Paula Deen is a champion for Southern-style comfort food like grandma would have made back in the 1940's, back when people didn't know anything about nutrition and cigarettes were widely believed to cure sore throats and asthma.
Now Deen, the Foods Network star with a drawl as thick and sweet as her sticky buns has been caught in an unprecedented lunchtime act, according to Giada de Laurentiis.
"I walked into my set kitchen and noticed the door to the pantry was ajar," said Giada, who also hosts her own show at the Foods Network.
When she opened the door, she found Deen cowering in the corner shoveling fruit salad into her face like her life depended on it.
The salad consisted of honey, fresh lemon and orange juice, poppy seeds, diced apple, sliced banana, avocado, mandarin oranges, raisins and chopped walnuts served over a lovely red leaf lettuce, according to Giada. "That's not one of my recipes."
"I know! It's MY recipe, y'all!" bawled Deen. "I was fixin' to make it in my own kitchen, but I don't keep any of these ingredients in my pantry.
"I'm so sorry, but I just felt like my body was cravin' it," she sobbed, drawling thickly through her tears. "I couldn't help myself, y'all!"
Chock full of vitamins, minerals and nutrition, and very low in fat, the fruit salad only inflicted damage to the tune of 155 calories per serving.
For comparison, a basket of Paula's Bacon-Wrapped, Deep-Fried Butter Sticks with Ranch Dressing - a typical appetizer for Deen, who usually skips the salad - weighs in at a whopping 1,840 bazillion calories.
But here's the real question about Paula Deen's embarrassing, covert luncheon: Does it even matter?
For maintaining a stable weight, not really, say nutritionists. Research indicates that occasional nutritious, low-calorie splurges won't throw off your body weight, as long as your overall long-term calorie intake doesn't drop too much.
Most nutritionists and dietitians agree that as long as healthy meals are occasional, they can still be part of an unhealthy lifestyle that leads to obesity.
That's good news for Deen, who will likely need the money generated by her TV show to pay for her upcoming coronary bypass surgery next programming season.