Human Nutrition II

Learn how to plan a better diet for yourself or to support others. Learn about nutritional requirements, how to prepare food to retain nutrients, planning balanced diets and assessing nutritional needs of special groups.

Course CodeBRE202
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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  • Improve eating habits for yourself and your family.

  • Professional Development for Health Professionals

  • Deepen your knowledge in nutrition to share with clients  

Take the next step in your journey toward optimising nutrition for yourself and others. This is the second of three nutrition modules, that together provide a robust foundation on which to build industry experience and specialisation.

Nutrition II is based in science yet offers practical skills in preparing food to ensure nutrient retention, and planning balanced diets for individual or group needs. It teaches you to take what is known about energy, protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and apply it in a practical way to daily life.

A valuable course for those interested in improving their own health or who care for the wellbeing of others including:

  • Fitness professionals

  • Life Coaches

  • Personal or professional caregivers, nannies, aged car, disability

  • Allied Medical/Health Professionals

  • Community Health workers

  • Caterers, chefs and food service staff

  • Food manufacturing/wholesale staff

  • Health Food Industry workers

Learn what you need to keep your body running in optimal condition.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Cooking and it’s Effect on Food and Nutrition
    • The Nutritive Value of Food after Cooking
    • Meat and Poultry
    • Fish
    • Plant Foods – fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses
    • How different methods of cooking and processing effects nutrients in food
    • Baking
    • Blanching
    • Braising
    • Grilling
    • Poaching and Boiling
    • Pressure Cooking
    • Roasting
    • Sautéing
    • Steaming
    • Preparing and Cooking Vegetables and nutrient loss management
    • The benefits of cooked food
    • Preserving the nutrition in food
    • Key points for preserving different vitamins
    • Set task
    • Assignment
  2. Food Processing and Nutrition
    • Introduction
    • Canning and pasteurisation
    • Homogenisation and pasteurisation of milk
    • Milling and grain processing
    • Flours
    • How processing affects dietary carbohydrate and fiber
    • Effect of wet-heat treatments
    • Why do simple carbohydrates leech when wet-heat treated
    • Effect of food processing on starch and cellulose
    • Fiber in processed flour
    • Freezing
    • Dehydration
    • Effect of soils and fertilisers on food nutritive qualities
    • Food additives
    • Preservatives –salting, pickling, curing, smoking etc.
    • Food allergies
    • Flavouring agents
    • Additives to enhance colour and appearance
    • Sweetening agents
    • Emulsifying agents and stabilisers
    • Anti caking agents and humectants
    • Set task
    • Assignment
  3. Recommended Daily Intakes of Nutrients
    • Recommended daily intake
    • Adequate intake
    • Tolerable Upper limits
    • Estimated average requirement
    • Macronutrient intakes
    • RDI for Energy and Protein
    • Fats
    • AI for Fluids or water
    • AI and TUL for dietary fibre
    • Requirements for vitamins
    • Requirements for Minerals
    • Set task
    • Assignment
  4. Vitamins
    • Hypervitaminosis and hypovitaminosis
    • Fat soluble vitamins
    • Vitamin A –role, sources, deficiency, toxicity, etc.
    • Vitamin D –overview, sources, deficiency, toxicity, etc.
    • Vitamin E
    • Vitamin K
    • Fat soluble vitamins
    • Vitamin C
    • B group vitamins
    • Water soluble vitamins
    • Vitamins and the liver
    • Vitamins and the bowel
    • Vitamins, cancer and chronic diseases
    • Set task
    • Assignment
  5. Minerals
    • Calcium –role of, deficiency, toxicity, calcium sources, etc
    • Iodine
    • Iron
    • Magnesium
    • Phosphorus
    • Potassium
    • Sodium
    • Other trace elements – chromium, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, Zinc
    • Set task
    • Assignment
  6. Planning a Balanced Diet
    • Introduction
    • Menu Planning
    • Case Study – A day’s diet at a residential school
    • Plate waste
    • Assessing plate waste
    • Using a food pyramid
    • Steps for approaching diet planning
    • Set task
    • Assignment
  7. Assessing Nutritional Status and Needs
    • Information
    • Infants and young children
    • Adolescents
    • Expectant mothers Post partum and nursing mothers
    • Elderly people
    • Migrants
    • Vegetarian - Diet considerations: protein, amino acids, iron Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, etc.
    • Vegan diets and children
    • Weight change and snacking
    • Set task
    • Assignment
  8. Timing Meals and Needs of Special Groups
    • Introduction
    • Diet formulation
    • Obesity
    • Coronary heart disease
    • Dietary risk factors
    • Blood cholesterol
    • Blood pressure
    • Dental cavities
    • Dietary fibre and bowel disease
    • Diet therapy
    • Low energy diet
    • Diabetes
    • Gastric Diets
    • Gluten free diets
    • Low salt, low sodium diets
    • Low fat diets
    • Diets to lower cholesterol
    • Set task
    • Assignment

