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5 Reasons Why Nearly Everyone (Even Vegetarians) Should Eat Gelatin

by Laura Beth Schoenfeld, RD

Last updated on

gelatin, benefits of gelatin
Incorporating more gelatin into your diet could be as simple as this yummy gelatin dessert. Antonio Mu±oz palomares/Hemera/Thinkstock

There are so many amazing benefits that can come from eating gelatin, including improvements in digestive, skin, and mental health. Plus, gelatin can be used to make a yummy, all-natural dessert that’s actually good for us.

So why aren’t we eating more of it?

Traditional diets are typically much higher in gelatin than our modern diets, because these cultures wisely practiced nose-to-tail eating and consumed parts of the animal that are high in gelatin, such as skin, tendons, and other gelatinous cuts of meat.

We’ve lost the practice of whole-animal eating, and vegetarians typically don’t eat many (or any!) animal products. This means that we’re eating a lot less gelatin than our ancestors, if any at all. The following five reasons will explain why nearly everyone – even vegetarians – should be eating gelatin on a regular basis!

Whether you eat meat or not, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting some gelatin in your diet. Here’s why! #healthyskin #paleodiet #optimalnutrition

1. Gelatin Balances out Your Meat Intake.

Muscle meats and eggs are high in methionine, an amino acid that raises homocysteine levels in the blood and increases our need for homocysteine-neutralizing nutrients like vitamins B6, B12, folate, and choline.

We don’t want high homocysteine in our blood because homocysteine is a significant risk factor for serious diseases like heart disease, stroke, mental illness, and fractures. (This might even explain why researchers sometimes find a correlation between high meat intake and various diseases.)

Those eating lots of animal protein need adequate glycine to balance out the methionine from meat, and you’ll get that from gelatin. For more information, check out Denise Minger’s awesome presentation, where she discusses this very issue.

2. Gelatin Heals Your Gut.

Gelatin can also improve gut integrity and digestive strength by enhancing gastric acid secretion and restoring a healthy mucosal lining in the stomach; low stomach acid and an impaired gut barrier are two common digestive problems in our modern society. Gelatin also absorbs water and helps keep fluid in the digestive tract, promoting good intestinal transit and healthy bowel movements.

Gelatin-rich soups and broths are also one of the key components of the GAPS diet, which has been designed to heal the gut and promote healthy digestion. And healthy intestinal cells prevent leaky gut, which is often at the root of many food intolerances, allergies, inflammatory conditions, and autoimmune diseases.

3. Gelatin Makes Your Skin Healthy and Beautiful.

Gelatin is a known promoter of skin health. Gelatin provides glycine and proline, two amino acids that are used in the production of collagen. Collagen is one of the primary structural elements of skin, so providing the building blocks for this important protein can ensure that your body is able to create enough of it.

A diet rich in gelatin may also protect against the aging effects of sunlight, preventing wrinkles in the future. So if you eat gelatin, you’ll feel less guilty about getting regular, unprotected sun exposure to boost your vitamin D, because your skin will be more resilient to damage! (Yay!)

4. Gelatin Protects Your Joints.

Body builders have been using gelatin for decades to help improve joint health and reduce inflammation. And research shows that athletes who took a hydrolyzed collagen supplement experienced less pain in their joints, which could help improve performance for athletes and competitive fitness buffs. If you exercise a lot, eating gelatin can help keep your joints healthy and pain-free.

Also, if you have inflammatory joint or bone diseases like arthritis or osteoporosis, getting adequate gelatin can potentially help you manage inflammation and pain in your joints, and build stronger bones.

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5. Gelatin Helps You Sleep.

Glycine from gelatin has been found to help with sleep. One study found that 3 grams of glycine given to subjects before bedtime produced measurable improvements in sleep quality. Many of my clients swear by gelatin as an effective sleep aid without bothersome side effects, in contrast to medications and even natural sleep aids like melatonin, which can sometimes cause grogginess.

Glycine is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which can decrease anxiety and promote mental calmness. This is because glycine antagonizes norepinephrine, a stress hormone which causes feelings of anxiety and panic. Gelatin can thus help keep you calm and sleeping through the night.

