February 25, 2012 08:31 AM by Shayla Perry
Don’t throw out that butter and “oil” just yet, y’all. Paula Deen may have Type 2 diabetes, but that doesn’t mean she’s about to make any big changes to the signature Southern cooking style that catapulted her to Food Network stardom and beyond. Yes, there will be some slightly less fattening cuisine when her show returns with new episodes, but for Deen, who’ll be featured this season on NBC‘s Who Do You Think You Are?, it’s important that she stay true to her roots.
“I am who I am,” Paula Deen told The Associated Press at Friday’s (February 24) South Beach Wine and Food Festival. “I will have a broader platform now, trying to do something for everybody. But you know, I’m Southern by roots. I was taught [to cook] by my grandmother and nothing I can do would change that.”
Words Anthony Bourdain, for one, won’t be too happy to hear.
Bourdain openly criticized Deen for “cheerfully selling” a signature dish of “hamburger in between a doughnut,” knowing that she had Type 2 diabetes for almost three years, and called her out for cashing in on a medical diagnosis.
Paula, however, says, “It took me 20 years to come out and stand up and say, ‘Hey, my name’s Paula and I’m agoraphobic.’ I was so ashamed, so embarrassed. So to [reveal my diabetes] in two-and-a-half years, I thought it was pretty good,” adding, “I think a few people who have access to a TV camera and ink kind of wanted to hate on me for coming down with something. But I so don’t worry about it.”
Though her Food Network show won’t look too different, Paula has been making big changes in her personal life since her diabetes diagnosis. The personable cook has started walking on a treadmill, quit smoking, and cut out sweet tea; a HUGE sacrifice for anyone in the South.
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Photo credit: NBC