When you’re eliminating gluten, it’s important to consider which alcoholic drinks you will incorporate into your diet.
You may not have considered how much gluten there is in alcohol yet, but it can really affect your exposure to gluten.
Any beverages made from wheat, barley, or rye contain gluten, as do malted alcoholic beverages made from barley, such as beer. However, it's worth noting that other malted beverages, like wine coolers, may also present a problem. It’s important to make sure that before you drink an alcoholic beverage, you check the label to make sure it isn’t made from wheat, barley, or rye.
The good news is that many companies are coming up with ways to remove the gluten from their products so you can enjoy them. They bear the “gluten-free label." But there’s even more good news.
Distilled beverages don’t contain gluten. Even if they’re made from grains that might include gluten, the distillation process removes impurities—and that includes gluten.
That leaves a wide range of spirits available to you if you have a gluten allergy or just want to remove gluten from your diet.
This means vodka, whiskey, tequila, bourbon and most other hard liquors are safe to drink. However, one thing you need to watch out for is added flavorings. If flavorings are added after the distillation process is complete and they contain gluten, you may have a problem on your hands.
Wines are generally safe as they’re made from fermented fruits rather than grains, meaning they don’t contain gluten. Champagne is also made from fermented fruit, so it falls into the same category as wines.
However, you should also take care to look and make sure that no flavors have been added to the wine that might contain gluten.
If you’re not sure whether or not a beverage is gluten-free, the best thing to do is to contact the manufacturer. The company that makes the drink will be able to tell you whether or not the finished product contains gluten.
If a manufacturer can’t answer you precisely, then you might be better off just leaving that product alone.
The bottom line? When you’re going gluten-free, you can still enjoy alcoholic beverages as long as you make sure to avoid products that contain gluten.
The good news? Alcohol and the gluten-free dieter don’t have to be mutually exclusive—there are plenty of gluten-free beverages to enjoy if you're gluten-free!
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