What should Paula Deen do next?
Carb-loving celebrity cook Paula Deen’s type 2 diabetes diagnosis means lifestyle changes are in order. We asked some experts what Deen, or anyone diagnosed with diabetes, should do next.
Skip sugary drinks: “Regular soda, fruit punch and even fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies can send blood-sugar levels too high. Choosing water or diet beverages will bring your weight and blood sugar levels closer to your target.”
Focus on fiber: “Foods with three grams of fiber or more per serving help keep your blood sugar even and your stomach full. Think whole grains, beans and veggies.”
— Friedman Diabetes Institute’s diabetes educator Megan Fendt
Lose weight: “Weight loss is usually critical, even for people who are genetically predisposed to diabetes. In mild cases of diabetes, weight loss can completely eliminate diabetes; and in more severe cases, it can make diabetes more mild.”
Stop smoking: “Smoking increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, just as diabetes does. When these risks overlap, they multiply.”
— Brigham and Women’s diabetes and hypertension specialist, Dr. Alexander Turchin
Join a gym: “Start a moderate exercise program to lower glucose levels, regulate blood sugar and reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis [hardening of the arteries]. Strength training gives more lean muscle mass and better metabolic efficiency, which diabetics benefit from.”
— New York Sports Club master trainer Monica Vazquez
Get regular eye exams: “Annual eye exams are a critical component of the overall health care for a
person with diabetes. Eye doctors monitor for diabetes-related conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S.”
— VSP?Vision Care optometrist Dr. Roger Phelps