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Alcohol and the Celiac/ Gluten-free Diet
Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:00 amForum Host
Being on a gluten-free diet means that you must consider everything that you consume and drink and be sure that it is gluten-free.
With the Holiday period approaching, I thought it might be worth considering what alcoholic drinks are suitable for the Celiac or gluten intolerant.
Beer / Ale/ Stout/ Guinness
All mainstream beers should be avoided as traditionally these are produced by the alcoholic fermentation of germinated cereals/grains (usually barley). In general beer is not gluten-free.
Specialty gluten-free beer is becoming available across US, Canada, Europe and Australia. So if you are keen to have a beer ask at your store if they have a suitable beer or they may be able to order in for you. These beers may be a little pricey .....so expect to pay a little more.
Most ciders are suitable for a gluten-free diet. Care should be taken as some ciders may contain barley. Check the label or your favorite cider/brands website to be sure. Most companies will happily answer website queries with dietary information when asked.
Wine and sparkling wines are all considered to be safe as gluten-free suitable. Fortified wines such as sherry and port contain added alcohol and are also suitable.
Liqueurs, spirits, brandy
These are all traditionally made from gluten free ingredients, or are distilled, and are suitable for a gluten free diet.
Although some spirits may be produced from wheat, rye or barley, they undergo a distillation process that ensure protein (gluten) is not carried over to the final product.
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) "Manual of Clinical Dietetics" 6th edition, the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), and Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) all list distilled grain spirits and vinegars as safe for people with celiac disease.
You can watch a video here to listen to a US dietician explain how the distilling process removes the gluten from both vinegar and grain alcohols
Gin, vodka and tequila are all clear spirits and considered to be generally low in allergens. When I was on an allergy elimination diets, these three spirits were allowed.
The colour of apple cider, fortified wines and spirits may be enhanced by the addition of caramel colour. Although caramel colour can sometimes, but not always, be derived from wheat starch, it always tests as gluten free.
(Source- Australian Coeliac Society- http://www.coeliac.org.au/coeliac-disease/alcohol.html)
Be aware that if your are mixing a cocktail or spirit that the additions must also be suitable for a gluten-free diet. All pure fruit juices are naturally gluten-free. Most sodas/softdrinks are also gluten-free.
There are a small number of drinks available that may be thickened and contain gluten. .....a typical example would be a ready to drink smoothie, diet meal replacement or a ready -to-go drinkable breakfast.
Link to Coca-cola website for US and Canada list of gluten-free products
Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:04 amFood.com Groupie
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