Paula Deen and Adult Onset Diabetes

I was trying to think up a catchy title for this column, I did have a few, but after some thought, I just decided to keep it simple.

English: Paula Deen throwing out the first pit...

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I have been following the reports of Paula Deen’s emergence from the type II diabetes closet.  It turns out, that the charming southern lady, has been suffering with the potentially preventable ailment for a couple of years.  Even though I no longer indulge in the garbage they serve up, I am a huge fan of The Food Network and its sibling The Cooking Channel.  I would say that next to sports, these channels make up the bulk of my television viewing.  I watch for the entertainment value of the programming and to continually challenge my will power against the sugar soaked, carbohydrate crammed, body fat converting foods that are shoveled into each host’s mouth day after day.

I regularly invite the very charming Ms. Deen into my home day after day.  I admire her story of tenacity and success in the face of grand hardship.   Overcoming odds and truly starting with nothing more than two hundred dollars, she went from selling bagged lunches to presiding over a colossal culinary empire.

Among Emeril Lagasse, Alton Brown, Duff Goldman, Rachel Ray and Mario Batali; Paula is one of my favorites.  However, I noticed from their beginnings, my favorites have one thing in common — along with their expanding Food Network success, the mass of their body’s has also expanded.  Rachel seems to go up and down, AB took control of his weight in 2010, but Emeril, Mario , Duff and Paula seem to revel, not only in their roles as overweight, cherub-like chefs, but in the rolls they bake up.  As I took control of my health, I realized that these stars, whose persona’s I so like, are slowly destroying their own health — and in turn, those who consume their detrimental, deleterious, dietary dishes.

Food Network HD logo

Over the years, The Food Network has become an enemy of the state of good health and fitness.  Their shows have denigrated from chef’s who prepare whole food meals, to purveyors of food porn, producing and promoting nothing more than molto monosaccharide menageries of sickening sweets.  Ms. Deen has claimed that the foods she whipped up were not for everyday consumption.  Really? Come on Paula, observation of your progressive weight gain leads one to summarize that simply ain’t so.

In addition to the sorrow I feel over her having to deal with the results of her starch filled dietary habits, I am even more sad that those educated equine gluteus maximus promoters of the Standard American Diet, have demonstrated their deep-seated prejudice and ignorance, by proclaiming that Paula’s proclamations of “butter makes it better,” as the cause of her adult onset diabetes.

It was NOT the butter that caused her body tissues to develop insulin resistance. 

It was NOT the lard nor fat that caused the over secretion of insulin to convert excess macronutrients into stored body fat. 

No, it was the consumption of processed flour, simple sugars and other polysaccaridic starches that glutted her system with glucose which caused her unfortunate ailment.  While I do feel bad for Paula, I am appalled that, in lieu of taking appropriate dietary measures to manage her mellitus, she has opted for the pharmaceutical fix, the continued consumption of carbohydrates and perhaps worse of all — the erroneous mantra of moderation, all of which will only lead further down the road of health ruination.

Emeril Lagasse, American celebrity chef, resta...

I watched Emeril the other day on one of the morning shows, and he was asked about his friend Paula Deen.  He related that he had been dealing with diabetes in his family and then verbalized some ludicrous statement that moderation was key.  Moderation compared to what?  If one consumes a dozen doughnuts a day; as I did in my morbidly obese days, then moderation would be half a dozen — does that make any sense!?!?

Obviously, if Paula has been diagnosed since 2009 and Emeril has been dealing with this in his family, then their practice of moderation has manifested itself in their own health robbing, not so moderate, obesity.  Moderation does NOT work.  Mr. Lagasse, if you are going to weigh into the conversation with such a throw away line as guidance, then you have to be an example such guidance is effective.

Obesity has health consequences beyond type II diabetes and by some is considered a disease.  Well, let us draw a parallel — alcoholism and drug addiction both have negative health consequences, and both are considered diseases.  Would any responsible health professional recommend, as a solution, moderation?  Of course not! It isn’t only ludicrous, it is down right asinine.  For the overwhelming majority of people, if you have obesity related type II diabetes; moderation is NOT the answer.  It is time to realize that sugar, starches and processed carbohydrates must be relegated to the past and eliminated from the diet.  Besides, once you clear the crap carbs from your system, you will feel so much better — you will wonder why you had been eating them in the first place.

I am all too well aware, not only as an educator, motivational speaker, weight loss/fitness author and chiropractor, of the damage that diabetes can wreak on human physiology, but also as someone with a genetic predisposition to the disease.  As  a young child, I witnessed my maternal grandmother inject her daily insulin into various parts of her anatomy.  As an adult, I helplessly watched as my father endured thrice weekly kidney dialysis because diabetes rendered his renal system useless.  My family history is why I chose to battle obesity using the most common sense approach; restricting carbohydrates and consuming as close to nature foods as possible.  By combining the low carb approaches of the likes of  Dr. Atkins, Dr. Eades, et. al.,  along with sound paleolithic, primal eating — I not only scored a victory over the layers of lard that enveloped my body, I improved my overall health and fitness.

Paula and Emeril, since you have placed yourself out there giving advice, perhaps it is time you actually learn the proper advice.  I will be happy to help either, or both of you, take control of your weight and in turn take control of your health.

Email me at


Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book,A Life Beyond Weight Loss.  He is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcasting or television outlet. He has appeared TV -35′s Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud, WILK’s The Sue Henry Show, Magic 93′s Frankie In The Morning, WBRE’s PA Live, SSPTV’s News 13, Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast.

Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at and check out his website


************The posting that I  write do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition.  I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions.*************