01/15/2012 at 04:20 PM EST
From fried chicken to mac and cheese casseroles, Paula Deen
has made her mark on the culinary world – and in the homes of fans – with recipes that don't skimp on cheese, cream and sugar. Not to mention butter ... whole sticks of it.
And even as she reveals that she is living with Type 2 Diabetes, she says it won't stop her from eating the way she wants.
"I was determined to share my positive approach and not let diabetes stand in the way of enjoying my life," Deen said Tuesday in a release announcing her launch of Diabetes in a New Light™
, geared toward finding "simple ways" to manage challenges of the disease.
"I'm excited to team up with Novo Nordisk on this initiative to show others that managing diabetes does not have to stop you from enjoying the things you love."
The National Enquirer
first reported Deen's diabetes in April 2010, but she never confirmed or denied the diagnosis until now
. She turns 65 Thursday.
The Food Network chef with the folksy Southern drawl – and a tendency to address her fans as "Hey, y'all" – has been famously criticized for her cooking techniques. Just last summer, fellow celeb chef Anthony Bourdain called her
the "most dangerous person to America" who's "proud of the fact that her food is f------ bad for you."
And as news leaked
she was making the announcement regarding her health, Bourdain was inundated with people "looking for quotes." And he says he "takes no pleasure" in her news, telling Eater.com
, he suspects she's known for a long time and been looking for a way "to position herself."
"When your signature dish is hamburger in between a doughnut, and you've been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you've got Type 2 Diabetes ... It's in bad taste if nothing else," he said. "How long has she known? I suspect a very long time."
Deen, it was also revealed in the release, takes Victoza – a once-daily, non-insulin injection – and continues to "make lifestyle adjustments, including lightened-up versions of her favorite recipes."