Posts Tagged ‘sugar’

Yesterday, thanks to Twitter, I discovered an article in The Daily titled, Paula’s big fat secret.   The article claims the following:

  • Paula Deen, US Southern-style cook and cooking show host, has Type 2 diabetes.
  • Paula Deen hasn’t exactly shared that information with the public.  And she can’t eat her own meals anymore.
  • She is going to make millions as a spokesperson for a diabetes medication, probably for drugmaker Novartis. Novo Nordisk, according to the LATimes.

Here’s the thing that kills me:  Paula Deen’s cooking has always seemed, to me anyway, to be a lesson in how to give yourself diabetes! Or coronary disease.  Or other obesity-related illnesses, like colon cancer.

So she wins by teaching us to eat irresponsibly, and profits from it through her cookbooks and restaurant and Food Network show.  Now she’s going to profit by telling us to take a pill that treats the resulting illness.  Win-win for Paula.  And frankly, a smart move on Novartis’ part too.  Because most people aren’t going to care.  They think she’s nice.  They’re fans.  She makes food they enjoy eating.  And the poor woman was unfortunate enough to get diabetes, which really nobody can blame her for.  It’s an illness.


Paula Deen has long been criticized for irresponsibility when it comes to food.  Here are a few examples:

Normally, I wouldn’t criticize the woman so much myself.  Maybe she’s just ignorant about healthy diets and the implications of unhealthy ones.  But she responded to Mr. Bourdain’s criticism last year by saying,

“You know, not everybody can afford to pay $58 for prime rib or $650 for a bottle of wine. My friends and I cook for regular families who worry about feeding their kids and paying the bills … It wasn’t that long ago that I was struggling to feed my family, too.”

I’m calling bullshit here.  I grew up in the South, and I know how fond they are of their diets.  Fried mac and cheese, fried green beans, fried donuts, fried Twinkies, chicken fried steak, etc.  At no time have I ever thought that I couldn’t eat healthy because I couldn’t afford a $58 prime rib or a $650 bottle of wine.  This is a false argument, and she’s catering to those Southerners who don’t like the prissy, elitist, crunchy granola vegan intellectuals who criticize the Southern diet.

Ever heard of quinoa?  Or cous cous and grilled asparagus?  Black beans and brown rice with a little sour cream & salsa?   Or fish?  There are some fantastic ways to make fish yummy. Here are some of my favorite healthy recipes:

I’ll stop here.  You get the point.  Most of these meals can feed four folks for $20 or less.

I’m not saying you should never ever ever eat a pepperoni pizzza or a bacon cheeseburger.  I love both of those things, and had pizza just last night.  But I can minimize their negative health impacts by choosing slightly healthier options (grass feed beef, or less cheese, or turkey burger etc).  Or, you can go ahead and eat that really terrible-for-you comfort food… but rarely, instead of regularly.

It’s not that hard to eat better.   Last year, I started making a few substitutions, stopped eating out as much, limited table salt, and added fresh fruits and veggies as sides or “dessert” to most meals.  That, and a little time at the gym, and I’m 35 pounds lighter.  My cholesterol is finally good.  I’m no longer “obese” and I’m about to fall out of the “overweight” category too.  My blood sugar and metabolism and blood pressure are “optimal”… and I feel great.

I hope Paula Deen can, too.

And I hope all of us can begin to support a new health care paradigm, one that focuses on creating wellness rather than treating disease.  But that’s another blog post for another time.


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Food Giants say U.S. Running Out of Sugar


First of all, if they’re “food giants” and we’re really running out of sugar, maybe it’s cuz they ate it all!   And now they want to raise prices as a direct result of their own excesses.  (Woo!  Sorry, had déjà vu there for a moment…)

If USDA forecast is correct, “our nation will virtually run out of sugar,” the food giants say.

OMG OMG OMG.   What will I do without cupcakes?  Or cranberry scones?  Or mochas!?

I’ll so miss cookies.  And spaghetti sauce.  Peanut butter.  At least we’ll still have crackers — I know this because the brand in my cupboard contains high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar.

Can I survive without hamburger buns ?  Or French fries and salads?  Biscuits?  Milkshakes?  Pop tarts?  Red velvet cake?  Hazelnut tarts?  SANTA COOKIES!

And chocolate?  Oh gaaaaaawd the pain.  Not chocolate!

OK.  Go ahead, jack the price.  I’ll pay it.

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The Marijuana Policy Project sent out a  press release 7/23 quoting drug czar Gil Kerlikowske saying this at a press conference in Fresno:

“Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit.”

Has he even bothered to read anything on this subject?  Has he talked to the esteemed Institute of Medicine, American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association, American Academy of HIV Medicine, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Lymphoma Foundation of America, American Academy of HIV Medicine, or any of the dozens of other medical organizations that recognize marijuana’s medical value?

While we’re on the subject, let’s untangle the issues of medical benefit and legalization. 

First,  tobacco.  The FDA is about to regulate tobacco, but I’m not aware of any medical value of tobacco.  Are they going to make cigarettes illegal?  (Oh wait, that road is already being paved by the push to outlaw smoking in the military.)  The point is that as long as you’re old enough to use it, tobacco is currently legal and has no medical benefit.

How about caffeine?  Caffeine is an addictive, mind-altering drug.  It’s not illegal.  Caffeine can cause temporary increase in blood pressure, breathing rate and metabolism.  For pregnant women, there is a higher risk of miscarriage.  And way too much caffeine can cause sleep disruption and mental fatigue which is dangerous behind the wheel  of a car or other large machinery.  But it’s not illegal and there is no medical benefit to speak of.

Sugar is a food not a drug, but it’s dangerous.  Just look at current diabetes and obesity rates, and their ensuing health impacts.   Still, sugar isn’t illegal.  Neither is high fructose corn syrup.  (When I was really young my diabetic grandmother used to put 2 tablespoons of refined sugar in my 8 ounce Pepsi…eek!)

And finally, what about alcohol?  Is there a medical benefit to champagne?  I doubt it unless you’re riding Stage 21 of the Tour de France.  But I digress.  Alcohol isn’t illegal for adults — but its dangers are undisputed. 

We have 2 issues here.  Medical marijuana & legalization.  Separate issues. 

As for benefits of legalization? Legalizing pot would raise money (taxation) and end the ridiculous long-term imprisonment of non-violent offenders.  Oh, and then there’s that whole drug war thing, where people die simply because it’s ILLEGAL.

So, Mr. federally-appointed druz czar with no medical background — please stop confusing legality with medical benefit, and please spend some time getting caught up on relevant  medical literature.   I’m sure the Institute of Medicine would be happy to assist you.

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