A common concern when eliminating gluten is how you will be affected by alcoholic beverages. You may not have thought much about how alcohol is made, but it can affect your exposure to gluten. While its beneficial and recommended to reduce or eliminate alcohol all together, if you are going to have an occasional drink and are gluten-free, it’s helpful to know your options.
Beverages that are made from wheat, barley, or rye contain gluten. That means that malted alcoholic beverage that are made from barley also contain the gluten protein. If you’re trying to avoid gluten these beverages should be avoided.
That mainly includes beer. However, wine coolers are also malted beverages. It’s important to make sure that before you drink an alcoholic beverage you check to make sure it isn’t made from wheat, barley, or rye.
Many companies are coming up with ways to remove the gluten from their products so you can actually enjoy some beverages. They will 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 including gluten. Vodka, whiskey, tequila, bourbon and most other hard liquors do not contain gluten.
Something to watch out for, though, is added flavoring. If flavorings are added after the distillation process is complete and they contain gluten, then you may have a problem.
Wines are generally gluten-free as they’re made from fermented fruits rather than grains. That means they don’t contain gluten. However, you should also take care to look and make sure that there aren’t added flavors to the wine that might contain gluten.
Also, it’s important to note that many wines produced in the US have been found to contain the harmful herbicide glyphosate. Look for wines that are produced with organic or biodynamic practices.
Champagne is also made from fermented fruit, so it falls into the same category as wines. If you’re not sure what 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.
When you’re going gluten-free, you can still enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage as long as you make sure to avoid the products that contain gluten. There are plenty of gluten-free options available.