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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Understand a well-balanced diet - vitamins, minerals and the impact on emotional and physical health.

  • Learn about vitamins and minerals and how to develop a well balanced diet.

  • Learn about assessing nutritional needs.

  • Understand other dietary factors such as timing of meals the affects of processing and cooking.

A standalone course or study with Human Nutrition I & III





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Learn about dietary management for better health. 

  • Understand the importance of good nutrition for our mental and physical health.
  • Professional development for anyone working in health services, fitness or the food industry.
  • Understand about differing dietary needs for different people.
  • Learn about assessing diet and much more.

Works as a standalone course or study with Human Nutrition I & III.



Course Duration:
100 hours.

Start Date: Start at any time - study at a pace that suits you, and with full tutor support for the duration of your studies.

Lessons: The course comprises 8 lessons, each requiring about 12 hours work by the student.  Emphasis is placed on understanding the body, the food we eat & it's affects, our mental, emotional health (state of mind) and physical health.

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 And Needs

8. Timing Of Meals, And Needs For Special Groups


  • 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.

You will learn a wide variety of things, through a combination of reading, interacting with tutors, undertaking research and practical tasks and watching videos.  Here are just some of the things you will be doing:

  • 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 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 (e.g. 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.
  • 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 and 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


Calcium can Make or Break a Body - Literally!

Bones and teeth consist mainly of calcium phosphate. The bones are not static, they are constantly being remodeled. This process involves the destruction and then replacement of bone tissue. The diet must therefore supply adequate available calcium to enable the replenishment of bone tissue, not just during periods of growth, but throughout life. In fact, as people age, the balance between bone destruction and deposition is not as good and extra calcium is required to promote new bone deposition.

It is important to note that calcium has other functions in the body. If calcium stores are not adequate, the body will simply rob the bones of their calcium. An amount of calcium will always be found circulating in the blood and the level of calcium in the blood is regulated by the parathyroid gland, which can order the deposition of calcium in bone tissue, or the removal of calcium from bone tissue.
Calcium is needed for:
  • Proper development and maintenance of bones and teeth.
  • Normal clotting of blood.
  • Normal functioning of nerves and muscles.
  • Activity of several enzymes.
Pregnant women must ensure they are getting adequate calcium, as the foetus will require it and if it is not present in adequate amounts, the mother’s calcium stores will be depleted, weakening her bones and causing symptoms of deficiency.
Calcium deficiency can cause:
  • Weakening of bones and fractures.
  • Muscular spasm.
  • Impaired nervous system signalling.
  • Cardiac arrhythmia and cardiac arrest.
Calcium toxicity can cause:
  • Constipation.
  • Kidney stones.
  • High blood calcium levels (hypocalcaemia).
  • Depositing of excess calcium in tissues.
  • Abdominal pain and vomiting.
  • Confusion, seizures and coma.
It's not just what you eat - it is also how your body processes Calcium
When a body doesn't function properly, calcium may not be processed properly. For example; stress or illness, imbalances in gut bacteria, and other factors; may lead to calcium not being absorbed by the body, being deposited in the wrong parts of the body; and even being removed from bones. Even a simple thing such as too much of one nutrient, can cause a deficiency in other nutrients.
Sources of Calcium 
Dried milk has high calcium content, but once reconstituted, its value becomes the same as fresh milk. Pilchards have a high content because their bones are eaten. This applies to other types of tinned fish such as salmon. The difference between white and wholemeal bread is that calcium carbonate is added to all but 100% extraction flour.
Two 250ml glasses of milk supplies 340 mg calcium and, provided milk is liked and can be tolerated, the daily recommended amount can easily be achieved. Milk, cheese, bread and flour (if fortified), and green vegetables, are the main sources of calcium in the diet. Vegans, the lactose intolerant, those with milk allergies and some vegetarians may have trouble getting the RDI, but fortified foods are increasingly available to meet this need.
In the past, rickets was the deficiency disease associated with calcium. Rickets may be due to inadequate dietary calcium, or lack of vitamin D. Vitamin D is required for the efficient absorption is due to a deficiency of calcium, brought about by poor absorption due to a lack of vitamin D. The incidence of rickets is fortunately now very low. It is characterised by curvature of bones and limbs or other improper bone formation.
Osteomalicia (decalcified bones) is sometimes seen both in women who have had repeated pregnancies, and in the elderly. Again, it can be due to either lack of calcium or vitamin D, or a combination of the two. Osteoporosis (the loss of bone) in the elderly is more complex than a simple calcium deficiency disease, and several other vitamins and nutrients have been implicated in the disease as well.
Normally only 20-30% of calcium intake is absorbed, and factors concerning the absorption of calcium are not fully understood. It is however known that certain substances assist the absorption of calcium, and others interfere with it.
Absorption of Calcium is assisted by:
  • Vitamin D - derived from foods or sunlight, and is essential.
  • Proteins - amino acids resulting from protein digestion form soluble calcium salts.
  • Lactose
Absorption of Calcium is interfered with by:
  • Oxalic Acid - present in some fruits and vegetables (eg. rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, and when present in the diet, renders calcium unavailable. Fortunately the amount of these foods eaten is low.
  • Phytic Acid - present in cereals, nuts. Forms insoluble compounds with calcium, and when in the diet renders the calcium unavailable. It was partly because of this loss that calcium carbonate was first added to flour (except wholemeal) during the Second World War. It is still added although it is now known that enzymes that are present in the flour break down phytic acid during bread making. Vegetarian diets have a higher phytic acid content than many others, and an adequate calcium supply should be assured.
  • Fats - large amounts of fat in the intestine interfere with calcium absorption because unabsorbed fatty acids form insoluble salts with calcium.
The 70-80% of calcium which is unabsorbed is excreted in the faeces. Excretion of the absorbed calcium is via the kidneys. Those on a mixed diet are normally in a state of equilibrium (ie. calcium absorbed = calcium lost).
Consider -
Calcium is only one nutrient. See how complex it is, and there is a lot more beyond this to learn about calcium. Consider how complex it can be when you start to explore all the other nutrients as well.


If you have any questions, get in touch with our specialist Nutrition tutors - use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE.

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Meet some of our academics

Jade SciasciaBiologist, 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, Dip.Professional Education, Cert IV TESOL, Cert Food Hygiene.

Check out our eBooks

Human NutritionBoth a text for students, or an informative read for anyone who wants to eat better. While covering the basics, the book approaches nutrition a little differently here to some other books, with sections covering ”Modifying diet according to Genetic Disposition or Lifestyle”, “How to find Reliable Information on Nutrition” and “Understanding how Diet relates to Different Parts of the Body” (including Urinary, Digestive, Respiratory and Circulatory System, the Brain, etc). This ebook was written to complement the ACS Nutrition I course, and provides a solid foundation for anyone wanting to grasp a fundamental understanding of Human Nutrition.
Human BiologyFor any new student of human biology, being confronted with thousands of unfamiliar words can be overwhelming. It can also be difficult to identify which words you need to learn first. This book presents words that have been carefully selected as the most important for new biology students to learn and understand. It also provides more information about each word than is often found in traditional dictionaries, giving students a more in-depth understanding of the word's meaning. The book is intended as an aid to all new students of human biology.
Nutritional TherapyDiscover how the way you eat can impact upon the affects of an illness. This book is unique, written by our health and nutritional scientists. Chapters cover: “Scope and Nature of Nutritional Therapy”, “How different factors Interact with Nutrition”, “Different Ways” and “Appropriate Therapeutic Responses for Different Health Issues” Thirty different conditions are covered from Mental Illness and Gastritis to Coeliac Disease and Osteoporosis.