NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — When it comes to losing weight there is usually debate about whether low-carb or low-fat is the best way to go.

As CBS 2’s Emily Smith explained, a new study has shown some surprising benefits to going low-carb.

According to a new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, low-carb dieters win over low-fat dieters in both weight loss and heart health, which surprised Dr. Joy Geldman, a cardiology professor at New York Presbyterian-Weill Medical College.

“We were nervous about that idea and how it would affect heart disease and hearth health,” she said.

The low carb group lost 12 pounds while the low-fat group lost only 4 pounds.

One woman from France said that she follows the low-carb diet that was studied and takes in only 40 grams of carbs a day, the equivalent of two slices of bread.

There were some caveats to the study, like exercise. Participants were told to stay sedentary.

Fitness expert and author Nicole Chaplin said that exercisers should consume carbohydrates.

“You’re going to need energy. Carbs turn to sugar, and sugar turns to energy. If you don’t have energy, how do you sustain your day or workout?” she said.

Chaplin suggested choosing smart carbs like vegetable and whole grains for fiber.

“Stay away from white, pastries. Stay with whole grains, oats, stuff like that. That will work,” Chaplin explained.

The study did show that low-carb diets won the battle, but experts warned that as soon as you go back to your old ways you can expect to see your old weight.

The diet used in the study had no caloric restrictions, but most aimed to cut about 500 calories a day which showed that it was easier to change what you eat rather than focusing on how much.

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