Learning to adapt your lifestyle and eating habits can be a difficult change for many people recently diagnosed with the celiac condition. However, the wealth of information and varieties of food available now, go some way to making choices and decisions much easier.
Celiac organisations and health authorities have provided plenty of information on what should be eaten and what should be avoided, but what should sufferers be drinking exactly?
In terms of hot drinks, coffee should, in principle, be suitable for celiac sufferers as is it naturally gluten-free. However, some flavoured coffees or instant coffee may contain gluten, so always read the label carefully. The same applies for tea however, again you have to be wary of any sweeteners you add as these may not be tolerated so well. Many people following gluten-free diets also prefer to stick to decaf variations of both drinks as the caffeine can sometimes stimulate stomach pain for some individuals.
Dairy drinks such as milk and smoothies may cause problems as many people with celiac disease are also lactose intolerant. However, if you have no problems tolerating dairy products then milk and the like shouldn’t cause you any problems. Beware of malted milk drinks and some hot cocoa mixes, as these obviously contain wheat and may cause some discomfort.
As for soft drinks, pure fruit juice and fruit squashes do not contain any gluten. That said, it’s surprising how many sufferers don’t remember to avoid “fruit and barley” juice drinks! Fizzy drinks are also gluten-free, although always read the label to check for any wheat-based additives.
One of the most frequently asked questions on this topic is whether celiac sufferers can drink alcohol. Those concerned must, of course, stay away from any trace of wheat. This means any beers made from barley are out of the question. Malt beverages such as malt and rye whisky all contain gluten and should be avoided. Almost all wines are also gluten-free since they are, of course, made from grapes.
So there you have it, you can still enjoy tasty, refreshing drinks with your delicious gluten free food recipes.
Of course, there are plenty of other gluten free beverages available, and even more homemade recipes which can be found online. With the number of celiac sufferers continuing to rise, there is an ever growing body of research and advice to be found at the click of a button.