Is Sugar Free pudding good for you?

What is Sugar Free Pudding?

Sugar free pudding is a type of pudding made without added sugar. Traditional pudding recipes call for sugar as one of the main ingredients. Sugar free pudding swaps out regular granulated sugar for low calorie sweeteners like artificial sweeteners, stevia, or monk fruit. This allows you to enjoy the rich, creamy taste of pudding without all the added sugar.

Benefits of Sugar Free Pudding

Sugar free pudding has several benefits over regular full sugar pudding:

Fewer Calories

Sugar free pudding is much lower in calories than regular pudding. For example, a 1/2 cup serving of Jell-O sugar free pudding has 60 calories. The same serving of regular Jell-O pudding has 160 calories. So you can cut the calories by over 60% with sugar free pudding.

Less Sugar

Obviously sugar free pudding has 0g of sugar per serving. Meanwhile, regular pudding can have 15-25g of added sugar per serving. Consuming too much added sugar has been linked to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and other health issues. Going with sugar free pudding is an easy way to avoid excess sugar intake.

Can Be Part of a Diabetic Diet

For people with diabetes, excess sugar intake can spike blood sugar levels. Sugar free pudding gives people with diabetes a sweet, decadent dessert that won’t negatively impact their blood sugar levels. Always check with your doctor about which sugar free puddings are appropriate for your diabetic diet.

Potential Downsides of Sugar Free Pudding

While sugar free pudding has some benefits, there are also a few potential downsides to consider:

Artificial Sweeteners

Most sugar free puddings use artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose or acesulfame potassium to provide the sweetness. While these have been approved as safe by the FDA, some people prefer to avoid artificial sweeteners for health or dietary reasons.

May Cause Digestive Issues

Some sugar alcohols like maltitol and xylitol, which are often found in sugar free pudding, can cause digestive issues like gas, cramping or diarrhea when consumed in large amounts. People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may want to avoid sugar free puddings with these ingredients.

Less Nutritious

Regular pudding often contains milk, eggs and cornstarch, giving it some nutritious value with protein and certain vitamins and minerals. Sugar free pudding has these ingredients too, but sometimes in lower amounts. So sugar free pudding may be less nutritious overall.

Contains Carbs

While sugar free pudding is low carb compared to regular pudding, it still contains some carbohydrates. The carbs come from milk or cornstarch in the recipe. People on very low carb or keto diets may want to consume sugar free pudding in moderation or find keto-specific recipes.

Nutrition Facts Comparison

Here is a nutrition facts label comparison between Jell-O sugar free chocolate pudding and Jell-O regular chocolate pudding:

Nutrition Facts Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding Regular Chocolate Pudding
Serving Size 1/2 cup (114g) 1/2 cup (113g)
Calories 60 160
Total Fat 1.5g 3g
Sodium 270mg 280mg
Total Carbohydrate 14g 28g
Dietary Fiber 0g 0g
Total Sugars 2g 18g
Added Sugars 0g 18g
Protein 3g 2g

As you can see, the sugar free pudding has 100 fewer calories, 16 grams less sugar, and 1 extra gram of protein compared to the regular pudding. It does contain some carbs from the milk and cornstarch though.

Ingredients in Sugar Free Pudding

Sugar free pudding is made with a few main types of ingredients:

Milk or Milk Alternatives

Most sugar free pudding recipes call for milk or milk alternatives like almond milk or coconut milk. This gives sugar free pudding its creamy, rich consistency while also providing protein, calcium and vitamin D (for dairy milk).


Cornstarch is commonly used to help thicken and stabilize sugar free pudding. Other thickeners like tapioca starch, arrowroot or gelatin may also be used. These thickeners allow the pudding to set up properly.

Artificial Sweeteners

To replace the sugar, sugar free puddings use zero calorie artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, stevia or acesulfame potassium (Ace-K). This gives the sweet taste without added calories or blood sugar impact.

Sugar Alcohols

Some sugar free pudding recipes use sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol or maltitol instead of artificial sweeteners. Sugar alcohols provide sweetness with fewer carbs and calories than regular sugar. But they can cause digestive issues in large amounts.


Things like cocoa powder, vanilla extract, fruit purees and extracts add flavor to sugar free puddings. This allows you to enjoy chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, pistachio and all kinds of other tasty sugar free pudding flavors.

Stabilizers and Emulsifiers

Ingredients like pectin, mono- and diglycerides help ensure the texture and consistency of sugar free pudding is just right. They keep the ingredients bound together smoothly and prevent the pudding from separating.

