Well, is it? Is sugar free jello keto friendly?

This is such a loaded question, but I’ll answer it the way I tend to answer most of these keto questions lately: yes and no. For some, yes. For some, no.

It really depends. Most people will say yes, jello is keto friendly.

If you’ve had sugar free jello, take a deep breath. You’re totally fine. You won’t explode.

Is Sugar Free Jello Keto Friendly? Is aspartame okay on keto? How can I make keto friendly jello our of natural gelatin? Find out! Keen for Keto | keto desserts | sugar free dessert | keto gelatin

Whether or not you choose to eat sugar free jello or gelatin on the keto diet is up to you. For many, it really all depends on your goals and purpose for doing the keto diet.

First, let’s look at the ingredients in sugar free jello to get an idea of why it may or may not be right for the keto diet.

Try these Keto Rainbow Sugar Free Jello Cups (from the instant boxed jello)!

Sugar Free Jello Ingredients

  • Gelatin
  • Adipic acid (for tartness)
  • Maltodextrin (from corn)
  • Disodium phosphate (controls acidity)
  • Fumaric acid (for tartness—what’s up with the need for so much tartness??)
  • Aspartame (sweetener)
  • Less than 2% of: artificial flavor, acesulfame potassium (sweetener), salt (in some flavors), coloring

And at the end of each ingredient list is this warning: **Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine

Is anyone else slightly bothered that their seemingly harmless jello has a warning on the box?

Grab a Sugar Free Jello Sampler pack!

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Aspartame on Keto

The warning has to do with the aspartame, which is the main sweetener. And the warning is a lot less ominous than it sounds and won’t apply to most people.

I’ll tell you why.

There are people with a genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU) that need to avoid aspartame because the phenylalanine can cause brain damage, intellectual disabilities, and seizures for them.

This is not the case for most people, but it’s good that companies make it obvious for people with PKU to avoid.

Get your FREE Printable Keto Foods Grocery List here!

But does aspartame cause cancer? This is a huge question a lot of people have. I did a bit of digging and found that according to the American Cancer Association, aspartame has not officially been connected to cancer.

But if you read personal accounts, there are plenty of stories telling about migraines, stomach pain, or inexplicable symptoms from aspartame.

So we really don’t know either way. You’ll have to decide that on your own.

I highly doubt that a box of sugar free jello once every now and then on special occasions will cause a ton of harm, but you’ll have to decide that for yourself, as I’m not a doctor or medical researcher and I don’t sit in your body all day!

Sugar Free Jello Without Aspartame

But, you may ask, do YOU eat sugar free jello that contains aspartame?

No. Not usually.

I think aspartame is disgusting. Just like any sugar free sweetener, aspartame is just not for some people.

Some people hate erythritol because of the cooling sensation experienced. Some people don’t like stevia because of the aftertaste. To me, aspartame has a chemical aftertaste that I just can’t stomach very often.

So I generally make my own gelatin when I’m in the mood. But I know lots of people are okay with aspartame, which is why I still post recipes with sugar free jello. Keep reading and I’ll give you a few options!

Love this? Try our sugar free ketogenic desserts!

Make Aspartame-Free Jello: Two Options

Boxed Natural Gelatin Mix

If you’re looking to make a sugar free gelatin without aspartame that you find in jello products, there are a couple options.

You can just grab a box of this keto friendly natural gelatin dessert.

It’s sweetened with erythritol and stevia and uses natural coloring.

Homemade Gelatin

Or, making your own from gelatin powder for a natural jello is super easy, too.

Use 4 packets of unflavored gelatin to 1 cup  cold water and allow the gelatin to “bloom.” Boil 1 cup of water and dissolve ½ cup monkfruit sweetener (or erythritol if you prefer) in the water.

Add the hot water and sweetener and ½-1 teaspoon of whatever flavoring you like to the gelatin bowl. Whisk until everything is fully dissolved and then chill it in the fridge until set.

Easy peasy! Or get the full recipe for homemade Keto Sugar Free Raspberry Jello Cups using unflavored gelatin.

Want to learn more about keto? Find some great keto info here!

Sugar Free Jello Without Maltodextrin

Another sugar free sweetener in jello is maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is generally accepted by some on the keto diet, but is not considered an ideal way to sweeten keto treats. I don’t use it.

Maltodextrin is highly processed and usually sourced from rice, corn, or wheat, so if you’re staying away from grain or gluten on keto, this one is out.

It also has just as many calories as sugar and can potentially raise blood sugar quickly. Diabetics are often told by their doctors to stay away from maltodextrin for this reason.

Maltodextrin is also used in a lot of sugar free candies, so watch out for it there.

One reason to watch out is because of the digestive power of maltodextrin. It, um, improves colonic transit time, if you know what I mean.

If you want to spend some time full-on belly laughing, try reading the reviews from these Sugar Free Gummi Bears.

Seriously, Netflix can wait. This is serious entertainment!

Try this easy keto strawberries and cream dessert!

Can sugar free jello kick you out of ketosis?

Yes. Anything that affects blood sugar and increases insulin response can kick you out of ketosis.

Since Most sugar free jello varieties have maltodextrin, and maltodextrin has been shown to raise blood sugar in many people, then I would say in general sugar free jello will kick you out of ketosis.

The aspartame in sugar free jello also raises blood sugar for some people. If you’re dead set on eating sugar free gelatin, you’ll have to experiment on your own to see if your body responds the same way.  

So, Is Sugar Free Jello Keto Friendly?

In my version of keto, no. But yours may be different than mine!

What do you think after reading this article?

Here are some keto friendly desserts you’re sure to love:

Sugar Free Dessert Ideas

Looking for some low carb sugar free dessert ideas? Try one of these!

Keen for Keto keto recipes blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon.com. We appreciate your support!

About the Author: Jenn


  1. Linda April 28, 2020 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    Absolutely love the way you explain things. Your very funny , at the same time, being very informative. Made me laugh, while i was getting my information. Thanks!

    • Jenn April 29, 2020 at 11:11 am - Reply

      Oh my goodness, you have no idea how you’ve made my day with your sweet comment! Thank you so much for your thoughtful compliment.

  2. Rosemarie February 4, 2021 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    I have lots of Jello Gelatin, sugar free on hand. I used to be on the Atkins Diet and don’t stick to it much anymore. My A1C is over 8 and my triglycerates are over 300. I am 77 and need to go back to a low carb diet. Keto sounds great, similar to my Atkins.
    Sounds like I may not use the Jello Gelatin sugar free for a while if ever. Thank you for your info.

    • Jenn February 4, 2021 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      You’re so welcome! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

  3. Bill April 19, 2021 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing. I have been on Keto for about a month. The first 5 weeks were great. About 5 pounds lost per week…, but then I statmrted eating sugar free jello 10 days ago (which is the only change I made) and I have gained 2 pounds back over that time. The jello is the only food item I have consumed that is any different… so needless to say, after reading your article, today is my last day if eating SF Jello.

    Thanks! Getting back on track.

    • Jenn April 20, 2021 at 10:11 am - Reply

      I’m so sorry! Unfortunately, sugar free jello can affect everyone differently. Some people can eat it with no problems, but it’s good to know that it can be a factor if you’re stalling or having other issues. Good luck getting back on track! And thanks for stopping by.

  4. Laura July 4, 2021 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Thank you so much! All I saw was 1 carb on the pre made, and 0 on the box powder and tried to figure out why the difference… Well thank goodness I came across your wise writing! I have only had 1 day of sugar free jello..and i am not going to keep eating it.
    Thank you again.

    • Jenn July 5, 2021 at 10:16 am - Reply

      You’re so welcome! :) Thank you for your comment. Sugar free jello definitely affects individual bodies differently, so it’s important to pay attention to how yours reacts. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Beverly July 13, 2021 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    You answered my question. No sugar free jello for me. Thanks

  6. Gail August 12, 2021 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    What is the difference between Dr.Atkins and keto. They both seem similar.

    • Jenn August 16, 2021 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      Great question! You’re right, Atkins and keto are definitely very similar. They’re both low carb diets, which I’m a proponent of in almost any form. The biggest difference is in the macronutrient ratios. There are many variations of these ratios in both diet types, but generally, Atkins is higher in protein, lower in fats, whereas keto is lower in protein, higher in fats (since you’re getting your body to switch over to fat as fuel). Hope that helps! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Rae February 26, 2022 at 9:36 am - Reply

    Thank you for reminding me about those reviews- spent the last hour insanely cackling to myself. And of course, thank you for the information!

    • Jenn March 4, 2022 at 12:24 pm - Reply

      Haha! It’s such great entertainment. :) You’re so welcome!

  8. Pedro November 26, 2023 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    Is it risky not to commit to Keto 100%? Ive seen a change in my digestion that has encouraged me to start but at times I’m consuming very little carbs or faint amounts of sugar intake.

    • Jenn January 28, 2024 at 12:42 pm - Reply

      That’s a great question. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t say what would be best for you individually. However, due to the nature of what you’re trying to do with keto (get into ketosis), if a person doesn’t commit fully, they may not see the full benefits of the keto diet. This doesn’t mean forever, but it does take some people a few days to a week to get into ketosis, so it might not be worth it to a person if they don’t plan on committing for a few weeks to a month. Those sugar withdrawals can be tough the first few weeks! This article on ketosis might help.

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Hi! I’m Jenn and this is your safe place from the naysayers and keto police. My journey to the ketogenic diet has been an enormously healing one, and I hope yours can be, too! Read More Here