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Determine appropriate food preparation for different foods, in relation to value for human health.
  • Explain the characteristics of food processing techniques and their implications for human health.
  • Understand the minimum and maximum safe intake for macronutrients, vitamins and minerals.
  • Manage dietary intake of more significant vitamins including fat soluble, B and C complex vitamins for good health.
  • Manage dietary requirements of significant minerals including calcium & iron for good health.
  • Plan in detail, an appropriate seven day diet plan, for an "average" adult.
  • Determine dietary needs of different individuals and subpopulations
  • Plan diets to achieve different, specific purposes and to plan diets for specific needs for people at different stages of life.

What You Will Do

  • Determine the reasons for cooking food and compare different methods of cooking food in terms of their effect on both health and nutrition.
  • Explain how meat can be ensured to be fit for human consumption in a raw state, such as in sushi
  • Distinguish between function, effects, and chemistry of different types of food additives, in food preparation, including: Colours, Preservatives, Antioxidants, Vegetable gums, Flavourings, Thickeners, Anti caking agents, Bleaches, Emulsifiers, Humectants, Food Acids, Mineral salts
  • Evaluate taste and nutritional effects of adding different specified flavourings to five different specified food dishes, including: *Salt *Sugar *Herbs *Wines
  • Explain, giving examples of specific foods, how "freshness" of different specified foods, impacts upon nutrient status of those foods
  • Explain how physical treatment of different specified foods (eg. cutting or crushing), may affect the food benefit of that food, including: *digestibility *keeping quality *nutrient status
  • Explain different heat treatments for food preservation; in terms of the process, function and affects; including: *drying *canning *bottling *pasteurisation
  • Explain freezing of food, in terms of the process, function and affects
  • Define examples of each of the following types of food additives:*Colours *Preservatives *Antioxidants *Vegetable gums *Flavourings *Thickeners *Anti caking agents *Bleaches *Emulsifiers *Humectants *Food acids *Mineral salts
  • Distinguish between function, effects, and chemistry of different types of food additives, in food preservation, including: *Colours *Preservatives *Antioxidants *Vegetable gums *Flavourings *Thickeners *Anti caking agents *Bleaches *Emulsifiers *Humectants *Food acids *Mineral salts
  • Analyse in a report, the effects of food additives found in different supermarket food items
  • Explain problems that may result from food additives including: *allergic reactions *hyperactivity in children
  • Explain different dehydration processes, in terms of the process, function and affects
    • Explain use of food processing techniques applied to different common foods with respect to food quality, storage life and cost
  • Compare the use of different food processing techniques on the same food, through in terms of the process, function and effect
  • Demonstrate five different food processing techniques, by independently preparing samples to a commercial standard
  • Compare recommended dietary intake information from different sources
  • Explain how food requirements vary, in terms of components and quality, at different ages, including: *babies *children *teenagers *young adults *elderly people
  • Recommend daily food intake requirements for a variety of different people who you are familiar with (e.g. elderly, young children, active young adults), listing components of a typical daily intake together with a profile of the person
  • List quality food sources of C complex vitamins in order of richest to poorest source
  • List quality food sources of B complex vitamins in order of richest to poorest source
  • Explain nutrient disorders associated with three different significant vitamin imbalances, including vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and one other vitamin
  • Evaluate different people you are familiar with, with respect to vitamin intake, lifestyle and health status, to determine if vitamin B & C needs are being satisfied
  • List food sources of calcium in order of richest to poorest source
  • List food sources of iron in order of richest to poorest source
  • Distinguish nutrient disorders associated with calcium and iron imbalances, in terms of diagnosis and significance
  • Evaluate different people you are familiar with, with respect to mineral intake, lifestyle and health status, to determine if mineral requirements including calcium and iron needs, are being met
  • Develop a questionnaire to analyse the dietary requirements of a person
  • Analyse the diet, lifestyle and general health of different individuals and compare the individuals analysed
  • Recommend aspects of diet which could be improved for individuals analysed
  • Explain discrepancies detected between different sources of dietary recommendations
  • Conduct a self assessment of dietary practices, determining in a summary report, areas of deficiency

