Paula Deen, the butter queen, will continue to spread her Southern style on television... but perhaps not as thick.
After revealing that she has Type 2 diabetes in January, Deen is ready to move on and promote her slightly less fatty cuisine. Just don't expect her to throw out that tub of butter completely.
"I am who I am. But what I will be doing is offering up lighter versions of my recipes," the Food Network star told The Associated Press at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival on Friday. "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."
Deen stands by her on-air cooking style, but clarifies that she'll also include healthier recipes into the mix to appeal to more people. The cook has made some other changes in her personal life, including walking on a treadmill, quitting smoking and cutting out sweet tea.
Deen received backlash in January when she revealed she had known about her diabetes for three years prior but had continued to promote her butter- and fat-laden recipes. "It took me 20 years to come out and stand up and say, 'Hey, my name's Paula and I'm agoraphobic,'" she said. "I was so ashamed, so embarrassed. So to [reveal my diabetes] in two-and-a-half years, I thought it was pretty good."
She also received criticism for capitalizing on her diagnosis by becoming the paid spokesperson for Novo Nordisk's drug Victoza and online program, Diabetes in a New Light. Deen shrugged it off, however, and said, "It's the way of the world. It's the American way. But I am taking a portion of that compensation and giving it back to the [American] Diabetes Association."
At the time she revealed her diabetes, fellow food TV personality Anthony Bourdain was very vocal about his disapproval, telling Eater.com, "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 ... It's in bad taste if nothing else."
"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," she told the AP. "But I so don't worry about it."
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