Human Nutrition and Food II

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


This course goes further than the basics of human nutrition, it provides more depth and information about what affects the nutritional value of your food. As well as being suited to those looking to improve personal knowledge, it is also suitable for those who are working in:

  • Schools and pre-schools
  • Childcare providers
  • Residential care homes
  • Hospitality and service organisations
  • Leisure facilities 

Some job roles that might find this useful include:

  • Chefs and cooks
  • Care assistants 
  • Childcare workers e.g. childminder, babysitter, nanny
  • Private chefs
  • Lifestyle coaches
  • Fitness trainer

If you want to ensure that you, or your clients, make good food choices for a healthier lifestyle, then this is the course for you. 

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Cooking and its 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
  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
    • Fibre 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
  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
  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
  5. Minerals
    • Calcium –role of, deficiency, toxicity, calcium sources, etc
    • Iodine
    • Iron
    • Magnesium
    • Phosphorus
    • Potassium
    • Sodium
    • Other trace elements – chromium, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, Zinc
  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
  7. Assessing Nutritional Status and Needs
    • Information
    • Infants and young children
    • Adolescents
    • Expectant mothers Postpartum 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
  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


  • 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 the learner is 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: Weightlifters, 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.

Assessing nutritional status and needs

We all know that there are certain dietary components we require to meet our nutritional needs. Nutritional status and nutritional requirements differ depending on a person’s age; whether a person has a disease/condition; what life choices a person makes e.g. vegetarianism; cultural beliefs; and the environment a person is in.

What are the nutrients to consider in a vegetarian diet?

You don't need to eat foods from animals to have enough protein in your diet. Plant proteins alone can provide enough of the essential and non-essential amino acids, as long as sources of dietary protein are varied and caloric intake is high enough to meet energy needs. Soy proteins are a good vegetarian protein source. Whole grains, legumes, vegetables, seeds and nuts are other sources.
All contain both essential and non-essential amino acids. You don't need to consciously combine these foods ("complementary proteins") within a given meal.

Vegetarians may have a greater risk of iron deficiency than non-vegetarians. The richest sources of iron are red meat, liver and egg yolk, which are all high in cholesterol. However, dried beans, spinach, enriched products, brewer's yeast and dried fruits are all good plant sources of iron.

Vitamin B12
This comes naturally only from animal sources. Vegans need a reliable source of vitamin B12. It can be found in some fortified (not enriched) breakfast cereals, fortified soy beverages, some brands of nutritional (brewer's) yeast and other foods (check the labels), as well as vitamin supplements.

Vitamin D
Vegans should have a reliable source of vitamin D. Vegans who don’t get much sunlight may need a supplement.

Studies show that vegetarians absorb and retain more calcium from foods than non-vegetarians do. Vegetable greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli, and some legumes and soybean products, are good sources of calcium from plants. Vegans should take care to ensure they are getting enough calcium each day and consider a supplement.

Zinc is needed for growth and development. Good plant sources include grains, nuts and legumes. Shellfish are an excellent source of zinc. Take care to select supplements containing no more than 15-18 mg zinc. Supplements containing 50 mg or more may lower HDL ("good") cholesterol in some people.

Vegan diets for children

Vegetarian diets are generally considered to be very healthy, for both adults and children, however, for vegans who wish to raise children vegan, professional assistance and guidance in establishing, altering with age and maintaining a completely balanced diet is very important. Failure to thrive is more common in vegan children and weight and height should be monitored. Vegan diets are generally not advisable for babies and young children as it can be difficult to ensure they get all the nutrients required.  However, with care it is possible to raise a child on such a diet.

Teenage vegans have nutritional needs that are the same as any other teenager. The years between 13 and 19 are times of especially rapid growth and change. Nutritional needs are high during these years. The teenage vegan should follow the same recommendations that are made for all vegans, namely to eat a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin B12 are nutrients teenage vegans should be aware of.

Those exercising strenuously (marathon runners, for example) may need slightly more protein than the RDI, but generally, this is not an enormous difference. Excess protein that is not utilised will simply be stored as fat.  Fruits, fats, and alcohol do not provide much protein, and so a diet based only on these foods would have a good chance of being too low in protein. Vegans eating varied diets containing vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds rarely have any difficulty getting enough protein as long as their diet contains enough energy (calories) to support growth. There is no need to take protein supplements. There is no health benefit to eating a very high protein diet and it will not help in muscle building.  In fact, in excessive amounts protein will have toxic effects.  Excess will first be converted to and stored as fat, not muscle.  Dehydration can occur and calcium lost in the urine.

During adolescence, calcium is used to build bones. The density of bones is determined in adolescence and young adulthood, and so it is important to include three or more good sources of calcium in a teenager's diet every day. Cow's milk and dairy products do contain calcium. However, there are other good sources of calcium such as tofu processed with calcium sulphate, green leafy vegetables including collard greens, mustard greens, and kale, as well as tahini (sesame butter), fortified soymilk, and fortified orange juice.

By eating a varied diet, a vegan can meet his or her iron needs, while avoiding the excess fat and cholesterol found in red meats such as beef or pork. To increase the amount of iron absorbed from a meal, eat a food containing vitamin C as part of the meal. Citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, and broccoli are all good sources of vitamin C. Foods that are high in iron include broccoli, raisins, watermelon, spinach, black-eyed peas, blackstrap molasses, chickpeas, and pinto beans.

It is important to consume adequate vitamin B12 during adolescence. Vitamin B12 is not found in plants. Some cereals have vitamin B12 (check the label). Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula nutritional yeast supplies B12.


There are many reasons why you should study our course:

  • The information in the course is detailed and therefore the resulting knowledge will also be of a great depth, extending basic understanding to something more more developed
  • Having an understanding of how cooking impacts nutritional value will help you, or people you work with, to make changes to cooking habits
  • It is relevant to a wide range of professions and sectors, meaning that your will develop transferable skills increasing employability
  • Your increased knowledge of nutrition could enhance your job prospects, showing employers your interest in supporting others
  • The approach to study is flexible so that you can fit in your studies around other commitments such as work and family 


You can enrol on the course now, but if you have any questions about the content of the course, or studying with ACS, then please get in touch with us today - use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE to get in touch with our expert tutors.They will be pleased to help you!

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