How You Eat is as Important as What You Eat

Custom and social factors often dictate when meals will be eaten. It ought to be added that time frequently dictates when the first meal of the day is taken. The body is much like a machine, starting the day without food to fuel results in poor performance, and if it occurs on a regular basis deterioration and breakdown.

Muscular efficiency, concentration and alertness peak after meals, and school students fed a proper breakfast show better performance in school compared to their classmates working on empty stomachs. Many people work long hours in demanding, high pressure jobs. Meals become a coffee and a biscuit on the run, and burn out is often inevitable. In fact, our reaction and ability to cope with stress is worsened when we lack certain nutrients.

To make the most efficient use of the foods we eat it is generally advised to eat more frequent, smaller meals during the day. This, combined with the ingestion of complex carbohydrates instead of simple sugars prevents peaks in efficiency countered by severe drops. Avoiding blood sugar surges and falls can also keep appetite in control, stave off cravings and allow a person to work efficiently between meals/snacks.

In the past the traditional western main meal of meat or fish and two vegetables followed by a pudding had much in its favour from a nutritional point of view (although the traditional roasting and boiling methods could be switched for methods that don’t deplete nutrients as readily), along with the fact that people took more exercise in their normal day-to-day life. Today more snack-type meals and convenience foods are eaten, so more careful planning of the foods eaten becomes necessary. With the more general use of the car less exercise is often taken, too, and this is not always taken into account when planning diets.

It must not be supposed that a simple, convenient meal such as a sandwich cannot provide the nutrients required. Bread provides energy and wholegrain breads provide a great fibre source. With the right choice of filling, e.g. trimmed meat, egg or cheese, the protein and many of the mineral elements and vitamins may be provided. Addition of salad vegetables add vitamins and a healthy drink hydrates and may provide other nutrients if it includes milk. A snack of fruit can provide vitamins, minerals and some fibre.

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Karen Lee

Nutritional Scientist, Dietician, Teacher and Author. BSc. Hons. (Biological Sciences), Postgraduate Diploma Nutrition and Dietetics. Registered dietitian in the UK, with over 15 years working in the NHS. Karen has undertaken a number of research projec
Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo
Barbara Seguel

Teacher and Researcher, Marine Scientist, Tourism and Outdoor recreation guide, Health and Safety Coordinator & Production Manager for Fisheries, National Park Staff/Farmer, Laboratory technical aide, Zoo, Wildlife and Marine Park assistant. Barbara has w
Jade Sciascia

Biologist, Business Coordinator, Government Environmental Dept, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Recruitment Consultant, Senior Supervisor in Youth Welfare, Horse Riding Instructor (part-completed) and Boarding Kennel Manager. Jade has a B.Sc.Biol, Di
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