Paula Deen Admits to Having Diabetes
The queen of butter, cream and carbs confirms it's all true. Paula Deen has diabetes.
Deen was on the the Today show Monday and admitted, "I was diagnosed three years ago."
On the Today show, the Food Network star, known for her love of all things fried, tried to shift the blame away from the fattening food that's made her famous.
Al Roker said, "Your southern food, your cooking, is kind of fattening and folks say 'You are what you eat,' and that kind of food can lead to Type 2 diabetes."
Deen said, "Certainly Al that is part of the puzzle, but there's many other things that can lead to diabetes. Certainly genetics."
But Megan Fendt of the Friedman Diabetes Institute in New York says the fattening food Deen serves up is a big factor in diabetes.
"If you continue to eat high-fat foods, processed foods or foods with five or six sticks of butter added to them, you are going to make it harder for your body to control that condition," Friedman told INSIDE EDITION.
We caught up with Deen as she was coming to the Today show to go public with the diagnosis that has been buzzed about for months.
Deen told INSIDE EDITION, "There's a lot of folks out there that need hope and encouragement and that's what we are going to give them."
But Deen also revealed that she's now a paid spokesperson for a pharmaceutical company selling a drug that treats diabetes.
Last summer Deen faced down criticism from fellow food star Anthony Bourdain, who called her "The worst, most dangerous person to America."
Bourdain said, "She's proud of the fact that her food is (bleeping) bad for you. I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it's okay to eat food that is killing us."
On Tuesday, Bourdain spoke out in the wake of the revelation that Deen has known she had diabetes for three years while continuing to make those gut-busting meals like doughnut burgers, which is a burger wedged between two glazed doughnuts with some bacon and eggs thrown in.
Bourdain said in a statement today: "When your signature dish is a hamburger in between doughnuts, and you've been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you've got Type 2 diabetes. It's in bad taste if nothing else."
Back on Today show, Roker asked Deen, "What do you say to people that say 'She delayed this because this would damage her reputation, her whole industry that she's built, basically on this kind of cooking?"
Deen responded, "People are not going to quit eating. We quit eating, we are all out of here."
Deen told INSIDE EDITION she's happy her secret is out.
"I feel liberated -that is the word I was looking for. Because, you know, you keep a secret and it just grows," said Deen.