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Nutrition » Diets » Vegan » Is Jelly Vegan? A Simple Guide To All Your Jelly-Related Questions

Is Jelly Vegan? A Simple Guide To All Your Jelly-Related Questions

Is Jelly Vegan?

A Simple Guide To All Your Jelly-Related Questions

Today, the vegan diet continues to gain popularity among the growing amount of people. Some of them want to protect the environment and keep animals away from harm. Others just want to lose a couple of extra pounds that have been hanging on for way too long or enrich their body with all the health benefits this plant-based diet is bound to bring. As any nutrition plan, veganism comes in a package with a slew of rules and restrictions. And picking “safe bet” foods can be quite a head-scratcher (4). “Is jelly vegan?” – this article will shed the light on this question.

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Sometimes, it is quite hard to understand what foods can be a part of your diet, and what products should be excluded. For example, many vegans avoid cocoa butter, because they think that it contains dairy. The problem is that oftentimes the dieters don’t pay attention to the details and aren’t nitpicky enough about the labels. But cocoa butter is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many misleading foods that vegans come up against, especially when it comes to desserts. This article is dedicated to puzzling out whether jelly is vegan-approved or whether it should stay in the “banned foods” territory. 

Is jelly vegan?

Jelly is a popular and delicious dessert, which doesn’t look like something that should be excluded from the vegan diet. If you have decided to stick to this dietary plan, you should be extremely attentive – some products can be both vegan and non-vegan, depending on their ingredients. Jelly is not an exception. The answer to the question “Is jelly vegan?” isn’t clear. Before buying it at the store, it is better to pore over the label to make sure it won’t derail your vegan lifestyle.

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is strawberry jelly vegan
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Store-bought jelly can contain two ingredients, that cannot be a part of your vegan diet:

  • Gelatin

This is an ingredient, that helps jelly keep its shape. This compound is derived from collagen, taken from such animal products as beef and pork cartilage, skin and bones (2).

  • Sweeteners

Sometimes the manufacturers add honey to their jelly, which belongs to non-vegan foods. Some kinds of sugar are also inappropriate. For instance, vegans usually avoid sugar, that contains bone char. By the way, you should be careful when choosing sugar. You should opt for the products of sugar manufacturers, that are certified vegan and don’t use this compound.

is grape jelly vegan
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So, as you can see, jelly is mostly not a vegan food. However, if you still want to make this dessert a part of your diet, you can prepare it at home. The only thing you should do is to replace gelatin with agar-agar. This compound is derived from seaweed and will give your jelly the same texture as gelatin. You can also look for an agar-agar jelly at the supermarket.

Sometimes people also confuse jelly with some other foods, such as jam, jelly candies and preserves. It happens because of their similar texture. In this case you also should read the labels. For instance, jam is quite similar to jelly, but the fruit isn’t strained. It contains fruit juices, pectin (a type of fiber extracted from fruits) (3), sugar, and gelling agents. 

Jelly candies are mostly non-vegan, as they are packed with gelatin (1). If you are a fan of such sweets, you can find vegan-friendly products or try to cook them at home. Preserves are also similar to jams and jelly, but they usually contain more fruit pieces. Most of them are vegan-friendly, as they contain pectin instead of gelatin.

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Conclusion

To sum everything up, the answer to the question “Is jelly vegan?” is quite controversial. When you embark on a new lifestyle, especially the one that requires you to overhaul your diet and structure it from scratch, it is critical to be attentive and know everything about the foods you put on your plate. Make sure to read the labels before buying foods to figure out whether they contain animal-based ingredients.You can try to prepare your own jelly at home to make sure that it is absolutely safe and won’t break your diet. The fact that you are vegan shouldn’t stop you from eating delicious meals.

Keep in mind, that if you have any questions concerning your diet, it is better to consult a professional nutritionist. This way you’ll avoid unwanted consequences for your health. Take care of your wellbeing and remember that your health is your top priority.

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DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. Brace yourselves – these nine things aren’t actually vegan (2018, bbc.co.uk)
  2. Gelatin (2018, webmd.com)
  3. What is pectin and where can you get it? (2017, webmd.com)
  4. What to know about vegan diets (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
Kristen Fleming

Kristen Fleming

I am a U.S. educated and trained Registered Dietitian (MS, RD, CNSC) with clinical and international development experience. I have experience conducting systematic reviews and evaluating the scientific literature both as a graduate student and later to inform my own evidence-based practice as an RD. I am currently based in Lusaka, Zambia after my Peace Corps service was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic and looking for some meaningful work to do as I figure out next steps. This would be my first freelance project, but I am a diligent worker and quite used to independent and self-motivated work.

Kristen Fleming, MS, RD, CNSC

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