One of the worst-kept secrets in the kitchen is a secret no longer.
Paula Deen, the Mistress of Artery-Clogging Southern Cuisine, has revealed that she does, in fact, have Type 2 diabetes.
On Tuesday, the Food Network star, best known for her beloved high-calorie cooking, confessed that she can no longer indulge many of her most famous dishes after being diagnosed with the disease.
"I was determined to share my positive approach and not let diabetes stand in the way of enjoying my life," Deen, 64, said in a release this morning.
Deen says she was "a little sad," when she first learned she was diabetic in 2008. But she's proud to report that she's dropped a dress size since then.
The food lover is addressing the reports surrounding her health for the first time since the diabetes buzz began last April. The National Enquirer set off the whispers after speaking with spywitnesses who revealed that Deen was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago. The chief, however, continued to tout and hock the very butter and sugar rich high-fat recipes that have been long-linked to the onset of the condition, the insiders said.
"When Paula was diagnosed with diabetes, I think she was worried that if her secret got out, it would make her look like a hypocrite. Ironically, the very thing that made her rich and famous turned her into a poster child for what could happen if you follow in her footsteps," a snoop said.
It's unhealthy snacks like Deen's Lady's Brunch Burger -- a hamburger topped with bacon, a fried egg and served on a glazed donut -- that made the former Georgia caterer a household name.
But the sugar-packed snacks may have also contributed to her battle against diabetes.
The famous foodie's love affair with fat has been a silent killer for many, endocrinologist Dr. Daniel Lorber told the tabloid.
"Diabetes can be deadly because it increases your risk of heart disease, kidney failure and stroke. And Type 2 diabetes can be directly related to obesity, which is reaching epidemic proportions in this country."
The cook is presently keeping her disease under control with the help of Victoza, a once-daily, non-insulin injection. Deen is devoting herself to healthy living with the launch of Diabetes in a New Light, a new lifestyle website offering tips, recipes and support to people living with the disorder. She also continues to "make lifestyle adjustments, including lightened-up versions of her favorite recipes."
But Paula's new-found outlook hasn't gotten the cook off the hook with her biggest rival: Fellow celebrity chief Anthony Bourdain.
Last year, Bourdain made headlines after he branded the queen of all-fried everything "the worst, most dangerous person to America." He's long been an opponent of Deen's signature homestyle cooking -- which usually comes replete with lots of butter.
"She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations and she's proud of the fact that her food is f***ing bad for you," he retorted in an interview with TV Guide magazine.
Now, with Paula's official health struggle making headlines, Anthony is being quizzed for his comment on the fracas. And he hates to say "I told you so," but…
"When your signature dish is hamburger in between a doughnut, and you've been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you've got Type 2 diabetes," Bourdain told Eater on Tuesday.
"It's in bad taste if nothing else. How long has she known? I suspect a very long time."
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