I visited Paula Deen’s site, now that the hubbub of her T2 diabetes revelation is in remission. I wanted to see how her diabetes-themed site, Diabetes in a New Light, has evolved and if PaulaDeen.com has changed.
There are Krispy Kreme donut recipes like Bill Nicholson’s Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with the tagline, “this sinfully sweet dessert feeds a crowd.” The recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk, raisins and canned fruit salad in syrup (no draining allowed!). For a person with diabetes–maybe even for a person without!–eating this would result in passing out and waking up in the ER.
There’s no mention of the “D” word at pauladeen.com. You’ll find a recipe for lighter cinnamon rolls and, at the end of the recipe, be directed to chocolate sour cream pound cake, shrimp butter and chocolate pecan layer cake. Or check out Ooey Gooey Burgers for Dad, and yes, a little searching finds the infamous Ladies Lunch Burger: fried egg, bacon and a burger on a krispie kreme donut–be still my heart!
If you want info about diabetes you have to go to Diabetes in a New Light, which hasn’t changed much since it went up. When you google search Paula Deen Diabetes in a New Light doesn’t even come up on the first page. And if you want diabetes-friendly recipes, you have to sign up first, which gives Novo Nordisk access to your information and assures you’l receive emails from the manufacturer of Victoza, the drug Paula takes to control her blood sugars. Its no secret Deen has a contract with Novo Nordisk to be their “face of diabetes” but it appears she’s outsourced the herculean job of making her recipes “diabetes-friendly” to her sons, Bobby and Jamie.
The main site is certainly lots more fun, filled with videos and recipes and links. A fan commented that she watches Paula everyday and tries to use all her recipes–as Paula urges in many of her videos–but the poor woman laments she “is having to change some things because [her] husband is a diabetic.” And likely to stay that way if she sticks with the recipes at pauladeen.com.
Paula says one reason she cooks with high calorie, high fat, high everything ingredients is because she’s cooking for “real people,” people who don’t have access to fancy ingredients. So I’m one of those “real” people–I’m not into gourmet cooking, just simple, nutritious cooking. When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, I had 2 active boys, ages 3 and 6, I was married to a less than supportive partner and struggled with the remnants of an eating disorder (bulimia). I had to figure out how to stay healthy in the middle of it all.
Deen let slip a golden opportunity to address lifestyle changes with her devoted audience–the population that could benefit most from this education. What if she took on the challenge of creating simple, healthy meals, rather than handing off that job to her sons? But the choice was to sweep the ratings-lowering diabetes stuff under the rug, and simply pay lip-service to caring about diabetes with the creation of a bland website.