If you are on a gluten-free diet or have a gluten allergy, then you know very well the importance of staying in the know when it comes to what foods are gluten-free and which are not.
Failing to adhere to your gluten-free diet can have unpleasant consequences, as it often results in stomach pain and other side effects.
For those who have recently been restricted to a gluten-free diet, it’s important to know whether they can consume alcohol or not. In this post, we will talk about whether alcohol is safe for a gluten-free diet and what to do if you think you may have an alcohol dependency problem.
Table of Contents
What is a Gluten-Free Diet & is Alcohol Gluten-Free (Safe For Those With Celiac Disease)?
A gluten-free diet is a way of eating that avoids all foods that contain the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley, so people following this type of diet need to avoid these grains, as well as any food made from them.
This means avoiding most bread and pastas, cereals, beer, and many processed foods. A gluten-free diet is sometimes referred to as a “gluten avoidance” or “gluten sensitivity” diet.
Some people have a medical condition called celiac disease which causes an immune reaction when they eat gluten. For those with celiac disease, eating foods containing gluten can cause inflammation of the small intestine and lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Following a strict gluten-free diet (drinking gluten-free beer or other alcohols that are naturally gluten-free) is the only effective way to prevent symptoms associated with this condition. In addition, some people may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy which can also be managed through a gluten-free diet.
Alcohol can be either gluten-free or not depending on what it’s made from. Beer is traditionally brewed from malted barley, one of the grains containing gluten, so most beers are not considered safe for those on a gluten-free diet.
On the other hand, alcoholic beverages made from grapes or distilled spirits such as vodka are usually considered suitable for those following a strict gluten-free lifestyle. Wine is another option but it’s important to check for any added ingredients that contain wheat or other sources of gluten before consuming it if you’re following a strict gluten-free diet.
There are other gluten-free alcoholic beverages and drinks that are considered gluten-free, but to be able to find these you will need to carefully screen every drink you make or consume.
Overview of Alcohol, Its Production Process, & Potential Gluten Content
Alcohol is a general term for any beverage that contains ethanol, which is produced through fermentation. Fermentation is the process whereby yeast breaks down sugar molecules and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide. Ethanol production can be achieved by fermenting many different types of sugars such as those found in fruits or grains. Beer, wine, and spirits are all examples of alcoholic beverages and are produced through different fermentation processes.
Beer is brewed from malted barley, wheat or rye, so it will contain gluten unless a gluten-free alternative grain such as sorghum is used. Wine is usually made from grapes but can also be crafted out of other fruits like apples and pears. Spirits such as whiskey, vodka, and gin are usually made from fermented grains, so they may contain a gluten protein or gluten-containing grain unless a gluten-free base is used.
It is important to note that some alcoholic beverages may have added ingredients such as flavorings or colorings that contain wheat or other sources of gluten which could make them unsafe for someone following a strict gluten-free diet.
Types of Alcohols That are Gluten–Free
If you want to consume alcohol while on a gluten-free diet, you can most likely safely do so. However, you’ll need to know about what types of alcohol are safe for gluten-free diets. Here are some of the alcoholic beverages that you can consume on a gluten-free diet.
- Distilled Alcohol
- Unhopped Beer (Gluten-Free Beers) and Cider
Factors Influencing Gluten Content in Alcoholic Beverages
The gluten content of an alcoholic beverage can vary depending on the production process and ingredients used. Some brewers may not use any additives containing wheat or rye or use gluten-free grains, which makes their products suitable for a gluten-free diet. On the other hand, some breweries still may add flavorings to beer that contain gluten, so it is important to read labels before purchasing any alcoholic beverages.
It’s important to screen your drinks for gluten-free ingredients before consuming alcoholic drinks if you are trying to stick to a gluten-free diet.
Side Effects of Consuming Gluten on a Gluten-Free Diet
If you do not adhere to doctor recommendations to stick to a gluten-free diet and monitor your diet thoroughly to avoid gluten, there are a number of possible side effects that could impact you. Regular consumption of gluten can cause inflammation of the small intestine and lead to nutrient deficiencies. In addition, people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy may experience a range of symptoms such as digestive issues, headaches, fatigue, or skin rashes.
Struggling With Alcohol Dependency & a Gluten-Free Diet?
If you are struggling with alcohol dependency because of a gluten-free diet, then now is a perfect time to address your alcohol dependency. There are many options that people try when it comes to improving your relationship with alcohol, but for some women that want to approach the issue in a more holistic, positive, and empowering way, The Alcohol Coach is the right option.
The Alcohol Coach has helped countless women gain control back over their life and free themselves from alcohol dependency. With custom-tailored approaches for ending or curbing alcohol dependency, The Alcohol Coach is ready to help women from all backgrounds and with any degree of challenges.
It is possible to consume alcohol while following a strict gluten-free diet, and the types of alcohol suitable for a gluten-free lifestyle will vary from person to person. It is important to read labels carefully and check for any added ingredients that contain wheat or other sources of gluten before consuming any alcoholic beverage. Taking these precautions can help you enjoy a safe and healthy gluten-free lifestyle.
However, those struggling with alcohol dependency because of gluten content in alcohol should pursue means of overcoming alcohol dependency rather than seek out alcoholic beverages with low or no gluten content.
Hi, I'm Michela
I’m a leader in the science of transformational freedom for women, and someone previously addicted to alcohol. I have walked the path. I understand your concerns and fears. Here you will find some of my thoughts and insights. Happy browsing!
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