How to Eat More Gelatin

The traditional way to get gelatin is from skin, gelatinous meats, and bone broths. Those who eat a Paleo or ancestral diet can easily include these foods, but vegetarians and vegans will find these health benefits difficult to get from a largely plant-based diet. Gelatin is only found in animal foods that come from the body of the animal itself.

For vegetarians (and even omnivores!) I recommend getting a high-quality gelatin powder to add to food or to create yummy, healthy gelatinous desserts. Gelatin is somewhat more environmentally-friendly than lean meat because it uses parts of the animal that might not be used otherwise. And it’s much easier to digest than normal muscle meat, making it a good gateway food for vegetarians branching out into a more ancestral diet. (And in case you think vegetarians aren’t ever using any parts of the animal, think again.)

My favorite brand of gelatin is Great Lakes, which comes from grass-fed animals. It’s available in both hydrolyzed and whole form; each type has its own health benefits.

Hydrolyzed means the protein is broken into individual amino acids, making them easier to absorb. Use this type to improve skin and joint health or get better sleep. Hydrolyzed gelatin can be mixed into any type of liquid, including cold liquids, so it can be added to cold smoothies or juices easily. It also is great as a real food protein powder.

Whole protein gelatin is better for improving gut health. It helps carry fluid through the intestines, and can even coat the lining of the digestive tract as a soothing and protective layer. This is the type used to make gummies or jello snacks, and must be mixed into warm liquids.

Fish gelatin is available for those who prefer not to consume land animals.

One population who may need to be careful about consuming gelatin or gelatin powders are those with histamine intolerance; some people report a histamine reaction to these foods and thus gelatin may not be appropriate for those with severe intolerances.
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Note: Chris Kresser has not reviewed this post and is not responsible or liable for any errors in content. This is general nutrition information only and should not be used in the place of medical advice for the prevention or treatment of any diagnosed condition.

Laura Beth Schoenfeld, RD
Laura Beth Schoenfeld, RD

Laura Schoenfeld, MPH, RD, is a licensed registered dietitian and women’s health expert trained in Functional Medical nutrition therapy. She assisted in the creation of educational materials for both the ADAPT practitioner and health coach training programs.

Her passion is empowering women to nourish their bodies, develop true strength, and ultimately use their improved health to pursue their purpose. Laura guides her clients in identifying and implementing diet and lifestyle changes that allow them to live a healthy, fit, symptom-free life without being consumed by thoughts of food and exercise. She draws from a variety of sources to form her philosophy on nutrition, including ancestral diets, principles of biochemistry, current research, and clinical experience. Her areas of expertise include women’s hormones and fertility, gut health, autoimmune disease, athletic performance, stress management, skin health, and weight loss. Recognizing that health goes far beyond just diet and exercise, Laura teaches her clients how to focus on and implement life-changing mental and spiritual health habits as well, including changing their thoughts and beliefs to ones that drive health-supporting decision-making around food, fitness, and life in general.

Her greatest mission is to help health-conscious women realize that, while their health is priceless, they are so much more than a body. When she’s not educating and serving her coaching clients and community, Laura loves traveling with her husband, Sundays with her church family, hikes with her dog, beach trips, live music, and strength training.

Professional website: lauraschoenfeldrd.com

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Join the conversation

  1. Hi Laura,

    I have a client who has two autoimmune diseases and has seen tremendous results on the Paleo diet. We have not introduced any kind of supplementation due to budget constraints and after 3 weeks of elimination diet, we introduced bone broth.
    It did not go well. Made my client sick, loose stools, etc.

    What are your thoughts on having her try the gelatin powder?

  2. Laura thank you for your prompt answer. When you say glutamic acid…I’m assuming that it is not an excitotoxin. Is that a naturally occurring substance? Also I was drinking homemade broth if I switch how much would I drink I would switch to drinking mornings only…lol. Could you differentiate between the glutamic acid and free glutamate for those of us lacking brain cells….Thanks again.

    • Sorry I think I didn’t explain that properly. Gelatin has glutamic acid as part of a protein chain, which is different than free glutamic acid or glutamate that is a free amino acid that acts as an excitotoxin. So if you are MSG sensitive, you’ll want to stick with the whole protein gelatin, as that doesn’t have the same free amino acids as the hydrolyzed version.

