Meet the Author! Pilot Light summer intern Ivana Chkoumbova is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Chicago native. In her freshman year of college, she took an eye-opening nutrition course that that made her realize how little she learned about healthy eating growing up. Now, as a strong believer that nutrition education can shape a community’s overall health, Ivana came to Pilot Light because she believes that these efforts should start early and should be ingrained with children at a young age. Through her internship, she is excited to share her knowledge of and passion for nutrition with the Pilot Light program and the Chicago community it serves.
For many years, the low-carb Atkins Diet has been encouraged across America as a way to quickly lose weight. Yet, studies show that these results don’t last! An article published in 2015 by US News says, “…the low carb diet provides a temporary weight loss…” (US News, 2015). This happens because we are only making a temporary change to our diet, and once we see the results that we like, we go back to eating carbohydrates.
Our body needs balance. Our bodies try to constantly be in a state of equilibrium or homeostasis. The food pyramid, for example, is a visual way to understand that we require a bit of everything in our diet to be healthy. Yes, we require sugar, protein, and carbohydrates! However, when a dieter partakes in a diet, they usually find a “guilty” party in the food pyramid and completely forsake it. This causes the body to go through a huge shock and attempt to regain balance in our bodies. According to Professor Dawn Bohn at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the body will attempt to find a substitute for the carbohydrates that suddenly disappeared from its diet. Since carbohydrates are one the body’s outlets for sugar, the body will use fats and protein to get the sugar that it needs once the diet has begun. This will put your body through a state of under-nutrition where you do not have enough of an intake of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. The Atkins Diet, like so many others that are popular and promoted through the media, simply is not a long term solution to living a healthy life.
Nutrition concepts and education are important to provide to children but they alone do not shape our food choices. Children need to learn about the role of food in our lives — and develop an appreciation of that role — in order to develop a healthy relationship with food that lasts over their lifetime.
“Atkins Diet.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, n.d. Web. 27 May 2015.