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Paula Deen has been the butt of many jokes since she first dropped a "little bit" of butter into a frying pan. She's even playfully acknowledged the jokes on her show whenever a recipe calls for butter (which is more often than not).
But in January, the Food Network chef admitted some serious news - that she has been dealing with type 2 diabetes for the past three years. When she first went public with her diagnosis, she met with some serious critcism from those who suspected her announcement was financially motivated. (Deen had just signed a multi-million dollar deal to be a spokesperson for Victoza which is a type 2 diabetes drug made by Novo Nordisk.)
She was further criticized when the meals on her show continued to be as butter-ific and decadent as before. But since then, it seems that she's made some healthy changes and she's lost 30 pounds, dropping from a size 18 to a size 10!
How did she do it? Controlled diet and exercise - two of the biggest components in managing type 2 diabetes. For Deen, that meant cutting back on some of her favorite Southern staples, like her mashed potatoes, famous fried foods, and the decadent recipes featured on her show (y'all remember the donut burger?).
In an interview with PEOPLE, she talked about how she's been fixing more baked fish and Greek salads. "It took me a couple of years to get to this point,"she told them. "If you make a few small changes, they can add up to big results."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 26 million Americans suffer from type 2 diabetes which makes up almost 95 percent of all diabetes cases in the United States. A major risk factor for developing the condition is weight gain because it makes the body not responsive to its own insulin.
To Paula, in her continued efforts to live a healthy lifestyle, we wish her our love and healthy dishes!