      Here’s a good article about MSG: http://www.realfoodwholehealth.com/2011/05/excitotoxins-msg-and-hidden-names/

      Usually people who aren’t super MSG sensitive can handle bone broth with no issue, but if you’re sensitive, it’s possible you could have been overly stimulated by the free glutamates in the broth.

      • So other than losing sleep for a night and probably being sensitive to it…I could drink it in the morning only but will I be harmed in any way other than “it excites me” or should I just drink the gelatin from Great Lakes to be on the safe side??Sorry for all the questions. You’re awesome!!

      • Hello, I am a Pesco-vegetarian and I also eat eggs and cheese. I do not eat beef, pork, chicken or turkey. I have been this way for 25 + years. I recently purchased a bottle of Women’s Gelatin to help my hair, skin and nails to continue to be fabulous. I am now 51 and would like to hold on to my skins elasticity and the shine of my hair. I have always had problems with my nails. However, through detoxing and clearing my body of Candida’s bugs (overgrowth of yeast) my nails have begin to grow quickly, but still need strength. I found out I had Candida’s problems because I started having skin rashes. So in my mind I thought it must be time to add collagen to my diet to correct the nail and skin issues (rashes). Because I haven’t had beef, pork, chicken or turkey in my body for such a long time, if I eat anything containing these items, I get really sick. Stomach cramping, vomiting and lots of diarrhea. I had been doing research when I came across your article. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this article it gave me a total look at what gelatin can do for my problems, however I feel that it could make me sick due to the nature of gelatin. Any suggestions?

  3. Any alternatives to Great Lakes ? It’s crazy expensive in Canada, over 60$ for two cans.

  4. Hi Laura. I enjoyed reading your post. I have Celiac/Hashimotos and I have been drinking 2 cups of lamb/beef broth a day. Is it possible to drink too much? Also one evening I drank it late and I think it kept me up all night. Somewhere I think I read the issue was glutamates. Would this have done it? Do you have to drink the bone broth with muscle meat to reap benefits or can you drink it alone?Thanks for letting me pick your brain 🙂

  5. I was diagnosed with antibiotic induced colitis that caused leaky gut and severe allergies to many foods.
    Gelatin, in the form of bone broth, as well as the Great Lakes brand made a Huge difference in my recovery. A vegetarian based diet caused me to go deeper into illness for an entire year. I almost died after losing 25% of my already lean body mass. The bone broth, in this extreme case, soothed my intestines on contact and delivered nutrition in an easily absorbable form. It also increased absorption of protein, allowing me to keep my meat portions modest.
    I drink one cup per day for maintenance with a dash of turmeric and black pepper. I am SO grateful for discovering this!
    Tradtional diets always incorporated this wisdom.

  6. Laura, thanks for all the great information. I actually have Great Lakes hydrolized gelatin on my to buy list, after learning of the benefits of gelatin / collagen. I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, and eat about 80% primally. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to bones, etc. from grass fed animals (yes, I’ve searched) for bone broth, and organ meats gag me. Would 1 -2 Tbsp a day of this gelatin be a good supplement for those of use who don’t have the luxury of making good quality bone broths?

    • I think 1-2 tablespoons per day is a reasonable amount. I tried finding more specific dosage information, but even WebMD says that dosage depends on factors like age, body size, and purpose of using gelatin. In fact, their exact words are: “At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for gelatin.” But they do say gelatin is generally recognized as safe for the majority of people, barring allergy.

  7. Hi Laura, while this article may be thought provoking – it unsubstantiated by research and other than #1 maybe – a bit to iffy for me. Antidotal evidence does not make me comfortable to recommend to patients (placebos work too). There is not one research paper cited. I don’t know your licensing requirements as an RD but I would worry about mine – recommending supplements with no research to back me up.

    For example you state:
    – Yikes, not sure there’s a real formula…
    – I don’t know of any studies
    – As far as peer reviewed evidence goes, there isn’t a whole lot available.
    – I don’t know of any scientific evidence for a specific dose… sorry!

    And just a note (because I am an instructor) you stated: …:”since the whole protein is digested differently than the individual amino acids.” You really meant that – protein is digested to release the amino acids and amino acids are absorbed by the intestines.

