Now that you are gluten free, you don’t have to cut out alcohol. Being gluten free means you are excluding gluten – a starchy protein, from your diet. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten has many applications. It is used as a thickening agent. Many cosmetic brands have this substance in their constitution. Confectionery products use gluten to enable them to add artificial coloring and preservatives.
There are many types of alcohol that you can drink when you are on a gluten free diet. But yes, you have to stay away from beers that have been manufactured using barley. There are many rye whiskey brands that you ought to avoid. Male beverages are a complete no-no.
Alcohols that advertise as distilled spirits may contain gluten. Ensure you read the fine print before committing yourself to drinking such distilled spirits.
Hard liquor which is gluten free
Gin, rum, and tequila have a distillation process that completely filters out gluten. This process is followed in the preparation of vodka too. So it can be conclusively said that these types of hard liquors are completely devoid of gluten.
If you love Scotch whisky, you can continue to love it. Because Scotch does not have gluten. Bourbon lovers need not worry as well. This type of liquor has no traces of gluten.
When it comes to wine, you don’t even need to go gluten free shopping for wine products. Most wines are gluten free. Champagne, the most popular of them all, is completely free of gluten. Let’s say you like Italian grappa wine. You could be thinking if this is gluten free or not. Yes, it is gluten free. And joyfully so!
Some beer products don’t use barley. They use rice, corn, and buckwheat instead. Some others use sorghum in their beer products in addition to having all the aforementioned ingredients. Beer product manufacturers do label their products as gluten free. And if a beer does not have this label, it is a strong indication that it is made of barley.
According to popular forums, here are some great tasting gluten-free beers:
- Lakefront New Grist
- Green’s Brewing
- Bard’s Beer
- Strange Brewing Company Lemon Pale Ale
- Joseph James FoxTail Pale Ale
- St. Peter’s Sorgham Beer
- New Planet
- Omission Pale Ale
Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments.
Is distilled alcohol safe for people with celiac disease?
The general consensus on this is that people affected with celiac disease can drink distilled alcohol. Interestingly, they can drink alcohol that has been made using gluten grains! Distillation is a process that removes gluten molecules.
Recently, The National Institutes of Health’s Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign established this fact. As per this campaign, drinking distilled alcohol was safe for people affected with celiac disease.
Prolamins – protein molecules of gluten are distilled from hard liquor products. The distillation process nullifies these protein molecules from beers made of barley or whiskies made of rye.
But there are several other health watchdogs that do not agree with this fact. They feel that people who have high gluten intolerance should completely stay away from barley or rye based alcohol products. Instead, it has been recommended that people with celiac disease try potato-based liquor products. Many rum, vodka, and tequila product manufacturers use potato as the core ingredient in their alcohol products.
Tips to choose gluten free alcoholic beverages
Start by researching on beer product manufacturers that make gluten free beer products. They use alternatives such as corn and buckwheat to name a few. Don’t buy a product without reviewing the packaging details.
Join the Gluten Intolerance Group. Visit their website. You can find loads of information on gluten free restaurants, foods and beers. You may even visit their seminars to understand a lot of things about being gluten free.
Liquor manufacturers follow a rigorous distillation process that removes all traces of gluten peptides. Most distilled hard liquors are gluten free. However it is still not sure if some distilled whiskey brands are gluten free.
You have to understand if non-alcoholic mixes are gluten free as well. When you compliment your vodka with a non-alcoholic mix, you have to understand if this is gluten free. Check the labels on these mixes. See if you find a gluten free label on the packaging. Stick to non-alcoholic mixes that have traditionally been gluten free. Ask people around you to help you with more information.
Wine is totally gluten free, because the core constituent of wine is grapes. And grapes have no gluten in them. In some rare cases, wine can have gluten. This depends on where the wine manufacturers store the wine. If it was stored in a container that previously stored gluten-containing products, then the wine may pick up some gluten traces.
It is not possible to determine the type of containment process wine manufacturers have. But you can surely read about how they make, store, and distribute wine. Some wine manufacturers provide this information as part of the product literature.
Benefits of a gluten free lifestyle
Going gluten free is more than just a trend. You see so many celebrities going on a gluten free lifestyle, even if they don’t have celiac disease. The following are some of the benefits of a gluten free lifestyle.
You feel more energetic and feel better
Probably it’s just perception or a matter of subjective preference. Many people felt better after going gluten free. Could it because of the gluten free foods or the non-presence of gluten?
You cut out junk food
Some gluten free foods can be junk foods. But most gluten free foods can be organic as well. So by going the gluten free way you can eat more healthy food. You get a variety of gluten free foods that are nutritious.
You can still eat out
There are many fast food chains and restaurants that serve gluten free food. You can get information about such places to eat on the Internet. You may also contact your local telephone index to get more information. The Gluten Intolerance Group provides more information on such hotels and restaurants. Visit their website to know more.
Going gluten free does have its benefits. But not all gluten free foods and alcoholic beverages are good for health. For best results, consult a qualified nutritionist or a dietician to know more.