Deen, Diabetes and Debacles

Is Paula Deen really a bad person because she has diabetes and cooks with butter?

So what we all suspected is finally out – Paula Deen, the Butter Queen, has Type-2 Diabetes.

There has been some pretty harsh backlash against the southern cook since she went public with this information. Deen has been “hiding” this disease for the past three years and has decided to come forward about her health, presumably for marketing reasons, with her son's new “healthy” cookbook and her role as the new face of Diabetes in a New Light.

Deen is known for packing her dishes with as much lard and butter as she can – she even has a quiche recipe that calls for a whole pound of bacon! But the thing is, Deen has been cooking this way for years. She's Southern, y'all!

But people have been outraged since she came clean about her blood sugar levels, saying that even though she knew she had diabetes, she still went on her show and cooked unhealthy, fat-laden foods. She's what people like to call hypocritical.

Anthony Bourdain, food enthusiast and travel writer tweeted, “Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.”

Bourdain is known for his brass and bold comments, but come on. No one is forced to make her cuisine. And she's cooking how she was raised to cook. Does butter make everything taste better? Yes. Is it good for you? In moderation, yes. Did she purposefuly cook this way to get diabetes and make money off of it? No.

My dad was diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes a few years back and I can say that, with 100-percent honesty, his diet was nowhere near that of Deen's cooking. In fact, my mother never even used real butter growing up, but rather the more “healthy” option of vegetable spread with calcium. We never owned a deep-fryer and bacon was only used on weekend breakfasts.

My point here is that anyone can get diabetes. It's hereditary, like in my dad's case, but can also be reversed with a good diet. If you watch Deen's show and read her recipe for her Gooey Butter Cake, common sense will tell you to not recreate the dishes she makes.

Her unhealthy cooking isn't news. Do people really believe it's only wrong to promote that kind of cooking if you have diabetes??

But it seems that the real problem people have is her million-dollar contract for diabetes awareness. Yes, it's a bit nauseating when people make money off a self-inflicted problem, but let's focus on the good and celebrate the fact that Deen's unhealthy cooking might finally come to an end. An important issue is being brought to light.

Workout guru Bob Harper from Biggest Loser said, “Her food is just entirely too decadent. If you eat like that, it's going to come back and bite you. She's going to have to get in the kitchen and find a way to get creative with the foods she loves to eat, make them healthier.”

Sounds like a winning situation to me. If Ms. Deen can get into the kitchen and make a gooey butter cake that tastes good and isn't unhealthy, but is actually a diabetic alternative, I'm all for it.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

shina January 20, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Paula should have come forward with her diabetes much much sooner
ateleswig January 20, 2012 at 03:53 PM
PatchCoronado allows anti-semitic and threats and lies against a family who lost their 6 year old boy
Carrie Downey January 20, 2012 at 05:31 PM
My family loves Paula. I don't have diabetes but I doctor her recipes for my family because of cholesteral issues. I substitute turkey bacon smart balance butter when I make her recipes. I loo forward to her doctoring her recipes and coming out with healthier versions so I don't have to.
ann January 28, 2012 at 03:43 AM
She used butter because it made her recipes taste better. Let's face it, butter in anything is fantastic, but it is bad for you if you have high cholestrol. My husband eats alot of butter but has low cholestrol! Even though I am thin, I have extremely high cholestrol and relatives who inherited type 2 diabetes. It's all in the genes. By the way, I love her recipes. Just substitute the butter and everyone should quit criticizing her for what she inherited, diabetes!
wildflower January 29, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I love Anthony Bourdain's shows, but: he is frequently intoxicated, or "wasted" (his word) on other substances. He eats mammoth amounts of food, and it doesn't appear that he is particular about how unhealthy it may be, He's a decade younger than Paula, looks older, and if he's not in poor health now, he may be at some future time. I give him the benefit of the doubt. I assume he doesn't eat, drink, or indulge except when he's making his show. So why do we assume that Paula eats a pound of bacon and of fried butter every night?
Ruth January 29, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Paula Deen will have to make lifestyle and nutrition changes as do all people with diabetes. She has the public forum to help others in the same situation make those choices and changes too. Let's hope that she is able to turn this negative into a positive. I hope that people won't beat her up too much as she is human as are we all. An I agree that people like Bourdain should refrain from criticizing her as he is hardly a role model for a healthy lifestyle himself.


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