Therapeutic Nutrition

Study therapeutic nutrition online. Learn how to use diet to restore and maintain health.

Course CodeBRE211
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Learn how to use diet to support health

Therapeutic nutrition is the provision of nutrients to maintain and/or restore optimal nutrition and health. Therapeutic diets may be required as therapy for a disease e.g. coeliac disease or to treat malnutrition arising from low energy and nutrient intakes or due to increased energy and nutrient needs.


"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." ~ Hippocrates



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Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Therapeutic Nutrition
  2. Allergies and Intolerances
  3. Diabetes
  4. Heart Disease, Hyperlipidemia and Arteriosclerosis
  5. Renal/Kidney Conditions
  6. Cancer
  7. Digestive Disorders - Oesophagus, Small Intestine, Colon,
  8. Other Metabolic Conditions (eg. Liver, Gall bladder, Pancreas, etc)
  9. Strategic Diet planning for a medical condition

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.


  • Discuss the nature and scope of Therapeutic Nutrition; and identify circumstances where diet may need modification
  • Explain different types of food allergy and intolerance and provide information on diagnosis, clinical symptoms and appropriate dietary modifications.
  • Explain what diabetes is and describe appropriate dietary adjustments that for people with Diabetes.
  • Explain appropriate dietary adjustments that should be made for people with Cardiovascular Disease
  • Explain appropriate dietary adjustments that should be made for people with Heart Disease, Hyperlipidemia or Arteriosclerosis
  • Explain appropriate dietary adjustments that should be made for people with Kidney conditions
  • Explain appropriate dietary adjustments that should be made for people with different types of cancer
  • Explain appropriate dietary adjustments that should be made for people with a variety of digestive disorders
  • Explain appropriate dietary adjustments that should be made for people with diseases of the liver, gall bladder and pancreas
  • To evaluate the dietary requirements of a client or patient who has a medical condition; giving appropriate consideration to that condition, and to identify responsible options for diet planning in response to the situation.

Extract from Course

Therapeutic Nutrition and Diabetes

The overall aims of diet and lifestyle advice in diabetes is:

  • To improve blood sugar (glycaemic) control
  • To decrease in the risk of heart disease
  • To help reduce blood pressure
  • To lower lipid levels (cholesterol and triglycerides)
  • To help delay long term complications
  • To tackle obesity through diet education and weight management (5-10% weight loss if overweight) through slow steady weight loss (0.5-1.0 kg/wk)
  • To increase exercise

Current Diet Recommendations for Diabetes

Current recommendations suggest that people with diabetes should follow a diet where 50% of energy they consume comes from carbohydrate (starches and sugars) with only 10% of total being simple sugars (sucrose). 35% of total energy should come from fats, particularly from monounsaturated fats and 15% of total energy should come from protein. We shall now look at some specifics of these recommendations:


Salt Intake

It is recommended that salt intake should be limited especially in individuals with Hypertension (raised blood pressure). Salt makes the body retain water and if we eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. It has been suggested that salt intake should be limited to 6g/day. This can be difficult because 80% of the salt we consume comes from processed foods like bread, biscuits and breakfast cereals, and prepared ready meals or takeaways. Only 20% comes from the salt we add while cooking or at the table. People will therefore need assistance to help them to read labels and identify foods that are high in added salt. As a general rule foods are low in salt if they contain 0.25g salt or less per 100g of food. They contain a medium amount of salt if they have 0.25-1.25g salt per 100g of food and are high in salt if they have 1.25g salt or more per 100g of food.



Intakes of fibre rich foods should be increased especially those that are high in soluble fibre such as oats, legumes (peas, kidney beans, and lentils), barley, oats, fruits (such as apples), some green vegetables (such as broccoli) and potatoes. Soluble fibre may help control blood sugar by delaying gastric (stomach) emptying, retarding the entry of glucose into the bloodstream and lessening the rise in blood sugar levels that occurs after eating. The cholesterol-lowering effect of soluble fibres may also help those with diabetes by reducing heart disease risks. According to current guidelines, healthy adults should consume at least 18g of fibre a day.



Exercise should be encouraged. Exercise is an important way to manage diabetes as it helps promote beneficial weight loss and also lowers blood sugar levels and helps insulin work more efficiently. Patients treated with insulin will need advice to prevent their blood sugars from dropping too low when they exercise. Emphasis should be placed on the benefits of regular exercise 20-30 minutes 5 times a week.



Carbohydrate (from starches and sugars) raises post meal blood sugar levels more than any other nutrient. This observation led to the use of very low carbohydrate diets before insulin and other medication therapies were available. With the advent of these therapies, the avoidance of carbohydrates is no longer recommended. Instead, people with diabetes should receive accurate information on which foods contain carbohydrates and how to balance medication with the times when carbohydrates are eaten and the amounts that are eaten.

Note New research is continually coming to light; and being added to our course as our nutritional scientists become aware. The information above may as such, not be the most up to date.

There are lots of different reasons why a person might undertake this course.
  • Eat more appropriately yourself
  • Understand more about what family members should be eating
  • Deal better with disease
  • Learn as professional development in your job
  • Expand your expertise as  a professional in the health, fitness or food  industries.
  • Discover business opportunities as a food produce/supplier, life coach, health professional, etc 

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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
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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