Confused about carbs?

When it comes to carbohydrates, quality and quantity matter — just as with everything else you eat.


Image: © marilyna/Getty Images

These days, low-carb diets are more popular than ever. But this weight-loss strategy is hardly new. It began in the 1960s with the Atkins diet, followed by the South Beach, paleo, and keto diets. All of these diets — which swap carbohydrates for protein or fat — can help some people lose weight, at least over the short term.

But as is true for most diets that require you to avoid many popular foods, low-carb diets are often hard to maintain over the long haul. And if you do keep your carb intake low, the long-term effects on your heart and overall health remain something of a mystery so far. But a new study provides some clues.

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