Paula Deen Has Type 2 Diabetes, Still Eats Fried Foods "in Moderation"

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Paula Deen Has Type 2 Diabetes, Still Eats Fried Foods "in Moderation"
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Paula Deen Has Type 2 Diabetes, Still Eats Fried Foods "in Moderation"

Paula Deen built her empire on a love of fried food, but the 64-year-old Food Network star made a shocking announcement Tuesday: she's suffering from Type 2 Diabetes.

"I was diagnosed three years ago during a regular physical exam with my doctor," Deen revealed on The Today Show. "I'm here today to let the world know that it is not a death sentence."

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Deen chose to keep her condition private because she "had to figure things out in my own head...I had nothing to give with my fellow friends out there."

Now a paid spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, Deen is gearing up for the launch of Diabetes in a New Light, which offers "simple ways" to manage the disease.

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"People are not going to quit eating. We quit eating, we're all out of here. I wanted to bring something to the table when I came forward, and I've always been one to think that I bring hope, because I've had lots of obstacles in my life, y'all."

When Al Roker repeatedly asked Deen if her diagnosis was a direct result of her butter-rich diet, she admitted that it's "part of the puzzle" but not the only factor.

Citing genetics, lifestyle, diet, stress and age, Deen said that like many baby boomers, "there's a good chance that [Type 2 Diabetes] will be one of the issues you have to face."

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"Here's the thing: I have always encouraged moderation. On my show I share with you all these yummy fattening recipes, but I tell people, 'In moderation. In moderation,'" Deen explained. "I've always eaten in moderation," she said, adding that the recipes seen on her show account for only 30 meals a year.

"It's like I told Oprah [Winfrey] a few years ago: 'Honey, I'm your cook, not your doctor,'" Deen said. "You are going to have to be responsible for yourself."

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