Blog Archives

Paula Deen, Diabetes, Drugs, and Groupthink

I don’t want to be that football player who, long after the hard work of tackling the ball carrier has been done by his teammates, comes flying into the frame to land on top of the dog pile after the whistle.

But that is what I am going to do.

So Paula Deen announced that she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes three years ago but has waited until now to make it public. In the interim, her popular TV show has featured the same high fat, high sugar, decidedly unhealthy fare as always. What’s different? Now she has a financial deal to represent an expensive, dangerous drug.

People are in an uproar over her unhealthy cooking while diabetic. They say she should have set a better example. They’re still upset that she doesn’t acknowledge the primary role lifestyle plays in the disease. They are also upset that the one dietary change she has mentioned has been cutting back on sweet tea.

I agree with the criticism, but I don’t want to bash on Deen individually. I am disturbed by the pharmaceutical connection, but it could have been anyone. What bothers me is the way the way that all of us, not just Paula Deen keep looking to the drug companies to save us when we should be looking to lifestyle changes for chronic disease. A little research will uncover some doctors who have amazing results reversing diabetes using diet. But unfortunately this information is not widely known. It’s not really Paula Deen’s fault that she doesn’t know this, since it appears radical and almost quackery. But we owe it to ourselves to check into all the possibilities before settling on powerful and dangerous drugs. Doctors need to acknowledge the power of lifestyle and counsel their patients on its use. It’s up to the individual what they choose to do. But we all deserve to know our options.

Here is one of those little discussed, yet powerful options, a vegan diet. It’s a long video, but check out Dr. Barnard’s success using a low-fat vegan diet against the standard recommendations of the American Diabetes Association.

How powerful would it be if Paula Deen could follow this plan, and change her show into a show that taught people how to make delicious dishes that could reverse disease? She wants hope to be her legacy, if she taught healthy cooking, it certainly would be.


Reverse Diabetes

I’ve known diabetics and prediabetics. Problem is that identifu=ying the disease and starting the drug regiment that is used as treatment never works. They never get better. They start a sisyphean attempt to “control” the disease. But they never cure it. In fact, they get worse. I thought the reason we took drugs was to get better? Well, diabetes is a lifestyle disease, so the only way we can cure it is to fix the lifestyle issues that caused it. But that doesn’t appear to be the way that we approach it. Dr Neal Barnard has great research that shows how to get at the root of the problem in his book about diabetes. We can control this, but it takes some effort on our parts. It may be more effort than swallowing pills and shooting up insulin, but in the end it will pay off bigger. But what is even worse, we have known about this disease and what can reverse it for for decades as Dr. John McDougall explains  in his lecture on diabetes. Even if there are flaws in these studies it costs nothing to try them, right? Enjoy.