Paula Deen’s Diabetes

Oprah Winfrey asked Paula Deen in 2007 how she dealt with criticism that the Southern Cooking Queen’s recipes were too high in fat, Paula Deen, true to form, quipped, “Honey, I’m your cook, not your doctor,” The audience responded with wild applause.

With Deen’s recent admission that she has Type 2 Diabetes (and has known since 2008) the backlash has been fierce for the popular Food Network personality. Deen is a proponent of high-fat foods.

People are pointing fingers at her love of everything-smothered-in-butter as a cause of her diabetes. Weight certainly plays a role in controlling diabetes. Fried foods don’t help at all. While fat intake for diabetics has more to do with what kind of fat a person consumes; it’s the simple carbs, especially sugar, that are especially problematic for diabetics.

Paula Deen — the queen of fried food.

Deen should replace the oils she uses in her cooking with coconut oil and eat less fried food. Heating any oil at  high temperatures turns it into a trans fat. Coconut oil takes the heat better than other oils. If she would then eliminate sugar, Deen will certainly gain control over her high sugar numbers.

Most nutritional advice for diabetics is to avoid all fat. Despite the knowledge that fat is not only good for you, but necessary. The problem is most people consume the wrong kinds of fat. All altered fats (trans fat) and processed oils are harmful. Virgin coconut oil is most likely the healthiest of all oils and it’s naturally saturated.

Contrary to what you may have heard, not all saturated fat is unhealthy. This is from Coconut Cures (one of my favorite books) by Bruce Fife:

“…coconut oil may be one of the best foods for diabetics. Glucose as well as long-chain fatty acids requires insulin to enter the cells. Medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil do not need insulin. They can pass through the cell membrane and enter without it. Not only do MCFAs pass through the cell membrane with ease, but they also penetrate the mitochondria without assistance. Mitochondria are the energy producing organs of the cell. They take glucose or fatty acids and transform them into the energy the cells require to carry on their metabolic processes and keep them alive.

…Not only are MCFAs in coconut oil able to feed the cells without the need of insulin, they also help improve insuline secretion, insulin sensitivity, and glucose tolerance. Lauric and capric acids, which make up the majority of the fatty acids in coconut oil, enhance the ability of the pancreas to secrete insulin. All of the MCFAs in coconut oil stimulate metabolism, thereby increasing the prodution of insulin and the absorption of glucose into the cells. This is good news for the many diabetics who depend on daily insulin injections. Coconut oil can help reduce their dependency on insulin medication.”

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