Expert: Tiny portions of Deen dishes OK

Jan. 18, 2012 at 8:55 PM
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ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. chef Paula Deen said she has type 2 diabetes and recommends eating her high-calorie recipes in moderation, but experts say even small servings add up.

Diabetes and metabolism expert Dr. Charles Burant, director of the Michigan Metabolomics and Obesity Center at the University of Michigan, said about 26 million adults and children in the United States have diabetes, which is diagnosed when the body has an abnormally high level of glucose, or blood sugar.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form, affecting 90 percent of diabetics, and is associated with older age, obesity and family history.

Deen, 64, star of the Food Network's "Paula's Best Dishes," built her career on making calorie-rich, indulgent Southern dishes -- the kind of foods that can contribute to obesity -- which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, Burant said.

"Type 2 diabetes has a genetic component, but the food we eat has a big role in its development," Burant said in a statement. "The amount of food is probably what is the most important. High-fat foods are very dense in calories, so the amount of calories goes up rapidly with even small servings."

Burant said people who eat Deen's dishes should go with small servings and no second helpings.

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