Paula Deen decided to live a healthy life and quit her unhealthy diet after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
American chef, author, and TV personality Paula Deen is known for her classic Southern recipes. Most of her dishes were loaded with sugar and butter – but not anymore. She changed her eating habits and began her weight loss journey in order to manage her blood sugar.
It was more than a decade ago when the celebrity chef announced that she was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Prior to finding out about her condition, she was criticized for promoting unhealthy diets by some people, including her fellow chef, Anthony Bourdain.
After the diagnosis, Paula got serious about her health and has since lost weight. In a 2012 interview with PEOPLE, she admitted that she thinks “differently now about food.” Although the progress may seem little at first, she believes that there’s still a good outcome later on.
“You can make a few small changes, they can add up to big results,” the celebrity chef said.
Paula Deen had a hard time accepting her condition at first, but she eventually changed her diet and substituted her favorites for healthy foods.
The celebrity chef admitted she had a hard time accepting her condition at first. During her appearance on The Dr. Oz Show in 2012, she revealed that she didn’t believe the doctor when he told her about the illness, mostly because no one in her family is diabetic and they all live the same way.
But, after the third check-up, she finally accepted that she had a health problem. That was a wake-up call for her, and she decided to change her diet and lose weight. She even threw out everything white in her kitchen, including “white bread, white rice, white potatoes, and white pasta.”
She did that for four months, and she was able to lose weight, about 35 pounds or 40 pounds. Yet, she didn’t stick to that, and she’s now being more realistic when it comes to her diet. She started adding white flour to her food again, but in moderation.
“The thing that I’m trying to really focus on, y’all, is moderation, moderation, moderation,” Paula explained. “You know, eat a cookie, just don’t eat six of ’em, you know what I mean?”
The celebrity chef learned to replace her ingredients with healthy ones, such as using yogurt rather than mayonnaise. Meanwhile, she substituted mashed potatoes and fried chicken with baked fish and Greek salad to lose weight. Her favorite Krispy Kreme hamburger is off her menu now.
What else are the dos and don'ts in Paula Deen's diet plan?
The celebrity chef eats a lot of fresh, green vegetables. She limits carbs on her diet, as she sees them as “killers.” Ever since she started living a healthy lifestyle, Paula has brought more greens to her table, and she actually likes her healthy diet now.
“I really have been eating more of them-more veggies and more salads-and loving it,” she told Shape.
Some of Paula’s favorite vegetables include cauliflower and rutabaga. The latter is a root vegetable that may not seem appealing to the eye, but it brings rich flavor to your dish. She has added this vegetable to her diet since then.
A glass of sweet tea is also off the celebrity chef’s menu now. She never went a day without this one, but she’s skipping this one for good to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sugary foods and drinks should be avoided by a person with Type II diabetes.
Before being diagnosed with the condition, the celebrity chef was obsessed with sweet tea. She even told Prevention, “I would start drinking it at 11 o’clock in the morning, and it would be on my bedside table when I went to bed.”
Paula’s already consuming one cup of sugar each day with the sweet tea alone. According to American Heart Association, that was above the recommended amount. Also, it was said that women should not consume over 24 grams of sugar each day.
Aside from limiting sugar, Paula limits her meat consumption, as well. The celebrity chef still includes protein in her diet, and her favorite is country-style pork backbone. However, she makes sure that the meat doesn’t take up more space on her plate than the vegetables.
When it comes to breakfast choices, fruit smoothies were one of her favorites. But when she found out that fruit smoothies were full of carbs, she realized that she shouldn’t drink them alone. That’s when she started incorporating peanut butter into her favorite breakfast refresher.
Peanut butter is said to rank low on the glycemic index, a scale that ranks food based on how the blood sugar reacts after eating certain types of food. Since peanut butter is being digested slowly, it has a lower GI score, which is recommended for the celebrity chef’s diet.
Paula Deen said that everything should be in moderation to have a balanced, healthy diet.
Now, Paula only eats a fistful of meat per meal, which is said to be equal to 3 ounces and deemed as single-serving by the USDA and FDA. Despite the small amount, she still knows how to spice up her meat using more than 250 favorite recipes.
At the beginning of her weight loss journey, Paula struggled to maintain a healthy diet. Later on, she learned that she must focus on moderation to lose weight and keep a healthy body. Whenever she indulges in something unhealthy, she balances it out with healthy foods throughout the day.
Paula also has a sentimental reminder to continue and to get back on track with her weight loss journey. She told Woman’s Day, “I want to be here for my grandchildren.” Every time she feels like she’s about to give up, she always reminds herself of what she must look forward to.
“Waking up every morning is very exciting for me, to see what the day is going to bring.”