The Food Network chef announced this week that she is being treated for the disease amidst two years of tabloid speculation about her health.
Deen spoke with Parade about her decision to go public with her diagnosis and partner with pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk to launch the 'Diabetes in a New Light' programme.
"I feel really good about it. It was like taking a weight and lifting it off my shoulders," Deen said. "When I was first diagnosed, I was totally unprepared to talk about it. I felt like I had nothing to bring to the table other than to just say that I had been diagnosed."
She continued: "Time has given me the opportunity to work with my family and with Novo Nordisk to launch the Diabetes in a New Light campaign, so I know the time was right. Now I have something to offer people."
Deen also said she wants her fans to understand that they can still enjoy all their favourite dishes, but urged them to eat in "moderation".
"My message has always been the same: We have to use moderation. I don't want a person who suffers from diabetes to think that they can never have that piece of pie or have something that tastes good," the cook explained.
"That's something my family and I are working on - recipes that are diabetic-friendly without sacrificing the taste and the flavour."
Deen will feature in an upcoming episode of the NBC reality series Who Do You Think You Are?.
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Watch a clip from Paul Deen's series Paula's Best Dishes below: