As a child, one of my favorite desserts was also jello. I loved how sugary, fruity, and…bouncy it was. When I started eating low-carb, I was happy to find out that not only does sugar-free jello exist, but it also isn’t half bad. Thus, it quickly became a staple of my keto diet for those days when I craved something sweet. I’ve been enjoying sugar-free jello for nearly two years now, but I never thought of the possibility that it might be giving my weight-loss an extra boost.
Now for today’s science lesson. Gelatin, which is found in sugar-free jello, is derived from collagen obtained from various animal by-products such as skin, bones, and connective tissues. Yum!
Gelatin is roughly 98-99% protein by dry weight. Though it has less nutritional value than other protein sources, gelatin has high amounts of glycine and proline.
Here’s where things get interesting. When consumed, glycine may promote glucagon to be released from the pancreas. What is glucagon, you ask? It’s basically the opposite of insulin.
“In place of insulin, your body will secrete a powerful hormone called glucagon, which will mobilize fatty acids and begin laying the ground work for some serious fat burning activity. And no hiding places can elude the ‘eagle eyes’ of the almighty glucagon! Cellulite (rhymes with the smell of your feet) doesn’t stand a chance against the triglycerides’ torching power of glucagon. Nor do double chins, love handles, beer bellies, bubble buns, lumpy legs, or thunder thighs.” (source)
In short, glucagon tells your fat cells to release fat, which in turn may aid and benefit in your weight loss.
Now, to be quite honest, sugar-free jello does not contain that much glycine. So if you’re looking to get directly to the source, try something like powdered gelatin or visit your local vitamin shop and purchase powdered glycine. Once you’ve got those handy, find some keto-friendly recipes that call for gelatin and see how it may benefit you.
As always, I encourage you to do your own research and consult a dietitian or doctor if you have specific questions before trying something new.