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If you have diabetes, you may feel like eating foods that are both good for you and delicious is sometimes difficult. Even if you love cooking healthy meals at home, you could use a little inspiration now and then to mix things up.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that around 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes. That’s a whopping 9.3 percent of the population. As you can imagine, that also means that there’s a chance some of your favorite chefs might have the condition. Keep reading to learn about some top chefs who live with diabetes and have social media accounts you need to follow right now.

Sam Talbot

Chef Sam Talbot was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was just 12 years old. He was a semi-finalist of season two of “Top Chef” and was even voted a “fan favorite” on the show. Talbot has published a cookbook titled “The Sweet Life: Diabetes without Boundaries.” It’s packed with tons of advice for people living with diabetes, including 75 delicious recipes to try without feeling deprived.

You can follow Talbot on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Luke Hayes-Alexander

Luke Hayes-Alexander decided he wanted to become a chef when he was just a boy. If you read through his lengthy press page, you’ll quickly learn that he also has type 1 diabetes. In fact, he was diagnosed with the disease at age 7. As a result, Hayes-Alexander has had to think about the food he puts in his body from a young age. He currently operates a popular underground eatery in Toronto, Ontario, called Luke’s Underground Supper Club, or L.U.S.T.

You can follow Hayes-Alexander on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Charles Mattocks

Celebrity chef Charles Mattocks started his career in television and music. After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2011, he became a World Diabetes Advocate. He’s written three books, including “The Budget-Friendly Fresh and Local Diabetes Cookbook.” In addition, he wrote and directed “The Diabetic You,” which is a documentary about both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and how people with these diseases can live their best lives.

You can follow Mattocks on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Franklin Becker

You may know of chef Franklin Becker from his appearances on “Top Chef Masters” and “Iron Chef America.” He’s a busy guy, opening three restaurants in the New York City area and writing multiple cookbooks, including “Good Fat Cooking” and “Diabetic Chef.” He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1997. That hasn’t stopped his culinary prowess, though. In 2011, he won The Burger Bash at the New York City Wine & Food Festival and his food continues to get amazing reviews from acclaimed critics.

You can follow Becker on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Tom Valenti

Chef Tom Valenti was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2007. It changed how he cooked “dramatically,” yet he was still able to eat a variety of flavorful foods. He was most recently head chef at the famed Le Cirque restaurant in New York City before it filed for bankruptcy in March. Valenti even coauthored a cookbook titled “You Don’t Have to Be Diabetic to Love This Cookbook” that contains 250 recipes for people with diabetes, their family, and their friends.

You can connect with Valenti on Facebook.

Dale Pinnock

Dale Pinnock is perhaps more commonly known as “The Medicinal Chef.” While he does not have diabetes himself, much of his work focuses on creating recipes that people with diabetes and other health conditions can enjoy. Pinnock has degrees in human nutrition, nutritional medicine, and herbal medicine. He also wrote the books “Diabetes: Eat Your Way to Better Health” and “The Medicinal Chef.” You can browse his archive of delicious and healthy recipes on his website.

You can connect with Pinnock on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. He also has a YouTube channel.

Paula Deen

Chef Paula Deen is most well known for her drool-worthy and often over-the-top indulgent southern cuisine. She was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2009. After learning about her diagnosis, Deen explains that she went home and threw away everything in her kitchen that was white — “white bread, white rice, white potatoes, [and] white pasta.” She lost 35 pounds in just four months by making this change.

Deen has published a recent cookbook called “Paula Deen Cuts the Fat.” It contains 250 of her favorite recipes that have been lightened up.

You can follow Deen on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. She even maintains a board of Lighter Recipes on Pinterest.


Having a chronic medical condition like diabetes can feel isolating at times. You’re not alone. If you take some time to search around, you’ll discover that people in all walks of life have diabetes. Even chefs, whose entire worlds revolve around food, are finding ways to eat well and stay healthy. Take a look around the web and social media, and you might be surprised to find foodie inspiration that also keeps in line with your diabetic diet.