Americans are very eager to turn 21 years old. The reason? So they can legally consume alcohol.
Drinking is a significant part of our culture. It makes socializing easier and everything a little bit more fun.
Anyone with dietary restrictions might dread turning 21 or hate going to the bar because they can’t have what everyone else enjoys. Those with Celiac disease already struggle daily to maintain a gluten-free diet that likely makes them self-conscious in social settings.
Celiac disease is a gastrointestinal disorder. Symptoms of the disease arise when the body reacts negatively to gluten.
With no cure for the disease, a gluten-free diet seems to be the only solution for stopping the symptoms. Weight loss, diarrhea, and stomach pains all come as a result of Celiac disease if not treated right.
Celiac disease: you could have it
Not much of the American population has Celiac disease. Only about one percent of the population, which is approximately 3 million people have Celiac disease. However, there are many who do have it and are completely unaware of it.
According to imaware™, 40 percent of the people who have Celiac disease don’t realize it, so they are continuing to suffer without knowing why.
People with close relatives who have the disease are more likely to have it. Symptoms could appear early on or wait to surface until much later in life.
Drinking alcohol could affect the intensity of the symptoms. Some drinks do not cause harm, but others should be avoided at all costs.
Whether you suffer from severe symptoms or just have a slight sensitivity to gluten from Celiac disease, it is tough to determine which alcohols are safe and which are not.
Drinks Celiacs can have
While some alcohols are branded as gluten-free or gluten-removed, this does not always mean they are 100% safe for Celiacs to ingest. Some still contain small amounts of harmful substances.
There are many liquor options that are totally safe for Celiacs to enjoy.
Tequila is a beverage that won’t typically let Celiacs down. Along with being gluten-free, tequila comes with other health benefits so it isn’t the worst go-to hard liquor.
Tequila made from agave rather than wheat is safe to drink and usually tastes better, too. It even helps with digestion, so your stomach will thank you.
If liquor isn’t your thing, spiked seltzers might be the option you choose. Spiked seltzers are water-based and not wheat-based like many alcohols.
Look for the brands that use natural ingredients and flavors. Some flavors may contain gluten, so always read the label.
Spiked seltzer is more fun for social drinking, but wine is better for quiet nights at home or a romantic dinner out.
Drinking a wine that has not come in contact with gluten is fine for Celiacs. Although, some wines that are labeled gluten-free can still contain traces of wheat.
For people with Celiac, even slight amounts could be harmful. Stick to the pure stuff that is made with all grapes rather than taking the risk. It is advised that Celiacs contact the winery to make sure the wine has not at all come in contact with gluten.
Making mixed drinks with most vodkas is in the clear too. You should check the mixers you use first, but vodka is almost always safe.
As with most alcoholic beverages, there is always the chance that the one you choose could have gluten. That’s why you should always read the label first.
Most vodkas, however, are safe for Celiacs because they are typically distilled from wheat-free ingredients, like grapes or corn.
Another great option for Celiacs to who want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage is plain rum.
Plain rum is gluten-free. It is brewed from sugar cane rather than rye or barley, and it doesn’t matter if you prefer light or dark.
Spiced rums are a different story. They might contain gluten-based products that you should avoid.
Overall, any pure alcohol is a safe bet for Celiacs. It is always suggested to read the label before making any choice, though.
Drinks Celiacs should avoid
Though the list of alcohol options that Celiacs have is long, a list of unsafe drinks does exist.
Liquor is typically a safe bet, but when combined with flavoring, it can be dangerous. Flavored liquor is no longer purely alcohol, so there is a chance that the flavoring could contain gluten-based products.
It is best to stay away from liquor with flavoring just to be safe. Stick to mixing drinks with mixers you know are safe rather than take a chance with a harmful flavored liquor.
Beer is typically brewed with wheat or other gluten-containing products that make it a nightmare for Celiacs.
Always steer clear of beer that isn’t labeled gluten-free. Brands that say their drinks are gluten-removed aren’t safe because they still contain gluten.
There is such a thing as gluten-free beer, and some of these might be fine, but others still contain small amounts of gluten. If you are very sensitive to gluten, it is best to avoid it.
Although it is mostly made from apples or other sweet fruits, some ciders contain other ingredients that include gluten to add flavor.
Celiacs should avoid most hard ciders to stay safe from any potential issues. The ones that are gluten-free would be labeled as such but there is always the risk that a bartender won’t know the exact ingredients of every drink.