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Jan 20, 2012

Paula Deen makes it onto 2011’s "worst cookbook" list

Ingredients in Deen's "Lady's Brunch Burger" include butter, ground beef, eggs, glazed donuts and English muffins. Photo: www.pauladeen.com
I've never paid much attention to Paul Deen for the obvious reason: way, way too much fat and sugar in her recipes. Apparently I wasn't alone in my feelings.

On January 4, nearly two weeks before news of Deen’s 3-year-old diabetes diagnosis was revealed to the world, PCRM – Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine – included her Southern Cooking Bible on its list of 2011's worst cookbooks.

Getting on that list means a cookbook’s recipes exhibit a complete disregard for health. Specific to Deen, the organization stated in its January 4 press release that “Deen, who made it into PCRM’s Worst Cookbooks of the Decade list two years ago, is back on this year’s list with her latest cookbook, which contains recipes like Burgoo—a stew that calls for 3 pounds of chicken, 2 pounds of beef, and 2 pounds of lamb…One serving of Hot Buffalo Wings (three wings) contains 910 calories and 85 grams of fat; meat-heavy diets raise obesity risk.”

There is also compelling evidence that such diets lead to Type 2 Diabetes.

Suffice to add two paragraphs from WikiPedia:
Deen has faced extensive criticism for the high amounts of fat, salt, and sugar in her recipes. She faced particularly strong objections with the release of Lunch-Box Set, a cookbook aimed at children, with Barbara Walters saying of the book, "You tell kids to have cheesecake for breakfast. You tell them to have chocolate cake and meatloaf for lunch. And french fries. Doesn't it bother you that you're adding to this?"Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain commented in 2011 that he "would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it's OK to eat food that is killing us."
On January 17, 2012, Deen announced that she had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes three years ago, a disease for which a high fat diet is a major risk factor. It was also disclosed that Deen is a paid spokesperson for the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. She was called a hypocrite for continuing to promote her high fat diet while only disclosing her medical condition when it benefits her in representing the drug company to market their diabetes management program.Deen stated on the January 18, 2012 episode of The Chew that a portion of her compensation would be given to charities.
BTW, the other four books on the "worst cookbooks" list:
  • Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes: “One serving of the Meatball Sandwich contains 1,182 calories, 47 grams of fat (including 18.5 grams of saturated fat), 185 milligrams of cholesterol, and 2,352 milligrams of sodium, according to a nutritional analysis based on estimates by PCRM dietitians.”
  • Guy Fieri Food: The Jambalaya Sandwich is “loaded with bacon, pork butt or pork loin, smoked sausage, Andouille sausage, chicken thighs, and Havarti cheese.”
  • The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook: More than 50 pages of recipes featuring grilled meat, which increases cancer risk.
  • The Neelys’ Celebration Cookbook: Bourbon Bread Pudding is saturated with butter, half-and-half, and whole milk; high-fat diets increase heart-disease risk.
“The high-fat meals in these cookbooks are real recipes for disaster,” says Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., and PCRM’s nutrition education director. “It’s scary that despite all that we know about the close link between high-fat foods and obesity and diabetes, cooks like Paula Deen continue to tout unhealthy meals. The real key to healthful eating is moving away from high-fat, meaty meals that increase the risk of these diseases.”
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