Paula Deen, Diets…and Diabetes

Paula Deen has made a name (empire, really) for herself with foods drenched in butter and fried in lard, but there is news coming out that she has Type 2 diabetes and has had it for several years now (thanks to some words spoken on The Today Show). Keep reading to learn more about how Type 2 diabetes develops and about what this means for fans of Paula Deen who continue to relish her recipes and cooking style.

Paula Deen has created a persona that is known for frying up food in butter and lard, crafting dense cheesy macaroni and cheese and making chicken that would make any Southerner happy…because it’s delicious due to how bad it is for those who eat it.

Now Paula has made it public knowledge that her doctor diagnosed her with Type 2 diabetes back in 2008. Paula was quoted on The Today Show as saying: “I’m here today to let the world know that it is not a death sentence.”

Or is it? Most people consider news of this nature to be a serious wake-up call. Sure, Paula makes her name on being a chef who cooks with taste and flavor in mind, but at what cost? What does her reaction to her (serious) diagnosis say about her concern for her fans who are more than likely cookin’ up similar grub on a weekly or even daily basis?

Deen claims that she is a cook and not a doctor (taken loosely from a quote made by Oprah in the past) and that fans have to take care of themselves. All the same, there is some responsibility that comes along with being a huge name in food. Certainly, people know that loads of butter isn’t exactly dietetic, but I almost feel as though there should be a disclaimer on Deen’s TV programs for the people who (let’s be honest) may not exactly put two and two together.

Deen has also announced that she will become a (paid) spokeswoman for Novo Nordisk (known for making diabetes medications). Deen and her sons are going to be providing brand-new versions of their recipes in conjunction with the partnership that are ‘lighter’ (whatever that means to Paula Deen). Let’s hope for WAY lighter on the butter, sauce, lard…

Paula’s form of diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, is the most common form of the disease. It develops due to lack of exercise and lack of a healthy diet over time and is therefore common in adults (who probably enjoy those bacon and fried chicken recipes a little too often).

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 25 million people in the United States have diabetes. The disease has many dramatic and life-changing effects, from limb amputation and heart disease to stroke and even blindness.

Here is a healthier version of chicken soup for you!


What do you think of Paula Deen’s revelation? Are you surprised, disgusted, sympathetic? Let us know in the COMMENTS!

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  • Hannah

    I think it’s a little shady!

  • Kristin

    I wish her healthy years ahead. I welcome her sharing her new found healthy recipes with everyone.

  • barbara

    I have never liked Paula Deen’s program because it is built on hype, not good food. In today’s world, where we are all reading about how to cut fat, calories, etc and are the fatest nation in the universe, her recipes are comfort food. But in the end, it is about her ‘false’ smile, fake ‘yall’ and marketing. She is not different than Oprah..narcissistic and not in tune with what viewers need.

    We are all adults, true, and she is not a doctor, true. But with benefits come responsibility and now she has a new program with her son doing lighter meals. Come on now, another way to rip off those who are not thinking for themselves. this is not entertainment, it is taking advantage of the public.

  • MaryEsther

    I totally agree with you! Paula was on the Dr Oz show weeks ago, looking very bloated & she said she had one vice, smoking, and never mentioned she was sick though she looked pretty bad. She had a chance to own up, but didn’t. Now she is promoting her medicine– all she needs is to give up her fatty food! It’s all about money to Paula. At least Oprah gave a lot of hers away to fans!

  • Ellen

    I agree with all of these comments. I wish her well, but can’t help but think she’s her own problem in all of this.

  • Jan

    I am tired of people dissing Paula Deen…she is not obligated to publicize her medical info and it isn’t anyone’s business! If anyone wants to watch her shows, cook as she does and subscribe to that style of eating, it’s the fault of that person. Paul Deen never twisted your arm or offered medical advice…I think she is a sincere person who honestly cares about others…she just tells you how you can cook something, she doesn’t force you!
    Leave her alone, there are so many other things in the world worth time and effort, focus on things you can change instead of sticking your nose into someone else’s business!

  • Lois Fitzgerald

    I am incensed with the remark that Type 2 diabetes develops because of lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet. Diabetes is an inherited disease and it can also develop in otherwise healthy humans when the pancreas stops making insulin (diabetes develops) or when the body cells forget how to use the insulin they have (insulin resistance). Granted not exercising and an unhealthy diet can make diabetes worse BUT I really don’t believe they are the cause of the disease. People can only be taken advantage of if they want to be.

  • Lois Fitzgerald

    I have type 2 diabetes and I can eat anything I want. The key here is MODERATION.

  • Jessie

    Paula, I enjoy all of your programs and hope that you can control your problem as I have. Cut back and Pray a lot.

  • http://recipe4livingblogChewonThat Winifred Vadala

    She should have been honest from the outset of this. Sorry for Paula but she
    almost got away from telling the truth
    Some of her food is not the best for our
    body.And I am sure she knowes. She needs
    help before she is really sick.Her sons
    need to get a real job.

  • Ellen

    There has to be a middle ground here. It’s a combo of reasons for why she has this disease. I can’t help but think her lifestyle and eating habits contributed in addition to her family history.

  • Betty Sievert

    I am as Southern as Paula Deens biscuits. Love the gal. I have cooked like her all my life, that is how we southerners cook. I am also an RN. I also keep Kosher. No matter how many recipes Paula cooks with pork products, I will not touch it. Her making it look delicious will not seduce me. Nor does her gooey butter cake seduce any who chooses not to eat it. It is a choice. Just because someone we like presents something does not give them control over us. I am offended that there are those who thinks I can be controlled by these influences.

  • Lois Fitzgerald

    Once again I am incensed about the remark that Paula’s sons need to get a real job. This is NOT about HER sons. and when you have a job you love and can get paid for it what is better than working at it.. Love what you do and do what you love. What is better than that. I don’t see any chains on any of the family to keep them on the set, not even her hubby. If the boys don’t think this is a real job they would surely go out and find some dead end job at McDonald’s or Taco Bell or some desk job. And how do you know they don’t have another job. Congrats to the boys and all of Paula’s family. Keep ‘em comin’ Paula we love you and your show.

  • Sue Wood

    Having diabetics for the past six years, I know the struggle Paula will go through for the remaining part of her life. You learn to adjust any recipe to fit the disease. Each person makes their own decisions and suffer the good or bad that follows. I hope Paula and her sons continue to give us southern recipes and keep the history alive. I choose what I eat and resent anyone telling me I don’t have the knowledge to choose wisely. So I don’t eat the gooey desserts. I change sugar to splenda or applesauce. I change white rice to brown rice. My meals are heavy on vegetables not the meats. Let’s give the lady a break. Living with diabetics is a life struggle and she get’s to decide how she does it.

  • http://chewonthat AJ

    Paula Deen is a icon. Love her! Not all of her food recipes are fattening & ALMOST ANYONE can get diabetes. She is like a tv mom to people and we don’t see many comfort foods in mainstream television. She’s been ” working” too hard and the demands on her has been extreme. As a mother, cook, and wife I definitely understand how not having the time to eat healthy enough for “yourself” can take it’s toll on you.She did not have to disclose her health issue to the world but I can tell she generally care enough for fans to sacrifice this knowledge. It’s about bettering America not putting “folks” down, as Ms Paula would probably say:^)

  • rosalindmaarvin

    Are you sheep? Do you run out and buy the drugs advertised on TV that urge you to get your DR. to give them to you and then have the audacity to make the disclainers that these drugs might cause suicide, death, kidney, failure, heart failure and on and on? NO!!! I see NO execution of that!! And these are the people who really are responsible for your health~~This is one channel among hundreds. If you don’t like it CHANGE it!! Mrs. Deen only shows you how SHE cooks and eats. I have NEVER seen a “gun to your head” forcing ANYTHING on you. Are we no longer free to keep private things private/. I daresay she anticipated just such a ridiculous furor and so decided to keep her business to herself!! LIGHTEN UP! !GET A LIFE!! MOVE ON!!

  • Janet Culton

    Those who are bashing Paula need to take a look in the mirror. She started with nothing and made a very lucrative living from her cooking and very delightful personality. I give her kudos for coming out to the public with her condition. I venture to say all of you critics criticize just about everything you don’t agree with anyway so who gives a —-! Let her move on and the rest of you should do the same. She is moving in positive direction. I know I’ll never stop watching her shows.

  • Elaine

    What about HIPPA violations? I don’t think it is anybody’s business what Paula Deen’s or anyone elses medical condition is. She hasn’t asked us about our medical diagnosis has she?

  • Gigi

    I am a southerner and proud of it. I grew up on recipes identical to what Paula has provided for us in her cookbooks, magazines and TV show. I have all her cookbooks and I subscribe to her magazine. I look forward every year to her Christmas edition so I can “try” to duplicate some of her recipes if not in look at least in taste. I do not prepare every meal I cook the way Paula might suggest because I make choices for myself and my family just as I’m confident Paula does too. I, nor any of my children have health issues nor are we overweight. I doubt very seriously that the Deen Family eats every meal in private like the ones Paula prepares on TV or has published in her books and magazine. But even if they do it’s THEIR business NOT anyone else’s. You don’t agree with the way Paula cooks then don’t cook her way. Making your own choices isn’t rocket science.

  • http://yahoo Georgiana Booth

    WHY DON’T YOU ALL LEAVE MISS PAULA ALONE. SHE IS A GREAT COOK AND LIKES WHAT SHE IS DOING.MY HUSBAND IS TYPE 2 AND HE CAN EAT AY RECIPE I GET FROM HER.SHE DOES NOT HAVE A FAKE SMILE OR HI YA ALL. I MET HER AND SHE SIGNED MY BOOK OF HER RECIPES. ONE DAY I WILL GET TO GEORGIA TO SEE HER AGAIN.YOU DON’T LIKE HER OR HER SHOW THEN DON’T WATCH. I WILL BECAUSE I LOVE HER.

  • http://firefox Jeannette Turner-Dodge

    It’s time people stop thinking everyone has to think for them!! You Don’t have to eat what she cook’s! I am so tired of this nation telling people what we can and can not eat because it’s not good for us! Don’t you Idiots know how to think for yourself or your children that you have to tell McDonald what to put in their food and no toy’s what you can’t tell your child no yourself? telling High School’s they can’t have certain thing’s on there school ground’s because it’s not good for the kid’s. GOOD GOD how on earth did all the people before us every live with out all you nosy idiots telling us how to run our life’s
    !!!! you don’t like how she cook’s DON’T COOK IT DON’T WATCH HER!!!!!

  • Glenda Hamm

    I have dealt with Type II Diabetes for many many years. Diet, exercise and medication keep it under control. Mine is heredity as is my heart disease. Some people are predisposed to have this disease. It is no ones fault. I personally love to watch Paula Deen. Her sons chose to follow in their Mother’s footsteps and work in the food industry. That, I think, is great. Many children choose to follow in their parents footsteps.
    Many times diabetes doesn’t show up in the older generations until some traumatic event happens. My husbsnd never had trouble with his sugar until after cancer surgery and heart surgery.

  • Linda Nelson

    I simply adore Paula Deene, and think her cooking must be the best there is, next to my Mother’s. I am a diabetic, my father’s mother was a diabetic, and so was my father. They were all hard workers, got plenty of exercise (farmers), and ate no differently than the normal, healthy person. So, I believe it is heredity, and I cherish the wonderful memories growing up on foods like Paula fixes. My sister and mother ate the exact same foods my father and I ate, and no diabetis. I am more careful now, but with a few substitutions, and using a few sugar-free products, you can still have the wonderful foods Paula fixes. If she wasn’t well known for her wonderful cooking, no one would ever have said a thing about her diabetis, and besides, it’s no one’s business. Keep up the great recipes, Paula, and I will never stop watching your show. Luv Ya’

  • Lois Fitzgerald

    Guess what folks Paula’s son now has a show I think it is called Not My Momma’s Cooking ( that may not be the correct spelling) I haven’t seen it yet but am going to see if I can find it soon. Keep up the good work and great shows DEENS we love you

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