Nutrient Essentials in a Low Carbohydrate Diet

Posted on :  August 10, 2022

by Ashleigh Feltham
Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist

There are several health reasons to follow a low carbohydrate diet. One reason is weight loss. Low carbohydrate diets differ in the levels of carbohydrates considered ideal. There is no universal amount of carbohydrate to classify a diet as low carbohydrate.

Macronutrients are the major dietary sources your body uses to create energy to function. There are three main macronutrients: fat, protein and carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel source for your muscles.

When carbohydrates are broken down, they create glucose, which fuels the muscles. Carbohydrates are also used as fuel for your central nervous system, lungs, brain and other body processes.

Low-carbohydrate diets vary in the carbohydrate quantities permitted. This can be up to 150g of carbohydrates a day. At the opposite end of the low-carbohydrate-diet spectrum, the ketogenic diet allows less than 50g of carbohydrates daily. To give you some perspective, one slice of bread contains around 15g of carbohydrates.

There are several nutrients your body needs to function at its best. If you decide to follow a low-carb diet, there is a risk of consuming inadequate nutrition, such as calcium, thiamine (vitamin B1), fibre and folate (vitamin B9). These nutrients are at risk because they are commonly found in carbohydrate-rich foods, such as dairy and wholegrains.

The compounding health effects of Safcol Seafood

Sardines on toast

The good news is there are low-carbohydrate foods that provide these vital nutrients.


  • Salmon with bones
  • Sardines
  • Calcium set firm tofu
  • Almonds
  • Hard cheese like Swiss cheese and cheddar cheese

Thiamine (vitamin B1)

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Pork
  • Eggs, including the yolk
  • Beef
  • Organ meat

Folate (vitamin B9)

  • Leafy greens like baby spinach
  • Brazil nuts
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado


  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Berries like strawberries
  • Walnuts

Seafood provides both thiamine and calcium. Look for ethically sourced varieties, so you know you are looking after the health of the planet as well as your body. Remember that long-life seafood is considered equally as nutritious as buying fresh or frozen seafood.

Take home message

If you choose to follow a low-carb diet, make sure you are meeting all your daily nutrient needs in order for your body to function optimally. Add these low-carbohydrate foods to your meals and snacks each day to keep your body working at its best.

The Safcol Tuna range. Not only is Safcol the Seafood Experts tuna lunchbox friendly, but it also tastes delicious, and boasts some amazing health benefits! Tuna contains Omega-3 fats that are an unsaturated form of fat called polyunsaturated. These types of fats cannot be made by the body, so we need to include them as part of our diet to stay healthy. For good health, you need omega-3 fats in our diet, particularly the type which comes from fish and seafood because it contains two acids known as docosahexaenoic acid or DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA. These two acids are linked to better health for your body particularly for your brain and heart. 


  1. Naude CE, Brand A, Schoonees A, Nguyen KA, Chaplin M, Volmink J. Low-carbohydrate versus balanced-carbohydrate diets for reducing weight and cardiovascular risk. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2022 Jan 28;1(1):CD013334. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD013334.pub2. PMID: 35088407; PMCID: PMC8795871.