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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Human Nutrition Course - study what we should eat for a balanced healthy diet. 

Take the first step to a career as a nutritionist or health coach. Study Human Nutrition to improve your own health and support the well-being of your family and others through better eating. Study with the guidance of our specialist tutors.

  • Learn about the sources, actions, and interactions of nutrients from the food that we consume.
  • Look at the balance of the nutrients in foods and what makes up a balanced diet.
  • Develop your knowledge of the way in which we eat and how this affects us.
  • Learn about different nutrient disorders and problems with nutrition.
  • An excellent course for anyone interested in nutrition and health for themselves or to help or counsel others.

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Healthy eating and good human nutrition - learn about what we eat in this distance learning course.

  • The food and drink that we consume each day have a direct bearing on our state of physical and mental health.
  • Human Nutrition I is the course to help you to improve your knowledge of nutrition and diet.


  • A stepping stone to work as a health coach, nutritionist or well-being advisor.
  • Take the first step toward a certificate or higher qualification.
  • This course provides complementary skills for people already involved with food and health across a very wide range of contexts: Health or Fitness professionals, Life Coaches, Mothers, Chef's, Food and supplement sales staff, Professional carers or nannies
  • It provides individuals with the knowledge to better manage their own diet, as well as the diets of those around them.


The 9 lessons are as follows:

Lesson 1. Introduction to Nutrition
  • Important factors in nutrition
  • Ingredients and cooking methods
  • Understanding eating
  • Major food groups
  • Food allergies and Intolerance introduction
Lesson 2. The Digestive System
  • The Alimentary Canal - Muscular Structures
  • Accessory Digestive Organs
  • Digestive Tract Linings
Lesson 3. Absorption and Enzymes
  • Physical and Mechanical breakdown
  • Understanding biochemical breakdown
  • Biological breakdown
  • Digestive Hormones
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • Absorption - anatomical adaptations for absorption
  • Absorption (general)
  • Detoxification mechanisms
  • The Urinary System
  • Physiology of the urinary system
  • Skin and sweat glands
Lesson 4. Energy Value of Foods
  • The science of nutrition
  • Diet
  • Energy Value in Foods
  • Nutrients
  • Energy Production
  • Basal Metabolic Rate
Lesson 5. Carbohydrates and Fats
  • Types of Carbohydrates - Monosaccharides, Oligosaccharides and Polysaccharides
  • Carbohydrates in the diet
  • Carbohydrates in the body
  • Alcohol
  • Fats and fat biochemistry
  • Fats in the diet
  • Fats in the body
Lesson 6. Proteins
  • Uses in the body
  • Recommended protein intakes
  • Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Beef, Poultry and Fish (meat structure)
  • Meat Quality
  • Eggs and Dairy
  • Proteins in the diet
  • Proteins in the body
Lesson 7. Vitamins and Minerals
  • The Recommended Daily Allowance
  • The Dietary Reference Intake
  • Summary of Vitamins
  • Fat soluble vitamins
  • Water soluble vitamins
  • Common minerals
  • Inorganic elements
  • The Calcium Debate
Lesson 8. Water
  • Water in the body (function)
  • Water retention
  • Water loss and chronic dehydration
Lesson 9. Nutrient Disorders
  • Selected digestive system disorders
  • Vomiting
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Jaundice
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Cirrhosis
  • Allergies
  • Cholesterol, heart disease and atherosclerosis
  • Bowel Cancer
  • Problems with nutrition


The food and drink that we consume each day have a direct bearing on our state of physical and mental health.

As a general recommendation, it is good to have variety in our diet to ensure we have the whole range of substances we need to build and maintain our body and our health. Too much of one or two food types, even healthy foods, is not recommended for long term health. But every one of us is different from other people including the way we digest food and use food in our bodies. Each one of us needs a personal way of eating.

The extra time and thought needed to prepare good quality meals can easily be rewarded with the experience of increased stamina and alertness, better resistance to illness and clear and healthy skin, eyes.. It is necessary to learn some basic principles so that the health benefits of what we eat can be optimised.


Foodstuffs can usually be arranged into the following groups. For a balanced diet, a person generally needs an appropriate serving of all of these things daily. This course focuses on expanding your understanding of this as a foundation for future learning and practice.



1. Cereals

Mainly carbohydrate, with 7 - 12% protein. Oats have fat. Minerals, vitamins. Whole cereals have fibre.

2. Meats, Poultry and Fish:

Protein source; fat content varies greatly, also some minerals.

3. Dairy products except butter

Protein, vitamins, minerals and fats.

4. Eggs

Protein, minerals and vitamins (fat in yolk).

5. Legumes

Four times as much protein as leaf vegetables. Vitamins and minerals, fibre.

6. Root Vegetables

Carbohydrates (starches), vitamins, minerals. Antioxidants.

7. Other Vegetables, Leaf Vegetables

Carbohydrates and protein, minerals and vitamins, fibre; relatively little fat. Antioxidants.

8. Fruits

Water soluble vitamins, minerals, sugars and starch. Antioxidants.

9. Fats, Oils, Sugars & Butter

Direct intake of fats and sugar. Vitamins, minerals.

