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Is Gelatin Keto?

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  Published on December 28th, 2022
  Reading time: 3 minutes
  Last modified December 12th, 2022
Keto gelatin in bowl

For many of us, gelatin brings back warm childhood memories of Jell-O and gummy bears. Gelatin is used in many ways in cooking and in storebought prepared foods, from cake decorating to ice cream and marshmallows. Some chefs call gelatin a special secret ingredient that helps them achieve just the right texture or aesthetics in a dish. 

But what about your keto kitchen? Can you consume gelatin on a ketogenic diet? What exactly is gelatin, and what are its benefits? Are there keto-friendly jellies and gummies? 

What Is Gelatin?

Gelatin is a colorless and tasteless protein obtained by cooking collagen. Collagen and gelatin are similar, but their chemical structures aren’t exactly the same. Check out our detailed article for more information on the benefits of collagen.

The heat involved in cooking collagen changes its molecular properties. Boiling or cooking the bones, tendons, skin, and ligaments of animals, such as cows or pigs, breaks down the collagen into a protein called gelatin. Bone broth, for example, is brimming with gelatin. Gelatin has gelling properties, only dissolves in hot water, and thickens when cooled. [1] [2] [3]

Gelatin is an ingredient in various drinks, foods, medicines, and cosmetics. Chefs and food manufacturers use gelatin to thicken soups and sauces and bind ingredients together. It’s even implemented in photographic processes and the production of glue.

Gelatin is sometimes processed further to create collagen hydrolysate–a substance containing the same amino acids and health benefits as gelatin. Collagen hydrolysate dissolves in cool water and doesn’t form a jelly. Both collagen hydrolysate and gelatin are available as supplements in granule or powder form. Gelatin and collagen are derived from animal parts, so they aren’t suitable for vegans.

Is Gelatin Keto?

Yes, gelatin is suitable for a ketogenic diet because it doesn’t contain any sugar or other carbs. Dry gelatin powder is essentially almost pure protein. [4] 

Both gelatin and collagen are keto-friendly and provide benefits. Most recipes only require a small amount of gelatin. Read our helpful article if you’re interested in making your own gelatin-rich bone broth at home.

To make sure you stay in ketosis, you will want to be mindful of gelatin products or dessert mixes with added sugar.

Keto creme caramel made with gelatin

Get creative in your keto kitchen and use gelatin to make these delicious recipes: 

What Are the Benefits of Gelatin?

Gelatin only contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals like calcium, folate, and sodium, so the benefits largely come from the high protein and amino acid content.

Gelatin is high in glycine, an amino acid needed for tissue growth and maintenance and for making important proteins, enzymes, and hormones. Research reveals glycine may sharpen brain function, focus, and memory. If you’d like better sleep and blood sugar, research shows this pivotal amino acid works for that too. Your body can make glycine, but most people don’t make enough and could benefit from eating more in their die. [5] [6]

Your body uses glycine found in gelatin to make glutathione–a powerful antioxidant that protects your cells from disease and free radical damage. [7] [8]

Taking gelatin could increase the production of collagen in your body, which is crucial for skin and bone health. Anecdotal and scientific evidence is mounting showing that consuming gelatin could improve osteoarthritis, pain, and bone health. [9]

For example, 97 athletes took a gelatin supplement or a placebo for 24 weeks in one study. Those who took the gelatin had a drastic reduction in joint pain, both during activity and at rest, compared to the athletes given the placebo. [10] [11]

Studies reveal gelatin could improve skin conditions and hair growth. [12] [13] Researchers are also finding that gelatin could be a useful tool for weight loss, likely due to the protein content and the increase it causes in satiety. [14]

Do you eat gelatin on keto? Discuss your favorite gelatin recipes and tips with other keto dieters here at Ketogenic.com.

Steph Green is a content writer specializing in and passionate about healthcare, wellness, and nutrition. Steph has worked with marketing agencies, written medical books for doctors like ‘Untangling the Web of Dysfunction,’ and her poetry book ‘Words that Might Mean Something.’ In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.



Melendez-Hevia, E., Paz-Lugo, P., Cornish-Bowden, A., & Cardenas, M. L. (2009). A weak link in metabolism: The metabolic capacity for glycine biosynthesis does not satisfy the need for collagen synthesis. J BioSci, DOI: 10.1007/s12038-009-0100-9


File, S. E., Fluck, E., & Fernandes, C. (1999). Beneficial effects of glycine (bioglycin) on memory and attention in young and middle-aged adults. J Clin Psychopharmacol, 19(6), 506-12. DOI: 10.1097/00004714-199912000-00004


Burdygina, K. G. (1983). The structure and properties of solid gelatin and the principles of their modification. Polymer, https://doi.org/10.1016/0032-3861(83)90001-0


Self Nutrition Data. Gelatin, Dry Powder, Unsweetened, Nutrition Facts & Calories. Gelatins, dry powder, unsweetened Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)


Inagawa, K., Hiraoka, T., Kohda, T., Yamadera, W., & Takahashi, M. (2006). Subjective effects of glycine ingestion before bedtime on sleep quality. Sleep and Biological Rhythms, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1479-8425.2006.00193.x


Cruz, M., Maldonado-Bernal, C., Mondragon-Gonzales, R., Sanchez-Barrera, R., Wacher, N. H…Kumate, J. (2008). Glycine treatment decreases proinflammatory cytokines and increases interferon-gamma in patients with type 2 diabetes. J Endocrinol Invest, DOI: 10.1007/BF03346417


Liguori, I., Russo, G., Curcio, F., Bulli, G., Aran, L…Abete, P. (2018). Oxidative stress, aging, and diseases. Clin Interv Aging, DOI: 10.2147/CIA.S158513


Eastoe, J. E. (1955). The amino acid composition of mammalian collagen and gelatin. Biochem J, DOI: 10.1042/bj0610589


Clark, K. L., Sebastianelli, W., Flechsenhar, K. R., Aukermann, D. F., Meza, F…Albert, A. (2008). 24-week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Curr Med Res Opin, 24(5), 1485-96. DOI: 10.1185/030079908x291967


Vijven, J. P. J. V., Luijsterberg, P. A. J., Verhagen, A. P., Van Osch, G. J. V. M., Kloppenburg, M., & Bierma-Zeinstra, S. M. A. (2012). Symptomatic and chondroprotective treatment with collagen derivatives in osteoarthritis: A systematic review. Osteoarthritis Cartilage, DOI: 10.1016/j.joca.2012.04.008


Asserin, J., Lati, E., Shioya, T., & Prawitt, J. (2015). The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: Evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.12174


Morganti, P., Fabrizi, G., James, B., & Bruno, C. (1998). Effect of gelatin-cytine and serenoa repens extract on free radicals level and hair growth. J Appl Cosmetol, EFFECT-OF-GELATIN-CYSTINE-ANO-SERENOA-REPENS-EXTRACT-ON-FREE-RAOICALS-LEVEL-AND-HAIR-GROWTH.pdf (iscd.it)


Rubio, I. G., Castro, G., Zanini, A. C., & Medeiros-Neto, G. (2008). Oral ingestion of a hydrolyzed gelatin meal in subjects with normal weight and in obese patients: Postprandial effect on circulating gut peptides, glucose, and insulin. Eat Weight Disord, DOI: 10.1007/BF03327784

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