    • First of all, gelatin is a food, not a supplement. And just because I don’t know of any studies on specific dosage recommendations doesn’t mean that the general benefits of gelatin are unsupported by science. And yes, whole proteins are digested differently than amino acids, because whole proteins require enzymatic cleavage, whereas amino acids can be absorbed immediately by the intestinal villi and thus are easier to digest for people who have suboptimal digestive capabilities. That’s why elemental enteral formulas were created, after all, and those are used in hospitals regularly. I don’t see how you think I made a mistake in that statement.

      As for “not citing any research”, I suppose you missed the 5 studies that I cited, but here they are for your convenience:

      I’m seriously wondering if you even read the article? If you did, you certainly didn’t read it very carefully.

      • I do apologize: I see now that you cited studies via hyperlinks within the text – my bad. I did click on the first several that did not lead to research (wellness mama, balanced bites, the daily lipid, Weil, etc.), so didn’t continue to click on the links. I guess I am used to having research noted.

        The digestion of amino acids vs absorption of amino acids are 2 different things – but no worries – sorry I brought it up.

        Ok your got me there – not a supplement but supplementing…Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin.

        I do apologize if I offended you in some way by your response which is not kind to me but I can take it: “I’m seriously wondering if you even read the article? If you did, you certainly didn’t read it very carefully.”

        Maybe you could say – I cited the articles via hyperlinks – I am sure you must have over looked those by mistake — or something like that. Would make me want to comment again but I will keep quiet now. Thank you for your work.

        • If you’re looking for the same benefits of bone broth without the animal bones, you probably won’t get it. Joints don’t operate on gelatin alone. They require supporting minerals — namely glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, glycosaminoglycans, and hyaluronic acid. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are available as supplements, but I’m not aware of any clinical trials that have studies their effectiveness in maintaining joint tissues.

    • @nurse, I’m surprised that Laura even bothered to respond to your rude and condescending post.

      • Ok, you don’t accept my apology to Laura. Therefore, I apologize to you personally: Julie I am sorry please reference my comments to Laura.

        Well obviously, I am new to the blogosphere. I am finding that so much misinformation exists I just want to be sure I base my decision on the facts – thus the need to review the research myself. But I think I will just stick to PubMed, Medline, etc. As in the funny words of Stephen Colbert: “The Word” was Wikiality, defined as the concept that “together we can create a reality that we all agree on—the reality we just agreed on.” http://bit.ly/1gbv5G2 Good bye.

  8. Hi, Laura:

    I’m curious about your feelings on the powdered gelatin vs. “real” gelatin in broth. I’m generally not a fan of powdering things, because they oxidize so much more quickly, but I’m really undereducated on the topic of gelatin. Do you have an particular feelings with regard to oxidation in powdered gelatin? If I had a choice and time were no issue, would you still recommend the Great Lakes, or would you rather people only use broths (etc) to get gelatin?


    • Well unfortunately it’s hard to know if gelatin powder poses any risk of oxidative stress, but as with most things I would recommend the whole food source as often as possible. So eating gelatinous meats or broths is the ideal here. As you mentioned, however, not everyone has the time or resources to eat these foods regularly so I think gelatin is a good 2nd choice.

      Here’s a video of how one company makes their gelatin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bYIow9pc6M

      Sounds like the heat doesn’t get that high, but who knows. This would probably be a good question for Chris Masterjohn!

  9. Is there a difference in effectiveness between powdered gelatin and powdered collagen? Are they different forms of the same substance, and is one generally easier for the body to absorb than another?

  10. Hi Laura,

    Great article!

    You mention that if you eat too much protein you should also eat gelatin to balance it out. Is there a rough amount you should eat for a certain amount of protein?


    • Yikes, not sure there’s a real formula… an easy way to balance it is to choose meats that have gelatin on them already, like shanks for example. Would have to look into it further though.

