I am very dismayed with the media coverage of Paula Deen’s type 2 diabetes. My main concern is with the assumption that the type 2 diabetes was caused by a high fat diet. This is perplexing because research has proven that fat consumption does not lead to diabetes. An eight year study  of 50,000 women, which cost $415 million, one of the most expensive and rigorously designed studies ever conducted, proved that there is no causal relationship between dietary fat intake and the development of type 2 diabetes.
And, if anyone were to examine the recipes in any of Paula Dean’s cookbooks, it would be clear that the culprit was not the fat, but the carbohydrates. I have always been a Paula Dean fan. I have loved watching her cooking shows, and I have looked through many of her cookbooks, wishing I could find something in them that I could eat. But, living a low-carb life for the past 11 years, I have noted that everything she makes is loaded with carbs, including sugar, flour, or pasta. So, to say that the fat is to blame seems odd.
It is quite well documented that our high carbohydrate Western diet is responsible for the surge in type 2 diabetes in this country. An interesting website, concerned with our food pyramid, called “My Life in a Pyramid” eloquently states the problem with the conventional wisdom. ”Instead of focusing on macro-nutrients like fat and dietary cholesterol – which have nothing to do with developing diabetes – they should have instead focused on the QUALITY of the foods, and reducing sugars and grains.”  It is too bad that this revelation of Paula Dean’s condition could not be used to increase awareness of the need to control carbs in our diet. Instead, it is erroneously being used to reinforce the myth of dietary fat leading to obesity and disease.
1. Archives of Internal Medicine, July 28, 2008
2. My Life in a Pyramid: Healthy Living With a Cosmopolitan