The Bottom Line
Sugar free Jello clocks in at just 10-15 calories per cup, making it a smart low calorie sweet treat. Just be mindful of excess consumption since sugar free Jello offers little nutritional value. Enjoy it in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet.