Now That She’s Admitted Having Diabetes, Will TV Chef Paula Deen Change Her Tune?

Anyone who enjoys cooking knows the name Paula Deen. Paula hosts the show “Paula’s Home Cooking” on the Food Network where she focuses on preparing her favorite Southern cuisine along with familiar comfort foods that many Americans enjoy. Paula’s dishes appear to be truly scrumptious, almost to the point of making your mouth water when you watch her prepare them.

Paula admits that the fat content and calorie count of her dishes are often very high, but she always encourages moderation, which is just one more of the numerous traits of Paula Deen that I find admirable. She is full of energy and vigor, always bringing joy to those around her, which is why I take pleasure in her cooking show… she is just fun to watch!

Disappointing News

Knowing that, I just had to tune in to NBC’s Today Show Tuesday morning when I heard that Paula would be appearing live to talk about some news about her health. My first thought was that she was going to reveal that she had just been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes because her lifestyle indicates that it’s highly likely.

Unfortunately I was correct about most of my prediction. Paula did announce that she has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, so I was correct in my assumption there. But what I was wrong about was that Paula was diagnosed with the disease three years ago and is just now sharing this information with her viewers — she did not just find out about this.

Of course this upset me, since I don’t like hearing about anyone being diagnosed with any form of diabetes. The disease is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in the United States and can lead to several other health issues, such as complications causing heart attack, stroke, nerve damage, kidney damage or limb amputation. But surely if she has known about this for three years, obviously she has been making changes in her life, right?

For the last three years she has been promoting her brand of high-fat and high-calorie cooking to her viewers. It leaves me wondering if she is consuming those foods herself, or just promoting it for the purpose of creating an entertaining show? If the latter is true, isn’t it unfair to her loyal fans who trust in her? I’ll admit, I’m confused by the news and wonder if I’m the only one who feels this way.

Will She Change Her Tune?

I was also a bit confused when I learned that she has been treating her diabetes with a drug, along with promoting a new program which offers recipe tips and other coping advice for people with the disease. In all honesty, I was hoping that she was doing what my friend, Jon Stanton, had done when he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2007.

Jon’s diagnosis was the determining factor in a comprehensive lifestyle change. He began partaking in healthier habits by simply consuming healthy foods and participating in some form of daily exercise, mostly walking and cycling. Jon lost 230 pounds and his blood glucose readings today are normal. He is proof that Type 2 diabetes can be treated by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Yes, living a healthier lifestyle can make a difference; it has been proven time and time again. Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly — those two key factors can help you lower the risk of contracting this medical condition, which Paula Deen is now forced to deal with. We know that Paula’s recipes may not specifically have caused her diabetes, but eating any high-fat, high-calorie and high-sugar food on a regular basis can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

Paula says she won’t change how she cooks, but she acknowledges her diabetes has caused her to make some lifestyle changes. “I have made simple changes in my life, like cutting back on one of my favorite things, sweet tea — and for a Southern girl, that’s a big deal,” she said. She also has earned plenty of criticism: “When your signature dish is a hamburger in between a doughnut, and you’ve been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you’ve got Type 2 diabetes … It’s in bad taste if nothing else,” celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, told People.

I wish her the best, and I hope that her viewers listen to Paula when she reminds them to eat her recipes in moderation and never forget what she told Al Roker on Tuesday: “Like I told Oprah, ‘Honey, I’m your cook, not your doctor,'” she said. “You have to be responsible.” Ditto.

What do you think of Paula’s announcement?

Photo by Bristol Motor Speedway


Read 2 Comments

  1. I’m sad for Paula, but not all that surprised. Maybe she should look into a healthier diet to treat her diabetes instead of drugs? There’s lots of interesting information available at this noncommercial, science based site ( To quote the good doctor: “It is too bad Paula Deen missed this opportunity” to tell her fans “that type 2 diabetes can be prevented, managed, treated, and even cured”. read more at

  2. It will require life style changes. I wonder if her husband has been concerned for his health?  He’s of the type-2 diabetes age bracket, over weight and eats her cooking.  Not to critisize him, but life style changes are always easier when yo have a participating partner.  I still love Paula and her family and will continue to e a big fan.

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