Vegan Starbuck drinks can help people kick their obesity and diabetes rates, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and the University at Buffalo found that vegan versions of some of the Starbuck’s drinks, such as the Strawberry Mocha and the Strawberry Mocha, reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 45% and 39% respectively.
The findings also showed that people who consumed vegan drinks were less likely to suffer from the common form of diabetes, type 1, which is characterized by high blood sugar.
Dr. Stephen M. Renshaw, a professor of nutrition and exercise science at the University, said the findings are “incredibly encouraging” for people who struggle with the metabolic consequences of obesity.
“While the findings in this study are encouraging, it’s important to note that they’re correlational, not causative,” Dr. Rinshaw said.
“There are other studies that have shown a reduction in type 2 [diabetes] risk associated with consumption of a vegan beverage, so we’re hoping this will provide some guidance.”
In addition to the diabetes reduction, the study found that people whose diets were made up mostly of fruits and vegetables, and who did not eat too much sugar, had similar or even better diabetes rates than those who ate no sugar.
“In general, people with higher sugar intakes tend to have higher diabetes rates,” Dr Rinshawn said.
In other words, people who are obese are more likely to be diabetic, and people who eat a lot of fruits are more susceptible to developing diabetes.
The researchers also noted that while they did not specifically look at the effects of a vegetarian diet, there may be some benefit from eating a lot more plant-based foods.
“Vegans may be at a higher risk of diabetes than other groups because of their high consumption of red and processed foods, especially processed foods high in sugar and trans fats,” Dr Marnie B. Cottom, a clinical research professor at the university and one of the study authors, said in a press release.
“A vegan diet is a great option for people with diabetes, but it’s also important for people to eat foods that are high in protein, fibre and antioxidants, which will help lower their blood sugar and prevent weight gain.”
Starbucks, the parent company of Starbuck, is currently in the midst of a $3 billion settlement with the Food and Drug Administration for misleading consumers about the nutritional benefits of its drinks.
Starbucks has been accused of having a “bully pulpit” where it promotes vegan products as healthy, and in a statement, CEO Howard Schultz said the company “is committed to being the leading consumer-friendly brand in the world.”
“Our mission is to create a world where everyone, regardless of their dietary preferences, is healthy, happy and fulfilled,” Schultz said.
“We’re grateful to our customers for their continued support.”
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