What is the sweetener in sugar free jello?

Many people enjoy the flavor and texture of jello but want to avoid the sugar typically found in regular jello mixes. For people watching their sugar intake or managing diabetes, sugar free jello provides a tasty alternative. But what is used to sweeten sugar free jello if not real sugar?

Common Sweeteners in Sugar Free Jello

There are a few different sweeteners commonly used in sugar free jello:

  • Aspartame – An artificial sweetener known as NutraSweet or Equal. It provides sweetness without affecting blood sugar levels.
  • Sucralose – An artificial sweetener known as Splenda. It’s made from sugar but processed to remove calories.
  • Acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) – An artificial sweetener that enhances sweetness when combined with others like aspartame.
  • Stevia – A natural sweetener extracted from the Stevia plant. It has no calories or carbohydrates.

Major brands of sugar free jello, like Jell-O Sugar Free and store brands, typically use a blend of these sweeteners to provide the best sweetness and texture.

Benefits of Sugar Free Jello Sweeteners

Using non-sugar sweeteners offers some advantages over regular jello with sugar:

  • Fewer calories – Sugar free jello only contains about 10 calories per serving compared to 60-80 in regular jello.
  • Lower carbohydrates – Each serving has less than 1g net carbs without added sugar.
  • Doesn’t affect blood sugar – The sweeteners won’t cause spikes and crashes in blood glucose levels.
  • Tooth-friendly – Unlike sugar, artificial sweeteners don’t promote cavities and tooth decay.
  • Diabetic-friendly – People with diabetes can enjoy a sweet treat without affecting blood sugar control.

This makes sugar free jello a good option for weight management, carbohydrate-controlled diets, diabetes, and overall health.

Potential Drawbacks of Sugar Free Jello Sweeteners

While sugar free jello sweeteners have benefits, there are some potential downsides to consider:

  • Some find the taste different or unpleasant compared to real sugar.
  • Artificial sweeteners like aspartame remain controversial, with some links to health risks reported.
  • Some sweeteners like sucralose and stevia may cause digestive issues in sensitive people.
  • Consuming low-calorie sweeteners may increase cravings for sugary foods.
  • Using sweeteners doesn’t break the habit of a “sweet tooth.”

People who are sensitive to artificial sweeteners or want to avoid them may prefer traditional jello with real sugar instead. Moderation is important even when using sugar-free options.

Making Your Own Sugar Free Jello

It’s easy to make homemade sugar free jello using a gelatin mix and your choice of sweetener:

  1. Prepare the jello mix according to package directions, but omit any added sugar.
  2. Replace the sugar with your preferred calorie-free sweetener equivalent to the amount of sugar called for.
  3. Common substitutions include:
    • 1 packet (1 tsp) Stevia for 1 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 Tbsp Splenda for 1 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp liquid sucralose for 1 Tbsp sugar
  4. Mix in the sweetener thoroughly until dissolved.
  5. Pour into containers and refrigerate until set.

Experiment with different sweeteners and combinations to find your perfect sugar free jello recipe.

Ingredients to Avoid in Sugar Free Jello

When making or buying sugar free jello, there are certain ingredients to watch out for:

  • Sugar alcohols like sorbitol or mannitol – These sweeteners can cause digestive upset when eaten in excess.
  • Maltodextrin – Made from starch, this can spike blood sugar and provide “hidden” carbs.
  • Dextrose – Another name for glucose or corn sugar, which adds carbohydrates.
  • Hydrogenated oils – Unhealthy trans fats used in some dry jello mixes.
  • Artificial colors and flavors – Controversial ingredients some prefer to avoid.

Read nutrition labels carefully and look for jello sweetened only with non-nutritive sweeteners if you want to minimize carbohydrates and additives.

Sugar Free Jello Nutrition Facts

Here is the typical nutrition information for a standard 3 oz serving (85g) of sugar free jello:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 10
Protein 0g
Fat 0g
Carbohydrates Less than 1g
Sugar 0g

As you can see, sugar free jello is very low in calories, carbohydrates, and sugar compared to regular jello. The small amount of carbs comes from trace ingredients like flavorings.


Sugar free jello relies on non-nutritive sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, and stevia rather than real sugar. This provides the sweet taste people love without unnecessary calories and carbohydrates. Making your own sugar free jello gives you control over the ingredients. Be sure to read nutrition labels carefully and look for products without additives like sugar alcohols if limiting carbs. Sugar free jello can be enjoyed as an occasional treat by people with diabetes, on weight loss diets, or anyone looking to cut back on sugar.

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