10. Seeds and Nuts

Fats, protein, vitamins, minerals


  • Explain the role of different food types in human health.
  • Explain the physiology of digestive processes.
  • Recommend appropriate intake of vitamins.
  • Recommend appropriate intake of minerals.
  • Recommend appropriate food intake to meet an individual's energy needs.
  • Recommend appropriate carbohydrate intake.
  • Recommend appropriate fat intake.
  • Recommend appropriate protein intake.
  • Recommend appropriate water intake in different situations.
  • Recognise signs and symptoms of the major nutrient disorders.


Here are some examples of things you may be doing:

  • Distinguish between nutrition terms including: food, nutrition and diet.
  • Distinguish between characteristics of all major food groups, including: chemistry and foods which are a good source of nutrition.
  • Explain the significance of each of the major food groups, including: Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Minerals, Vitamins.
  • Label on unlabelled illustrations, parts of the digestive system, including: Oesophagus, Liver, Stomach, Gall bladder, Pancreas, Duodenum, Ascending colon, Caecum, Appendix, Transverse colon, Descending colon, Ileum, Sigmoid colon, Rectum.
  • Explain the function of different parts of the digestive system, including: Salivary Glands, Liver, Stomach, Gall bladder, Pancreas, Duodenum, Colon, Ileum, Rectum.
  • Distinguish between digestion and absorption of food.
  • Explain the different layers of the digestive tract, including: Mucosa, Submucosa, Muscularis, Serosa.
  • Explain different physiological processes involved in absorption.
  • Explain how different hormones control the digestive process, including: Gastrin, Gastric Inhibitory Peptide, Secretin, Cholecystokinin.
  • Explain the action of different digestive enzymes.
  • Convert calories to joules.
  • Explain the meaning of basal metabolic rate (BMR).
  • Describe how the intake of different types of food may affect metabolic rate.
  • Explain how different factors other than food intake can affect digestion, including stress and disease.
  • Compare energy values of different foods, on a given food chart.
  • Explain possible implications of mismatching food intake to individual's energy needs, through over or under intake of energy requirements.
  • List foods which are a common sources of carbohydrate.
  • List common foods in your own diet which are poor sources of carbohydrate.
  • Distinguish between monosaccharides and disaccharides in your own normal diet.
  • Explain relative values of alternative sources of carbohydrates.
  • Explain factors which affect the bodies demand for carbohydrate.
  • Develop guidelines to determining appropriate carbohydrate intake, in accordance with an individuals specific requirements.
  • List foods which are a common source of fats.
  • Distinguish between saturated and unsaturated fats in the diet of a specific person.
  • Explain the relative value of alternative sources of fats.
  • Explain factors which affect the bodies demand for fat.
  • Explain the role of fat in the body, including an explanation of different physiological processes involving fat.
  • Develop a set of guidelines to determining appropriate fat intake, in accordance with an individuals specific requirements.
  • List foods which are a good source of protein.
  • Explain the role of protein in the body, including examples of different physiological processes involving protein.
  • Explain relative values of different sources of protein.
  • Explain factors which affect the bodies demand for protein.
  • Develop guidelines to determining appropriate fat intake, in accordance with an individuals specific requirements.
  • List different sources for each of several different minerals considered essential to human health.
  • Explain the role of different minerals in the body.
  • Consider the relative values of different sources of minerals in your own diet, to determine minerals which may be supplied in inappropriate quantities.
  • Describe symptoms of different nutrient disorders including deficiencies and toxicities.
  • Explain the use of different mineral supplements in a specified human diet.
  • Distinguish between sources of different types of vitamins which are important to human health, including: Retinol, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Ascorbic acid, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Nicotinamide, Pyridoxine, Pantothenic acid, Biotin, Cyanocobalamin, Folacin.
  • Explain the role of different vitamins in the body.
  • Explain the relative values of different sources of each of five vitamins.
  • Explain proliferation of vitamin supplement usage in modern society.
  • Describe symptoms of five different vitamin disorders including deficiencies and toxicities.
  • Explain the role of water in the body, for different physiological processes.
  • List factors which affect the bodies requirement for water.
  • Compare different methods of purifying water, including different commercially available water purifiers.
  • Explain the physiology of dehydration, at different levels.
  • Discuss the affect of different water impurities on human health.
  • Distinguish between the signs and symptoms of forty common problems associated with nutritional disorders, including: deficiencies, sensitivities, diseases.
  • Describe different techniques used by health practitioners for determining food/nutrition disorders.
  • Explain the importance of obtaining a recommendation from a medical practitioner, when a nutritional disorder is suspected.
  • Explain the significance of "second opinion", when diagnosing nutrient disorders. 


"Because I am expanding my knowledge and the things I am learning in this course I can use in everyday life as well, for example, when it comes to making food choices, I think back to what I have learned in this course and think about how certain foods can benefit me and my body. I am getting feedback about how I am progressing, both negative and positive points which help me to improve and also give me confidence in what I am doing and also motivate me."
S. Ryan - Human Nutrition 1


Register to Study - Go to “It’s Easy to Enrol” box at the top of the page and you can enrol now.

or, if you have any questions - get in touch with our specialist Health and Fitness tutors today. They will be happy to answer your questions about studying with ACS, or which course to study with us to meet your aims.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

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.

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