It wasn't exactly the world's biggest shocker when the news came out Tuesday that butter fan and Food Network star Paula Deen has type 2 diabetes. Diagnosed three years ago, the 65-year-old celebrichef isn't planning on giving up the occasional dessert just because of her disease. However, she has eliminated one of the biggest indulgences from her diet: Sweet tea.
"I would start drinking my sweet tea at lunch, and I would drink it up 'til I went to bed," Deen told People. "It was staggering how much sugar I consumed in empty calories just from drinking my tea."
While I know that genetics, age, and race are all contributing factors to type 2 diabetes, there's no denying the obvious. If I had to guess, mindless eating (in other words, Deen's sweet tea habit) probably didn't help her avoid the disease.
The scary part? I have a hunch that many of us are guilty of mindless eating, too. I know I am.
We've all been there: It's 2:30 in the afternoon, and lunch is over. We're "hungry" (read: not at all hungry but extremely bored) and are looking for something to nosh on. Thus, we pull out the chips. Before you know it, three chips turn into five, five turn into 12, and soon enough, the whole bag is gone. Mindless eating strikes again.
Mindless eating can be very detrimental to anyone, even if you're active with an otherwise healthy lifestyle. While Paula was more of a mindless "drinker," per se, the effects, including weight gain and other complications, can be the same.
Whether I usually reach for the refrigerator because I'm bored or because I think that what I'm about to consume won't really matter -- hearing Paula talk about her old tea habit makes me realize how easy it is to be oblivious. My fellow mindless eaters, I encourage you to stop before you open those chompers, and ask yourself a few key questions: am I REALLY hungry right now? Or perhaps: is there a better, healthier alternative to this?
Paula, I heart you. I really do. I think your show is darling, and up until this week, I actually found it comical how many horribly caloric ingredients you could squeeze into one single recipe. While your condition is less than ideal, I commend you for changing your lifestyle (even if only a bit!) and doing something about it. Now, I think the important thing is that people can take a lesson and learn from your mistakes.
Are you a mindless eater? What do you think of Paula's diabetes diagnosis?
Image via Food Network