Then the damn butter hit the fan! Breaking News: Paula Deen Has Diabetes was plastered everywhere! The self-proclaimed "queen of butter" was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. This type of diabetes occurs when our bodies become resistant to insulin or when our pancreas stops producing enough insulin. Insulin helps regulate our blood sugar (glucose) and helps the glucose go from our bloodstream into our cells. Not enough insulin, or being insulin resistant means our cells won't get the energy they need to function. We don't know exactly why this happens, but we do know what puts us at risk for developing it like:
- Being overweight - the primary risk factor. The more fat cells you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin.
- Having too much abdominal fat - if you tend to store excess fat on your stomach versus your hips or thighs, you're at a greater risk.
- Family history
- Race - African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have a greater risk
- Age - people over 45 years of age have a greater risk
Paula Deen is now the spokesperson for drug maker Novo Nordisk. She takes Victoza, a once-daily non-insulin injection. Is she a hypocrite? Is she going to change how she cooks? What's going to happen to all that leftover butter?? It seems as if a lot of us are pretty mad at Paula. The timing of it all seems pretty convenient. But you know what, I'm not mad at her. There was something about watching her recklessly and gleefully put stick after stick of butter into her dishes that brought me joy but there was no way I was actually going to eat what she made everyday.
We all need to take more accountability for what we put into our mouths. If you think that you can eat like Paula Deen everyday, 3x a day, and not eventually suffer from some significant health side effects, then as they say, I have some magical jumping beans I'd like to sell you. The only person you're fooling is yourself. Should she have been more socially responsible and perhaps been more frank with her viewing audience? Probably, but ultimately its still our responsibility.
Paula is now coming out with new, lighter versions of the Southern food she's famous for. "Practice moderation y'all" she says, "you can have diabetes and eat a piece of cake. You cannot have diabetes and eat a whole cake". I'd like to add that even if you don't have diabetes, there is really no good reason (unless you are a competitive eater) to eat a whole cake. This is not a post telling you to boycott all things buttery, gooey and greasy, it's just to show you that no one is immune. Your choices have consequences. Making small, healthier lifestyle choices over time may help you avoid getting some horrible news later. Eat to live, don't live to eat!