  11. So I am fairly new to this “digital rapture” of health, but my own recent ailments have got me clamoring for knowledge. My journey went from Dr. Mercola > Mark Sisson > Dave Asprey > Chris Kresser > Chris Masterjohn > Mat Lalonde… and so on. I find myself always coming back to Chris and Mark for their scientific stance and seemingly non-dogmatic views on everything. Been paleo/primal for 2 months, and have had a sluggish start since I thought red meat was a treat and low fat/whole wheat “everything” were the ticket to the promised land i.e. I’m “American”. Just when I think I’m eating as healthy as it gets I stumble upon this Ray Peat character preaching gelatin and sugar like it’s holy water, and muscle meats are the anti-christ. Forgive my religious analogies but I think it’s rather appropriate while speaking about one’s diet e.g. the first comment by the vegetarian. Naturally, I am confused as all hell, get prematurely full, still burp up protein hours after meals, and tried HCL/ enzymes which led to nausea and pain by my right rib cage (gallbladder/small intestines?) By all other accounts i’m fairly healthy, have a 6 pack (which by no means is deserved) and shed hair like crazy. All this venting to say this: Gelatin will be getting a fair shot in my diet as I am big on broths and stews right now to heal this imaginary leaky gut of mine. Good read!

    • Regarding your stomach issue I would recommend having your stomach acid and enzymes levels tested, so you can be sure what is your problem and what dosage of Betaine HCL and/or pancreatic enzymes to take. This is done through the Hiedelburg test. http://www.phcapsule.com/

      I was able to find right dosage through experimentation for my low acid caused gerd, but this is not a safe way.

      • Thanks pm. I definitely tried the same ramp up process recommended. Start with one, wait for burning, move to two… and so on. I found myself using 5 or 6 with no distress after eating, but the next morning woke up with the mid abdominal side pain/ nausea followed by more distress when eating again. Tried this process twice, and the pain/nausea would go away within a day or two of stopping the supplementation. Strange indeed, and without health insurance self diagnosis is probably a fools endeavor, but then again, being foolish is half my charm.

        • I don’t necessarily think everyone feels pain when they’re damaging their stomach lining with excessive HCl. It’s something to be careful about going overboard with.

        • have you read the Perfect Health Diet fm the Jaminets? Instead of browsing around looking for info fm questionable sources (by which I do not this site of course), get that book and read it thoroughly. conscise, well reasoned, scientific, but at the same time written for the layman. one of the best for people looking for solutions to their health issues. among my top favourites.

          • I’ve read the book. While Jaminet has some interesting ideas, the types of studies he cites do not support the certainty of his conclusions. For instance, Jaminet frequently cites observational studies. These exercises in statistics have only two valid uses: (a) disproving an hypothesized association, and (b) generating an hypothesis for future direct experimentation. Observational studies can *never* support causal inferences, as Jaminet frequently does.

            In addition, he makes some facile observations that don’t stand up to scrutiny. For example, he suggests that you pick up a whole salmon to feel how slippery it is and attributes this to the high level of omega-3 fatty acids in its body. This statement ignores two facts:

            — The omega-3 fats in salmon are concentrated behind the eyes, along the belly, and over the gonads. This suggests that only those areas would be extra slippery.

            — Moreover, *all* fish are covered in slime, and the amount is related to the functions of the slime for a particular fish species (http://tinyurl.com/m4kwof5), not the type of fats inside the fish.

            Jaminet’s discussion of the structural and endocrine functions of starch have been valuable in evolving my own thinking on the subject of carbohydrates’ usefulness. But just because someone writes well and cites lot of studies doesn’t automatically mean that the studies fully support his/her thesis.

    • Love this little essay by Cantu about the “digital rapture” of health! Excellent.

      Finding knuckles or other joints to use to make our own broth has proven impossible so far. So I am about to embark on the packaged gelatin experiment for osteoarthritis.

      • If you have an Asian supermarket near you, they might sell animal feet, which are a significant source of gelatin.

  12. I’m a vegetarian and I tried the Great Lakes gelatin (the orange/red bottle) but it gave me digestive discomfort. I make gummies or marshmallows with it for my daughter and she is ok with it. I was bummed that I can’t take it because I was looking forward to the health benefits.

  13. Hello,
    We eat lots of grass fed beef. Half of what we get is ground beef – we purchase a whole cow once a year. I’d like to know what nutrients are in grass fed ground beef as I understand this is from the “leftovers”. I would assume that this has high amounts of gelatin..?
    Secondly, in Chris’s book he suggests that eating processed meat in moderation. I’d like to know if that applies to meat that we cure (dehydrate) ourselves. I would think not since we only add high quality salt, vinegar and some herbs and it is hung-dried.
    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    • Andy – I doubt very much that ground beef has much gelatin in it. Gelatin is mostly derived from skin and bones and connective tissue. Most of that is removed from ground beef.

