Paula Deen has diabetes. I know it’s super old news, but at first, I didn’t think there was much to say about it, mostly because it’s not all that surprising. She appears to be obese or at least overweight, and she is notorious for her artery-clogging cuisine. But I don’t think I fully grasped just how terrifically over-the-top she is until I watched her show today.
While running at the gym, (I know, right?!) I watched the episode “Paula Goes Bananas.” She made a bunch of dishes with bananas, the most ostentatiously unhealthy of which was a ham, banana and bacon casserole. Reading the recipe is not the same as watching her make it: the shock-value is much greater when you don’t know what’s coming next. Like just when I thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse, she’s crushing potato chips for the topping, then I was like okay well, that’s enough Paula. Then she starts chopping bacon to go on top of the potato chips, (now I’m like whoa- you’re out of control) THEN she adds the heavy cream concoction. And I’m all, girl, you are bananas!
This casserole seems like something I would have tried to make when I was five. I mean, who would put those things together in a casserole dish? I’m sure it’s delicious because the reviewers gave it five stars — but. My God. It’s horrendous. It’s like such a disaster that you don’t even know where to start in terms of making improvements.
In her defense, Paula Deen has a handful of really good recipes that aren’t teeming with butter and bacon. My favorite pork chop recipe is a Paula Deener. She has a fabulous mashed potatoes recipe, but that’s consumed as a side dish so the portion is smaller. I maintain that it’s better to use real butter and cream in mashed potatoes than fat-free half&half and I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-butter. The real deal is a lot more satisfying, and in the end you will eat less.
The point is, if you eat Paula-Deen-style all the time, chances are you will wind up with a BMI (body mass index) in the overweight/obese category, a clogged artery or two, and possibly diabetes. But Paula’s copious use of butter is not necessarily the sole cause of her diabetes. When you put butter in a casserole dish with bacon, ham and heavy cream, now we’re entering into another league. And that’s where Paula goes wrong. Still, some of her recipes can be incorporated in moderation.
Diabetes is a condition with more than one risk factor: there’s a genetic component for sure, and a lifestyle component (both diet and exercise). If you are overweight or obese, your odds of developing diabetes increases significantly.
Apparently, Paula’s son will be starting a show on Food Network called “Not my Mama’s Meals,” where he tries to make healthier versions of her recipes. I think that will actually be very entertaining. I am excited to see if and how he turns this casserole around.