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A diabetic Paula Deen should encourage all of us to eat better

Chef Timothy
 
 Dr. Timothy Moore

The nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine released a list in December of five of the unhealthiest cookbooks of 2011. Several of the Food Network’s top chefs and their cookbooks made the list: “Guy Fieri Food,” Jamie Oliver’s “Meals in Minutes: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast,” “The Neely’s Celebration Cookbook,” “The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook,” and Paula Deen’s “Southern Cooking Bible.”

“The high-fat meals in these cookbooks are real recipes for disaster,” said PCRM’s Nutrition Education Director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.

“It’s great that Jamie Oliver and other chefs are focusing on fresh and local ingredients, but some of these recipes have more calories and cholesterol than a Big Mac. The real key to healthful eating is moving away from high-fat, meaty meals that increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, and cancer.”

Levin has a valid point, one that I’ve been making each week in this column: Eating the wrong food can “increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, and cancer.” And eating the wrong food will even kill you. That’s a fact.

“One serving of Hot Buffalo Wings (three wings) contains 910 calories and 85 grams of fat; meat-heavy diets raise obesity risk,” the PCRM wrote about Paula Deen’s wings.

The PCRM is right in its criticism of Deen’s calorie-laden, cholesterol-raising dishes and the risky dishes of other chefs as well.

My point was proven when I read a slew of news reports recently over the Internet that Deen, the queen of Southern cooking, is stricken with type II diabetes. Now she can no longer eat the artery-clogging dishes that rocketed her to fame.

I’m not picking on Dean, but it was inevitable that her heavy-buttered dishes would be the detriment of her own health. She is not alone, though. Diabetes, digestive issues and overeating seem to be a problem for everybody. Here’s the remedy: Eat food that is rich in nutrients and full of disease fighting phytochemicals, such as bok choy, cabbage, carrots, kale, Swiss chard, broccoli, asparagus, and collards.

Sorry Paula, but you cannot eat a diet rich in butter, sugar and fats and think this type of lifestyle will never catch up with you. I’m a chef myself, and I’m not the least bit surprised that Deen has become the victim of her own doing. Chefs, you see, don’t always prepare healthy dishes.

I suppose Dean will change her lifestyle. She has to if she wants to live the remainder of her life in good health. In fact, she has already begun to address her health problems. It has been reported that she will be the spokeswoman for a pharmaceutical company pushing the Novartis diabetes medication that she takes.

According to tabulated food consumption data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American eats nearly one ton of food each year, or about 2,700 calories per day. In one year, Americans eat 200 pounds of meat, 56 lbs. of corn, 415.4 lbs. of vegetables, 29 lbs. of French fries, 23 lbs. of pizza, 24 lbs. of ice cream, 273.2 lbs. of fruit, and drink 53 gallons of soda. Americans also consume 2.736 lbs. of sodium per year, which is 47 percent more than recommended.

The overindulgence of food will expand the waistline and increase the body mass index by more than 30 percent by the year 2030, “The Lancet” (thelancet.com), a prestigious print and online medical journal founded by Thomas Wakley in 1823, reported.  

So reduce your consumption of food and consider the following: Swiss chard offers nearly half the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, which helps fight skin, breast, liver, colon and prostate cancers. And one cup of raspberries can offer you more than half a day’s dose of vitamin C.  

It’s been reported that women who eat nuts five times per week are 27 percent less likely to develop Type II diabetes than those who don’t. The good thing about eating fruit and vegetables is that they reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 percent when eating at least eight servings daily.

A single serving of grapefruit gives you 100 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C. Eating bok choy can boost your RDA of potassium by 8 percent. And if you eat a single cup of red cabbages, you’ll get 85 percent of all the Vitamin C you need.  

I’m sure Paula Deen is familiar with the statistical data. At this juncture in her life, I believe she’ll make the right decision to eat healthy.

(Dr. Timothy Moore teaches nutrition, heart disease and diabetes reversal through a plant-based lifestyle. He is a professional speaker, wellness coach and personal plant-based chef. He can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit him on the Web sites at www.cheftimothymoore.com or www.twitter.com/cheftimmoore.)

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