Friday, February 10, 2012

Paula Deen and Diabetes

When Paula Deen announced that she has Type2 diabetes, it immediately caught my attention.  Since I was diagnosed with T2 in April 2010 I have become pretty well versed on the subject and have taken it very seriously, so I do understand what an impact it can make on your life. I also know that we're all different and require different combinations of diet, exercise and medication to manage this life changing disease, so there's no one answer to how to manage your diabetes.

With all of our concerns about weight gain during menopause and how our lifestyles can change after menopause, I feel that we need to stay on top of this and get the right information. I also feel that Paula had a great opportunity to help bring a lot of attention to dia

According to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.  79 million more people are classified as “pre-diabetic.”

Deen (here in her "original" look) is in a very difficult position since she's a celebrity and waited 3 years to tell anyone about her diagnosis, which is her perogative. I don't even mind that she is a spokesperson for a diabetes drug, but I DO take issue with her (and the pharm company and the ADA) trying to position her as the "face of Type 2 Diabetes" when, even with her son's new, revised versions of her old recipes, because....she's still promoting recipes with more sugar, flour and starches than most diabetics can eat and still maintain a safe level of blood sugars. 

I am not bashing Paula, I do like her, but I think she's caught up in her own celebrity and where she was totally comfortable in her role on tv as a cooking celebrity, I don't believe she's at all comfortable with her role as a spokesperson for diabetes. She obviously does not understand it enough and is only spouting information given her by the drug company she is representing.

The media is not helping (because no one is talking to diabetics) by continually reporting that a diet high in butter has caused anyone's diabetes. Guess what Folks? Butter is a diabetics FRIEND! It's too many simple carbs (sugars, flours, potatoes) and too much high fructose corn syrup in too many prepared and processed foods, AND the lack of exercise that is causing a lot of the diabetes our society is experiencing these days. 

For any of you with diabetes who feel that you're not getting the kind of support you want and need from the medical profession or even the diabetes educators you've dealt with, join us on this forum.

Again....I don't care that she didn't tell "us" for 3 years and I don't care if she's using and promoting the diabetes drug, (she is partnering “with a reputable pharmaceutical company” as spokesperson for a $500-a-month diabetes drug (with side-effects that may include pancreatitis and thyroid cancer) but I do care that she's insinutating that she can still eat the way she used to when 99% of diabetics have to dramatically change their eating. She's not saying you have to make a choice between sacrificing many of the foods you love and you HAVE to start exercising, even if you're on medication. Even though her son has a tv show to "lighten up" some of Paula's recipes, but I just cringe when I hear them say these are "diabetic friendly" because they're not! 

I'm sure we're going to hear more from and about Paula in the months to come and I hope you will all chime in on the topic. I'm getting off my soapbox now and will go eat my steak and small salad for dinner! Perfectly healthy for a diabetic....even with the FAT. Notice there's no bread or potatoes included in my meal. :)


  1. I am with you Dee! Paula has made a living saying add butter and everything tastes better with butter!
    I heard her on the Today show saying she always talked about moderation. I never once heard her on her show or a guest ever say anything about moderation! I would have been happier if she just said my eating habits contributed to my health issues and I am changing my eating and baking and cooking habits now!

  2. I never watched Paula's show but I agree butter is not the issue although I eat butter from exclusively 100 percent grass fed cows or goat butter.

    I've had t2 diabetes since 1997 and recently was able to discontinue taking metformin, finally after 15 yrs! needless to say I am particular about what I eat. I don't want to rely on the pharmaceuticals.

  3. I agree. My husband has T2, so I know what you are talking about!

  4. Wow! That would be my goal get off the medication. What is your secret?

  5. Anonymous11:03 PM

    Real unbiased scientific studies have shown over and over and over again that diets low in refined carbohydrates and which include a reasonable amount of animal fat, such as found in butter, cream, whole milk and meat, together with complex carbohydrates such as vegetables and fruits, are a boon to diabetics and to weight loss in general. We all got fat when low-fat diets that replaced fat with sugar and other simple carbohydrates became the rage. And now we should rage against those that insist upon pushing a low-fat diet down our throats and into our spreading waistlines. As a retired nutrition professor, I have not only read the studies but also experimented on myself. The quickest way for me to gain fat is for me to eat low-fat. The best way for me to stay healthy and maintain a healthy weight is to eat whole, unprocessed foods. Coffee with cream in the AM is yummy as is fresh fruit with cream for dessert and yes, I eat grass-fed meats frequently and even organic bacon. And maintaining a healthy weight is no longer a problem ... real food goes a long way to keep people away from medication and healthy! Check out the Weston A Price Organization....the country's foremost advocate for real food and the health benefits of consuming fats...

    1. Bless you Deb! To find a nutritionist who "gets it" is a wonderful blessing! I feel like you've said it so much better than I could! There is definitely a 10 ft. brick wall between the low carb and the low fat sides, so I feel we just have to keep making more noise. So many people still don't realize that very prominent people have been promoting the low carb lifestyle. It started off with Dr. Atkins, of course, then the South Beach diet creator, Dr. Arthur Agatston (a cardiologist)created a kind of modified lower carb (even though the diet still pushes low-fat products) and more recently, Dr. Andrew Weil who did a speech on how "fat doesn't make you fat". Even Weight Watchers made a huge change leaning more towards lowcarb.

      I believe everyone has the right to make their own choices as to what works for them, but we should all be exposed to the same facts, such as what kind of dangers are HIDDEN in all the lowfat diets. Can you say HFCS? I totally agree with you about processed foods and that includes all these programs that sell their own premade meals....what a crock! I am also trying to eat natural and organic as much as possible. Thanks for the referral to the Weston Foundation... I will be using that site a lot!