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The Difference between Gelatin and Collagen - Hollywood Homestead

Gelatin is one of the healthiest foods you can eat and has benefits ranging from reducing wrinkles (yes, gelatin is better than botox!), healing joints, building stronger bones, and even improving dental health. The biggest benefit of gelatin in my opinion is that it is a gut healer. Our guts are considered our “second brain” and the gut is the direct pathway to the rest of the body. If your gut isn’t healthy, then all of those healthy foods you’ve been eating aren’t going to do you much good. After all, we aren’t what we eat but rather what we absorb from what we eat. I love gelatin so much that I’ve even written an entire book about it, The Gelatin Secret, which you can find here.

Okay, so you are ready to start getting all of the benefits of gelatin? The best way is to start consuming lots of homemade bone broth (see recipe for how to make gelatin-rich bone broth here). But another super easy way to get gelatin into your life is to buy a quality brand and start adding gelatin into your meals. When you shop for gelatin, you will see that there are two different options: gelatin and collagen hydrolysate. Both of these give the health benefits of gelatin, but you use them in different ways.

I often get asked what the difference between these 2 is so I thought it was time I write a post to address this.

great lakes gelatin


This is simply cooked collagen (the same which you would find in a homemade bone broth) which has been dried and turned into a powder.  It will form a gel when mixed with water! If you are buying the Great Lakes brand of gelatin (one of my favorites), then it will be in the RED canister.

Great Lakes makes two types of this gelatin: Porcine (which is from pigs that may not be eating a 100% natural diet but is the cheaper option) and Kosher (which is from 100% grass-fed cows). The kosher gelatin is better quality, but it is also a bit pricier. Both are going to do wonders for your health, so pick the one which suits your budget.

How to Use:

Buy kosher gelatin here
Buy porcine gelatin here


Collagen Hydrolysate

This is cooked collagen which has been heated to higher temperatures and then treated with enzymes.  The process breaks the bonds between the amino acids (though keeps the amino acids themselves intact).  The collagen is then turned into a dry powder.  It will NOT gel and can dissolve into both cool and warm liquids. Because the amino acid bonds are broken down, it is easier to digest, is absorbed by the body faster, and is good for people with digestion problems. If purchasing the Great Lakes brand, it will be the GREEN canister.

How to Use:

  • Mix it into anything! Add it to your morning tea or coffee, put it in mashed yams, or even sneak in a scoop to condiments like ketchup and mayo to make them even healthier

Buy collagen hydrolysate here


Bottom Line

For jello, gummy bears and anywhere you want it to gel, use the red one.   For anything you’d like to simply sneak it into without it gelling (like smoothies or in your tea or coffee) use the green one.

What If I Don’t Like Gelatin?

The green canister of collagen hydrolysate doesn’t really have much taste and it doesn’t make foods gel. So, you can slip it into just about anything. But, if you really don’t like it or aren’t good at remembering to put it in foods, you can still get the benefits of gelatin by taking a supplement.   “NOW” makes a good beef gelatin supplement which you can buy here.

  The Difference between Gelatin and Collagen - Hollywood Homestead

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Sylvie McCracken is a former celebrity assistant in Hollywood turned full time entrepreneur currently living in Abu Dhabi with her husband and 3 kids. She writes about treating and preventing health conditions with real food and natural remedies, as well as anything else she feels like writing about because she's a rebel like that. 😉
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