By now most of us Paula Deen critics have lost steam; we made our point, she took a break from public appearances, and now she just seems like a woman who’s got Type 2 diabetes and is trying to improve her health. Making fun of her now just seems kind of mean. But she came on Good Morning America this morning to showcase her healthy new diet and 32-pound weight loss, and yet again…we can’t help but notice that the healthy recipes she brought to the show are…really not that healthy.
Before they started cooking, Deen told Robin Roberts that she’s slimmed down in large part due to a complete makeover of her plate’s “architecture,” as she put it. Now, she says there’s a lot more green, and hardly any carbs. She still allows herself one day a week to cook and eat anything she wants–which sounds like a really reasonable policy, and one that clearly seems to be working in her favor.
To be sure, this interview is a vast improvement on her announcement that she has Type 2 diabetes, in which she denied the link between diet, obesity and diabetes, and also talked up her deal to be a diabetes drug rep.
But the food she actually cooked on GMA didn’t really match up to her talk: Pulled pork sandwiches (with a coleslaw that involved buttermilk instead of mayo), and a peaches and cream parfait (sprinkled with brown sugar, shortbread cookies, nuts, and whipped cream).
To be fair, Deen isn’t the only cook selling people “healthy recipes” that are really just not-as-bad versions of really unhealthy food. But seconds after talking about the importance of eating more vegetables and greens, it was hard NOT to notice that there were next to none involved in her recipes (not to mention a fair amount of carbs, between the two cups of barbecue sauce, white bread buns, and sugary dessert).
It’s not Paula Deen’s responsibility to teach America how to eat well, especially not in a 4-minute segment on GMA. But chefs like her could do a lot of good by opting to cook recipes that at least involve vegetables, because honestly: A lot of people just don’t know how. I’m glad that Paula Deen has improved her diet and started to lose weight; now I wish she’d just be more honest and accurate about teaching other Americans how.
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