    • Most of the gelatin will be in areas around tendons, so oxtail and bone-in shanks are two more common parts that would be gelatinous. You might be able to ask your farmer if he/she sells actual tendons at all. Perhaps they’re not selling those parts for whatever reason, but they might be able to get you some if you’re interested!

    • Andy, I don’t think ground beef is “high” in gelatin, but there is *some.* I say this because I’ve done some experiments — the last two times I made meatloaf (the only ingredients being grassfed ground beef, salt, pepper, onions, and herbs), I made them free-form in a glass baking dish. After it was done, I drained the fat/liquid that had come out of the meat and put it in a small glass bowl in the fridge for a few hours. The fat solidified at the stop, giving me a nice little “disc” of tallow that I could remove easily and store it for cooking with some other time, and the liquid layer below had completely jelled! That tells me that there was a fair bit of gelatin in that ground meat. (And then I used that as a kind of “gravy” for the meatloaf.) Tallow, gelatin, *and* the meat itself — talk about not letting anything go to waste! I could kick myself for all the fat & meat juices I’ve drained and then thrown out in the past!

      It makes sense that there would be at least a little gelatin in ground beef (or pork, turkey, etc) — we can probably assume a little bit of connective tissue ends up in the grinder too. I don’t think ground meat is a *concentrated* source, like the powdered stuff, but my meatloaf experiment shows there’s at least some. (So even if you just brown ground beef in a skillet, son’t assume all the liquid that comes out is fat — it’s not.

    • Animal feet/hooves contain lots of gelatin. Ask the rancher to ask his butcher if s/he’ll sell you these. Some don’t, because they use the gelatin to make other processed meat products. Asian supermarkets in your area might also sell or be able to get animal feet for you.

  14. I have been using the Great Lakes gelatin for about 6 months now. I ordered the double pack of whole protein from Amazon and finished that and now I am trying the hydrolized, which is so much easier to take. I mix a heaping tablespoon each night into about 1/3 cup of cherry or apricot juice. I also mix in a big tablespoon of diatomaceous earth (which is neither here nor there in this conversation). Both dissolve like crazy and the juice is very palatable (to my taste). I am 60 years old, and had knee surgery in Feb 2004, where the ortho wanted to do a replacement… I have been waiting for stem cell work or something else that could be done less invasively than a knee replacement. I have been taking a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement for many years and would like to switch it out for the gelatin. Do you think the gelatin alone (whole food properties, yes!) will be enough for my needs?

  15. Something to add to #3: for pregnant women, gelatin can help prevent stretch marks! I didn’t get a single one and my midwife remarked that my skin must have excellent collagen levels “for some reason”. My secret … add a tbsp of gelatin to my cups of tea. 🙂

  16. Judy-do you have Heberden nodes in your fingers or just generalized pain in your fingers. I have Heberden nodes (the bottom knuckle is getting bigger and bigger and one finger is slightly deformed already). I am looking for a solution!!

  17. I’ve been doing this for several years now and haven’t had to have the usual injections in my knees. I take a can of frozen juice, 2 cans of water, and add, while whisking, 1 heaping cup of Great Lakes gelatin. Warm it gently in a pan, and when dissolved pour into a 9 x 13 cake pan. When it sets up I cut into 3″ x 3″ squares and eat one about four times per week. Seems to have worked for me.

  18. What amount of gelatin per day would you say is good for maintenance and what would be good levels to correct chronic conditions like arthritis?

    Thanks in advance.

    • I would think a couple (1-3) of tablespoons per day should be fine but it might depend on the person’s tolerance and symptoms. I don’t know of any scientific evidence for a specific dose… sorry!

  19. I use the Great Lakes powder in my black coffee and it dissolves wonderfully with barely any trace of taste and I use quite a bit. Smaller amounts wouldn’t taste like anything.

  20. Do you know of or recommend any fish gelatin products? I have clients who do not eat mammals or birds but do eat some fish. Would love to hear your thoughts!

    I also want to recommend using the term “plant-based.” Someone who is vegetarian or vegan would not eat gelatin because it is an animal product that involves the death of the animal. Someone eating a “plant-based eating plan” could be vegetarian or vegan but may also eat small amounts of fish, meat, eggs or dairy as well. Just something to consider!