Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Paula Deen, After Being Told She Had Diabetes, "I Wasn't About To Change My Life!"

TV chef Paula Deen admitted on the TODAY show this morning that she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes - 3 years ago!
"Hey ya’all. I’m here to share something with you. A while back I was told that I have Type 2 Diabetes. I wasn’t about to change my life, but 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. And I’m taking more walks with my husband Michael and I’m running after our grandchildren. And I love it all."
- Diabetes In A New Light, Novo Nordisk and Paula Deen
Here's the TODAY interview:

I was disappointed she didn't explicitly tie her diet to her diabetes. It was the teachable moment I had hoped for. When Roker primed her with, "That kind of food can lead to type 2 diabetes," Deen responded, "Certainly, Al, that is part of the puzzle. But there is many other things that can lead to diabetes. Certainly genetics..."

Roker asked her, "What do you say to people who say, "She delayed this because it would damage her reputation, her whole industry that's she's built basically on this kind of cooking."? Deen responded, "No, people are not going to quit eating. We quit eating, we're all outta here."

Deen teemed with the drug company Novo Nordisk to create a new site, which is essentially an advertisement for Novo Nordisk's diabetes injectable Victoza:
Diabetes In A New Light

Here is one of her first new "diabetes-friendly" recipes, Lady and Sons Lasagna


1/2 pound extra-lean ground beef
1 (10-ounce) package cremini or white mushrooms, finely chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added petite diced tomatoes
1 cup water
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 bay leaves (optional)
3/4 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Paula Deen’s House Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Paula Deen’s Seasoned Salt
9 whole-wheat or reduced-carbohydrate lasagna noodles
1 1/2 cups no-salt-added low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (preferably Swiss or Comte)
1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), cut into small bits

What do you think?

Related post: TV Chef Paula Deen Has Diabetes


caulfieldkid said...

I can't say I'm surprised. Maybe I would find more fault with her assertions if they weren't the prominent perception.

I don't know that I would call her a part of the problem, but I certainly wont put her in the solution category either.

As to the recipe: It's a step in the right direction? I'm trying to focus on the positives.


Bix said...

She made a point of saying that the food on her show and in her books is not the food she ate on a regular basis. She said she always ate "in moderation."

She doesn't intimate what "in moderation" is. She does say that in eating with diabetes, "moderation is key." And that this new recipe is "diabetes friendly."

So ... does this recipe then represent how she used to eat before her diagnosis?

Ronald said...

I think it has less cheese in it than cheese, cheese, cheese, spam and cheese.

Bix said...

Here's what would have been great to hear from her, although she would have taken heat:

"I have type 2 diabetes and my diet contributed to it. I have learned a hard lesson. I have had to change the foods I eat. I invite those who are struggling with this disease to join me on my journey to improved health!"

It could have been an Oprah moment. People would rally around her. Well, except Bourdain.

Laurie Endicott Thomas said...

Still way too much fat and protein and not enough carbohydrate. We've known since the early 20th century that high-fat diets cause insulin resistance.

preserve said...

i doubt anything with ground beef can be diabetic friendly.

Bix said...

The meal, in my opinion (I do not dispense medical advice here), does not seem suited for someone with diabetes. It seems especially unsuited for someone with diabetes for whom first-line meds were unsuccessful. Victoza is a second-line injectable and implies, to me, the patient had difficulty managing blood glucose by diet, exercise, and oral meds.

The meal does not seem suited because it contains too much fat (31% of calories), saturated fat (saturated fat triggers insulin resistance more than poly- and monounsaturated fat), protein (people with poorly-managed diabetes for years have difficulty removing protein-related nitrogen from their blood because of impaired kidneys), and processed foods (this recent study in the Journal of Nutrition:

A Low-Glycemic Load Diet Reduces Serum C-Reactive Protein and Modestly Increases Adiponectin in Overweight and Obese Adults


"In conclusion, carbohydrate quality, independent of energy, is important. Dietary patterns emphasizing low-GL foods may improve the inflammatory and adipokine profiles of overweight and obese individuals [with diabetes]."

P.S. I'm talking about someone with poorly controlled diabetes and other elements of the Metabolic Syndrome, not a healthy young person.

P.S.S. Victoza, a drug it appears Paula Deen was placed on, is in a class of drugs (GLP-1 analogs, which includes Byetta) which tends to result in weight loss.

P.S.S.S. I have a post coming up that will address another problem with dietary fat in people with diabetes.

Bix said...

If I thought that a plant-based, minimally-processed diet was healthful for someone with diabetes, this meal doesn't fit that bill. It is animal-based (beef, eggs, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, Gruyere cheese, cheddar cheese, cream cheese) and refined.

Bix said...

Another reason this high-animal-fat meal may not be healthful for someone with diabetes, something I've mentioned on here a number of times...

From Marion Nestle's latest blog post...

Food industry opposes EPA limits on dioxins

"About 90% of dioxins come from foods, particularly high-fat animal foods."

"How to avoid them? The best way is to eat less high-fat meats, dairy foods, and seafood."

Dioxins and other POPs (persistent organic pollutants) increase the risk of diabetes several-fold.

Anonymous said...

that lasagna is definetly not diabetes frendly!! that many cups of cheese, even if reduced-fat cheese, still contains a lot of saturated fatty acids and salt...

Bix said...

You said it better than me.

Bix said...

This was an interesting analogy, by a Dr. Dale Archer:

"If Paula had been a smoking aficionado, and her TV show had been about cigarettes from around the world, and 3 years after being diagnosed with lung cancer, she announces her deal with Nicorette and her new webpage on how to still smoke a little, while pretending it's healthier... would it be a joke?"

Paula Deen And The Business Of Butter, Psychology Today

Angela and Melinda said...

Live fast, die young.

Bix said...

preserve, I meant to say, I agree. If I was going to make this dish, I'd use a full cut of meat and dice it or something. Ground beef is so iffy these days. Remember this post:

Centralized Meat Production: One Beef Patty Has Remnants Of How Many Cows In It?

Remnants of 1000 cows in one little beef patty. If I may say, ground beef is a real crapshoot.

Unknown said...

Well although I'm leaning towards team low-carb, AND I love cheese, this recipe has a LOT of cheese. Maybe if this recipe served 20+ people and was served with a big salad (yea right, LOL).

DB said...

This came from her website, not so much fat as user said

Per serving: 260 calories, 9 g fat (5 saturated, 0 g trans), 55 mg cholesterol, 380 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 23 g protein.