When we think of gelatine as an industrialized, colorful and easy-to-eat option as a dessert or juice, the answer is no , gelatine is not a healthy food.
Before we talk about why this is not the best option for your diet, it is good to clarify that, nutritionally, gelatin is not considered a food, but a food product.
This is because it does not contain in its formulation any ingredient that is considered real food. Thus, its nutritional value is very low, being considered a source of “empty calories”.
What are the dangers of consuming gelatin?
The gelatine we find on the market is basically composed of sugar, gelatine (obtained through the extraction of collagen from animal tissues), artificial sweeteners, acidity regulators and countless artificial colors and flavorings that give that color and sweetness so attractive.
Thus, looking at this list of ingredients, it is already possible to imagine the harms of its excessive consumption. Risks are mainly associated with artificial components. Between them:
Overweight and insulin resistance
The main ingredient in industrialized gelatines is sugar. Excess consumption of this component can lead to weight gain or obesity .
The increase in weight may also be related to insulin resistance, a pathological condition that is associated with the development of diabetes , increased abdominal fat and cardiovascular diseases.
Nor is the zero sugar option (diet) safe. This is because this version has a high content of artificial sweeteners, also known as sweeteners, and the same dyes and flavorings that are harmful.
Excessive artificial sweeteners can stimulate binge eating and the urge to eat sweets. In addition, the consumption of these components is not recommended for children and pregnant women.
Remembering that the diet option should be the choice only for people who have restricted sugar consumption, such as diabetic patients.
Dyes are food additives used by the industry in order to make products more attractive to consumers. Excessive or long-term consumption can trigger allergic reactions, gastric irritation, skin problems and susceptibility to cancer .
Adults and especially children intolerant to dyes may develop allergic symptoms. The dyes that are most related to this are Carmine and Tartrazine, which give red and yellow coloring, respectively, to foods.
On the other hand, some children may have allergies to gelatin unrelated to these components. In such cases, a genetic inheritance of a common gene in people of eastern origin is the cause of the allergy.
In a survey of 11 types of industrialized gelatine carried out by the Pro Teste Consumers Association, they showed that they all had the dusk yellow dye in their formulation. This dye is associated with hyperactivity, attention deficit and other behavioral disorders in susceptible children. In addition, it was banned by the legislation of some European countries, however, its use is still allowed in Brazil.
Is gelatine an important source of collagen?
No . Many people consume industrialized gelatine with the idea that it has benefits for the skin, nails and hair, thanks to the collagen present in its composition. However, this is just a myth, since the amount of collagen present is minimal, and can be considered insignificant in view of the needs of our body.
When is gelatin a healthy option?
But then should I exclude this option from my menu? No. If consumed in small quantities, it does not pose potential health risks.
When purchasing it, be aware of the list of ingredients described on the packaging and give preference to products with less sugars and chemical additives.
For those who like the product, there are healthier ways to consume it. A great option is to prepare at home, using colorless gelatin, natural fruit juice or yogurt. This is because this version does not have artificial colors, sweeteners and sugar.
Adding pieces of fruit also makes it more tasty and nutritionally enriching. Another option is to use agar-agar, extracted from seaweed, more specifically from red algae. It can be found easily in health food stores and is sold as powder or leaves.
In addition to not containing artificial substances, this option has a good amount of proteins , fibers and minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, chlorine and iodine.
Because it is rich in fibers, agar contributes to the increased feeling of satiety, in addition to helping with the functioning of the intestine. As it is extracted from plant sources, it is a good choice for vegetarian and vegan people.
Grape gelatin with natural juice
- 1 colorless and tasteless gelatin envelope;
- 250 ml of drinking water;
- 250 ml of natural grape juice (without added sugar);
- 1 Peeled apple cut into cubes.
Preparation : hydrate the colorless gelatin and then mix it with water and grape juice . Add the apple pieces and refrigerate until hard.
You can prepare your gelatin with the fruit juice of your choice. If you prefer to sweeten, opt for honey or brown sugar.
Agar agar gelatin
- 1 tablespoon of powdered agar;
- 200 mL of cold water;
- 400 mL of concentrated whole grape juice.
Preparation : dissolve the agar in the water and bring to low heat. Boil for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and add the grape juice. Refrigerate until set.
Gelatine is an easy product to find, and often it is part of the diet because it is considered healthy. However, just like other processed foods or food products, attention needs to be paid to the ingredients and recommended intake.
Despite the amounts of sugar, calories and dyes, you can eat gelatin in moderation. In addition, you can exchange the product for healthier and more nutritious versions!
Want to know more tips for a balanced diet? Follow The Healthy minute.