After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Paula Deen reduced her carbohydrate consumption and added more salads and vegetables. She began substituting a Greek salad for potato chips and sugar-free ice cream for cookies. She frequently skipped breakfast before her diagnosis, but after it, she began drinking a fruit smoothie.
In her salad dressing, Deen adds parsley from her herb garden for a fresh taste. She uses Greek yogurt in her smoothies. She reduced her ketchup consumption due to its sugar content and uses mustard instead. Deen also increased her physical activity after her diagnosis by walking more often.
Deen has a Southern cooking style, which she learned from her grandmother. Her first cooking job was a catering service, making sandwiches and other meals that were delivered by her sons. She opened a restaurant in a Best Western in 1991, and then opened her own restaurant in 1996. Since then, Deen has opened several more restaurants.
Deen began her television career on Food Network, first through appearances and then on her own show, "Paula's Home Cooking." She had multiple shows on the channel before it decided not to renew her contract in 2013 due to a controversy.
Critics of Deen's recipes have pointed out the high fat, salt and sugar contents. After revealing her diabetes diagnosis, Deen was criticized for continuing to promote her unhealthy recipes.