Is Whiskey Gluten Free?

Whiskey Glass
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There are few things in life as pleasurable as coming home after a long day of work and pouring yourself a dram of whiskey before cracking open a good book or watching your favorite movie. However, with more and more people watching their diets it's crucial to ask — is whiskey gluten free?

OK, so there may be more pressing questions in the world, but, an astounding one in five Americans actively try to incorporate gluten-free foods in their diet, according to a 2015 Gallup Poll. And that means going gluten-free with their drinking, too.

Gluten, which is the proteins in cereal grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye, has become somewhat of a pariah in the food world. For the large majority of the population eating gluten is fine. In fact, Harvard Health Publishing called it a "certifiable health myth" that avoiding gluten will make you healthier. But, for a very small percentage of the population gluten can be downright dangerous.

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According to Harvard Health Publishing, about one percent of the population suffers from celiac disease. Living with celiac disease means a person can have a severe immune reaction if they eat gluten. They could ultimately develop inflammation and damage in their intestinal tracts and other parts of the body.

Thankfully, those with celiac disease have more options than ever when it comes to their diet. But, what about when it comes to whiskey and other alcohols?

According to The National Institutes of Health's Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign, distilled alcohol is safe for people with celiac disease to drink. So, that should lead you to believe whiskey is safe, right? Well, you may want to think twice.

According to Very Well Fit, The Celiac Support Association does not recommend any form of Scotch or whiskey for those living with celiac disease or for those avoiding gluten in their diet. Though it may likely be safe, the mash added back to these alcohols may cause discomfort as the distillation process may not remove it all.

Instead, it may be time for those people to switch over to vodkas made from potatoes, rum, and tequila drinks, which are all made from gluten-free grains. Though, if you really want to pick up a bottle of whiskey you could seek out sorghum whiskeys made from sorghum like James F.C. Hyde Whiskey, and New Southern Revival. Because, when it comes to whiskey lovers where there's a will there's always a way.

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  1. Riffkin R. One in five Americans include gluten-free foods in diet.

  2. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Gluten: A benefit or harm to the body? The Nutrition Source.

  3. Definition & Facts for celiac disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease.

  4. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Questions and answers on the gluten-free food labeling final rule. U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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