Human Nutrition II

Learn what to eat to optimise health. Prepare food to maintain nutrients, plan diets, and develop well-balanced menus.

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

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Eat well for a healthier body & mind

Take the next step in your journey to improve your own health or to support others by optimising nutrition. This is the second of three foundation nutrition modules but works on it's own. It takes what is known about energy, protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and teaches you to apply it in a practical way to daily life through careful meal planning and preparation.

This course is scientifically based yet practical, covering: The impact of cooking and food processing on nutrients, recommended nutrient intakes, assessing nutritional needs, planning and timing of a well balanced diet and managing diet for special needs groups/people.

Suitable for individuals interested in learning more about the health impact of what they eat and those who care for the wellbeing of others including:

  • Fitness professionals

  • Caterers and food service workers

  • Food wholesale/retail staff

  • Restaurant operator

  • Health Food Retail/wholesale staff

  • Life Coaches

  • Caregivers

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Cooking And Its Effect On Nutrition
  2. Food Processing And Its Effect On Nutrition
  3. Recommended Daily Intake Of Nutrients
  4. Vitamins
  5. Minerals
  6. Planning A Balanced Diet
  7. Assessing Nutritional Status & Needs
  8. Timing Of Meals & Needs For Special Groups

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 food value for human health.
  • Explain the characteristics of food processing techniques and their implications for human health.
  • Recommend daily food intakes for people with differing nutritional needs.
  • Manage dietary intake of more significant vitamins including 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.
  • Plan diets to achieve different, specific purposes.
  • Plan diets for specific needs for people at different stages of life.

What You Will Do

  • Determine the reasons for cooking food.
  • Compare different methods of cooking food in terms of their effect on both health and nutrition.
  • Explain the effects on nutrition of cooking different types of foods, for different periods of time, including: *Meat *Fish *Eggs *Milk *Plant Foods.
  • Explain how meat can be ensured to be fit for human consumption in a raw state, such as in sushi and in smallgoods.
  • 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 six 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 three different supermarket food items, selected by the learner.
  • 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 six 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 three 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 four 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 two different people the learner is 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 two different people the learner is 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 three 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 in the learners normal diet.
  • Explain the significance of considering medical history when diet planning.
  • Prepare an appropriate diet plan over a seven day period, for an "average" adult.
  • Compare changes in dietary requirements for people at different stages of life,including: Nursing mothers, Babies, Young children, Teenagers, Young adults, Elderly.
  • Develop a five day menu for a ten year old child.
  • Prepare a one day menu for an immobile elderly person.
  • List unique dietary requirements for different types of people including: Weight lifters,
    • People suffering obesity, People with coronary disease, Diabetics, People with gastric problems.
  • Plan a three day menu for a serious weight lifter.
  • Plan a diet for an obese person wishing to reduce weight.
  • Plan a healthy diet for a thin person wishing to gain weight.

Nutrition Affects Health and Wellbeing

There is a link between medical conditions and nutrition. Often (though not always), your choice of foods can either aggravate or help a disorder. This course deals with the relationship between human nutrition, and a range of disorders affecting different areas of the human body including the skin, bladder, heart and digestive system. We shall look at some of the claims made

regarding the effects of diet both in the prevention and treatment of different diseases/ conditions.

This is not a comprehensive guide, and should by no means be considered as a substitute for sound, up to date medical advice from a professional; but the information that follows, may provide some insights into the complex relationships that can exist between what you eat and your health.

Diet, medical conditions and dietary change

Before making changes to your diet to control a medical condition or before advising others to make a dietary change, it is important to understand the evidence behind this advice. This evidence is considered in greater detail in the next chapter, but as you read the next few sections you will notice that recommendations often come back to the importance of viewing everyone as an individual. It is also important to understand the difference between food allergy and other symptoms or illnesses affected or caused by different foods as the management of each type will be different.

Food allergies are caused by the immune system reacting to certain foods such as nuts, eggs and shellfish. Symptoms of food allergy include skin rashes and hives, swelling of the tongue and lips, wheezing, vomiting and difficulty breathing. Symptoms of food allergy tend to occur rapidly that is within 30 minutes of ingesting a problem food. On the other hand, food intolerance occurs when a person cannot absorb or digest nutrients properly and symptoms tend to develop more slowly (up to 48 hours after eating a problem food). This can make it difficult to identify which food is causing the problem; examples of food intolerance include lactose intolerance and celiac disease. Although there are tests available to diagnose these two forms of food intolerance, most food intolerances are found through trial and error. To determine which foods cause a problem patients are usually asked to keep a food diary to record what they eat and when they get symptoms, a doctor or dietitian may then look at the food diary to identify any possible food triggers. Another way to identify problem foods is through an elimination diet. This involves completely eliminating any suspect foods from the diet until the patient is symptom-free and then reintroducing foods, one at a time to help pinpoint which foods cause symptoms. A typical elimination diet includes chicken, turkey or lamb, rice, cooked vegetables, apricots, apples, pears, peaches and bottled water.


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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
Adriana Fraser

Freelance writer, businesswoman, educator and consultant for over 30 years. Adriana has written extensively for magazines including free living publications -Grass Roots and Home Grown; and has authored or co authored many books ranging from a biography
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
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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