How to Make Sugar Free Pudding

Making your own sugar free pudding at home is easy to do. Here is a simple recipe and instructions:

Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding Recipe


  • 2 cups milk of choice (dairy, almond, etc)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup erythritol or sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Whisk together the cornstarch and milk in a medium saucepan.
  2. Whisk in the cocoa powder and instant coffee (if using).
  3. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.
  4. Boil for 2 minutes, continuing to whisk constantly.
  5. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract, sweetener and salt.
  6. Pour pudding into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
  7. Refrigerate pudding for at least 2-3 hours until set.
  8. Enjoy chilled!

The basic process involves whisking cornstarch into milk to thicken it, then cooking the mixture until it thickens further. Then you add flavorings like cocoa powder or vanilla and sweeteners. Chilling allows the pudding to fully set up.

You can swap different milk and sweetener options to suit your dietary needs. And add in different mix-in ingredients like peanut butter or crushed cookies if desired. Homemade lets you control exactly what goes into your sugar free pudding!

Buying Sugar Free Pudding

You can also conveniently buy pre-made sugar free pudding at most grocery stores. Some popular brands include:

  • Jell-O Sugar Free Pudding
  • Snack Pack Sugar Free Pudding
  • Kozy Shack No Sugar Added Pudding
  • Hunt’s Sugar Free Pudding
  • Keto Pantry Keto Pudding
  • Atkins Sugar Free, Low Carb Pudding

Look for options that don’t contain too many hard to digest sugar alcohols. And watch out for sneaky sources of carbohydrates like maltodextrin. Stick to sensible portion sizes as well since even sugar free pudding can be high calorie if you overeat it.

Label Reading Tips

When purchasing pre-made sugar free pudding, read the nutrition label closely to:

  • Check the total calorie count per serving
  • Confirm 0g added sugars
  • Identify what sweeteners are used
  • Note the carbs and fiber
  • Look for unwanted fillers or thickeners

This helps ensure you get all the sweetness of pudding without the excess sugar and carbs.

How to Serve Sugar Free Pudding

Sugar free pudding is delicious on its own, but can also be used in endless ways:


– Whipped cream
– Chopped nuts
– Coconut flakes
– Crushed cookies or graham crackers
– Fresh berries
– Chopped fruit
– Granola
– Toasted coconut chips
– Cocoa nibs
– Crumbled bacon
– Sprinkles

Layers and Add-Ins

– Layer sugar free chocolate and vanilla pudding together
– Mix in peanut butter or other nut butters
– Swirl in fruit puree
– Combine with crushed cake cubes or cookies
– Fold in minced fruit
– Blend in extracts like peppermint
– Mix in cocoa powder or cinnamon

Pudding Recipes

– Pudding parfaits
– Chia pudding
– Overnight oats made with pudding
– Pudding pops
– Pudding cakes
– Pudding pies
– Pudding cookies
– Pudding dip for fruits
– Fried pudding balls

Let your creativity run wild when using sugar free pudding in recipes and dessert creations!


Is sugar free pudding Keto friendly?

Some sugar free puddings may fit into a keto diet, but you need to read labels carefully. Look for a keto-specific brand made without cornstarch or sugar alcohols. Or make your own keto pudding with heavy cream or avocado.

Is sugar free pudding gluten free?

Most pre-made sugar free puddings are labeled gluten free. However, some contain thickening ingredients like wheat starch that do contain gluten. Check labels closely if gluten is a concern. Homemade pudding without gluten-containing ingredients can easily be gluten free.

Is sugar free pudding vegan?

Some brands make vegan sugar free pudding using almond milk or coconut milk instead of dairy milk. You can also make easy vegan sugar free pudding at home with plant-based milk and other vegan ingredients.

Does sugar free pudding have carbs?

Yes, sugar free pudding still contains some carbohydrates, mainly from the dairy milk or milk substitutes used. There may also be some carbs from starch thickeners. But sugar free pudding has far fewer carbs than regular full sugar pudding.

Is sugar free pudding safe for pregnancy?

Most sugar free puddings are safe in moderation during pregnancy if you tolerate artificial sweeteners well. But some sugar alcohols may cause digestive issues, so check with your doctor about puddings containing these. Overall, sugar free pudding is a better choice than those with added sugar.

The Bottom Line

Sugar free pudding can be a nutritious dessert option for people looking to reduce added sugars in their diet. It provides the creamy, sweet satisfaction of pudding with far less sugar and fewer calories than regular pudding. Sugar free pudding makes an excellent dessert choice for people with diabetes trying to control blood sugar. And it can be incorporated into various low carb or keto diets for those limiting carbs. Just watch your portion sizes of sugar free pudding and be aware of any digestive impacts from sugar alcohols. When consumed sensibly and in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet, sugar free pudding can be a delicious guilt-free treat.

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