Sweet tea has been a popular choice of tea beverage, ranking higher than coffee and lemonade.https://tastewise.io/foodtrends/sweet tea But is sweet tea gluten free? Gluten intolerance is affecting about 6% of the United States population especially those diagnosed with Celiac disease and malabsorption syndrome.https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-10-13 It’s worthwhile to find out more about sweet tea than to suffer the consequences of a bad tummy.
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Are you on a gluten-free diet or suffering from non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wish to avoid food allergies? Can you drink sweet tea if you want to avoid gluten?Let’s find out more in this guide.
What is Sweet Tea Made Of?
In the United States, sweet tea or sweet iced tea is a type of tea that’s made with sugar or simple syrup added to black tea. One can say its name is sweet tea because it literally has sugar in it that makes it sweet.
Unsweetened tea is not the same as sweet tea, it’s just cold black tea. But in Georgia America, iced tea and sweet tea have a long history that an April Fools’ Day joke to pass a bill that all Georgia restaurants that serve tea to serve sweet tea became law.https://whatscookingamerica.net/history/icedteahistory.htmhttps://www.legis.ga.gov/api/legislation/document/20032004/26301
Does Any Tea Have Gluten?
Pure true teas that come from the Camellia sinensis plant are naturally gluten-free. This includes black teas, green teas, white teas, chamomile, and rooibos teas, so long they are 100% loose-leaf tea without additives, or flavors, and not contaminated with gluten during production. Herbal teas are also gluten free so long there are no additives that contain gluten in them or cross contamination during production.
What Tea is Not Gluten-Free?
Teas that may have gluten:https://nationalceliac.org/celiac-disease-questions/is-tea-gluten-free/
- Tea blends and infusions
- Tea in tea bags
- Herbal teas
- Chai tea
- Matcha tea
- Sprouted seed tea
- Flavored tea
Teas that contain gluten:https://nationalceliac.org/celiac-disease-questions/is-tea-gluten-free/
- Barley seed tea
- Boricha tea (Korean tea)
- Malted tea
Does Sugar Have Gluten?
No, pure sugar does not contain gluten and it is 100% gluten-free. Sugar does not contain any protein that’s found in wheat, barley, and rye. It comes from sugar cane or sugar beets and it’s a simple carbohydrate that is easily digested.
Is Sweet Tea Gluten Free?
Not all sweet teas are gluten-free because it depends if additives are added to them or not. A typical cup of sweet tea can be made gluten-free if it’s made with real tea leaves and sugar. Although the main content is just black tea, sugar, and ice, if gluten additives like barley malt or wheat flour are added, then the tea will not be considered gluten-free.
If you are making sweet tea from a tea bag, you will have to check that the contents in the tea bag are gluten-free in order to make a gluten-free sweet tea.
How to Know if Sweet Tea is Gluten Free?
There are different tea brands that offer sweet tea. It’s best for you to read their ingredient list and nutritional information before confirming if they contain gluten ingredients or not. Not all tea brands declare the gluten contents on the ingredients label per the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA).
If you aren’t sure how gluten may affect you or if you know you don’t feel good after eating something with gluten, you should look for gluten-free products or gluten-free-labeled teas. Their product labels should say “gluten-free”, otherwise, don’t consume them to be safe. You can also verify the tea products you buy by checking them on the Gluten-free Certification Organization website. From here, you can check if their gluten-free label claims are legitimate based on the Food and Drug Administration rule.
List of Gluten-Free Tea Varieties and Tea Brands:
Before purchasing or consuming any tea variety or sweet tea, look out for the Certified Gluten Free mark on the tea label. Those with this mark have been audited and approved by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) as officially manufacturing gluten-free products in a gluten-free facility. GFCO has set a higher standard for gluten-free certification, based on its alignment with Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG). If you have gluten dietary restrictions, check the tea that it is GFCO-certified first before purchasing.
4 Brands with Certified Gluten-Free Teas You Can Buy
1. Twinings Teas are free from gluten as claimed on their website.
2. The Republic of Tea has gluten-free certified tea with the GFCO label.
3. Same with Bigelow Tea, their teas do not use any gluten grain or gluten-containing ingredients according to their website.
4. Stash Teas are gluten-free as mentioned on their website. They claimed that they actively ensure their suppliers provide gluten-free ingredients.
What Tea Brands Are Not Gluten-Free?
Nobody knows 100% if any tea brand out there is selling gluten-free tea because of how they are marketed and sold. You may wish to safeguard yourself by only buying from tea brands that make gluten-free claims. There are thousands of tea brands out there showing no signs of gluten content on their ingredient label. But without any official claim that they are tested gluten-free, they should not be considered gluten-free.
Here is a list of tea brands that don’t show any gluten substance in their ingredients lists, but do not show any gluten-free labels on their products.
- Luzianne Tea company also has its own ready-to-drink sweet tea. It doesn’t have a certification that confirms it is gluten-free.
- Is Lipton sweet tea gluten-free? According to Pepsico, none of the ingredients in the Lipton Tea ingredients label are gluten, but they don’t claim that the product is labeled gluten-free based on gluten policies.
- As for Tazo Tea, they can’t guarantee their teas are gluten-free from gluten cross-contamination.
- Another brand of sweet tea is McDonald’s sweet tea, sweetened with a blend of orange pekoe and pekoe cut black tea, it’s refreshing and sweet tasting. There isn’t any official statement to say that their sweet tea is gluten-free.
- Tetley Teas does not have any information or claims that their teas are gluten-free.
Is Your Sweet Tea Gluten-Free?
If you find yourself rushing to the toilet after drinking sweet tea, it may or may not be due to gluten. Your sweet tea may contain gluten-free ingredients, but what is irritating your gut could be due to the amount of caffeine in the tea.
A study has shown that caffeine consumption was associated with increased odds of irritable bowel syndrome. Based on the scientists at the FDA, we should limit our caffeine intake to less than 400 mg of caffeine per day to be safe.https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/spilling-beans-how-much-caffeine-too-much Too much caffeine may have disturbed your gut rather than gluten.https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2021.632469/full If you are unsure, getting professional medical advice will serve you well here.
If you want to know if your sweet tea is gluten-free before it causes any adverse reactions in your body, it’s best to check. The tea brand websites can be helpful, but any lists or publications on gluten-free tea can be outdated. It’s most important to check that the brand or company you get your tea from is gluten-free. Calling the manufacturer to confirm is the quickest and best way to clarify the contents of your tea.