Want to Work with Food?

This course provides a broad understanding of the make up of foods and how the human body utilises those foods.


Who Should Study this Course?  

Anyone working in food service, cooking, production of food products, or advising on healthy eating

Want to Better Understand What We Eat?


Develop a foundation for choosing, managing and preparing proper, healthy food; whether at home or work.



Emphasis is placed on understanding the body, the food we eat & it's affects, our mental, emotional health (state of mind), and physical health.

The nine lessons are as follows:

1. Introduction to Nutrition

2. The Digestive System

3. Absorption & Enzymes

4. Energy Value and Foods

5. Carbohydrates and Fats

6. Proteins

7. Vitamins and Minerals

8. Water

9. Nutrient Disorders


Duration:   100 hours

Course Aims

On successful completion of the course you should be able to do the following:

  • 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 just a some of the things you may be involved in :


  • 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.
  • 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 3 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 three different digestive enzymes.
  • Convert calories to joules, in two calculations.
  • 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 ten 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 the learners diet which are poor sources of carbohydrate.
  • Distinguish between monosaccharides and disaccharides in the learners normal diet.
  • Explain relative values of five alternative sources of carbohydrates.
  • Explain three 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 five 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 two 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 two 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 two sources for each of ten different minerals considered essential to human health.
  • Explain the role of ten different minerals in the body.
  • Consider the relative values of different sources of minerals in the learners diet, to determine minerals which may be supplied in inappropriate quantities.
  • Describe symptoms of five different nutrient disorders including deficiencies and toxicities.
  • Explain the use of five 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 fifteen different vitamins in the body.
  • Explain the relative values of three different sources of each of five vitamins.
  • Explain proliferation of vitamin supplement usage in modern society.
  • Describe in one sentence or less for each, symptoms of five different vitamin disorders including deficiencies and toxicities.
  • Explain the role of water in the body, for five different physiological processes.
  • List factors which affect the bodies requirement for water.
  • Compare three different methods of purifying water, including two commercially available water purifiers.
  • Explain the physiology of dehydration, at different levels.
  • Discuss the affect of five 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 three 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. 


Be Cautious about a Change in Diet

The healthiest diet for most people is one that contains a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables; lots of variety, adequate protein and fats and limited sugar and food additives (e.g. preservatives).
The media tells us this all the time; but then follows up with ads for processed foods, food loaded with preservatives and sugar, and things like alcoholic drinks that are toxic to the body.
All too often, people are extreme with their eating. They eat the wrong things for too long; then make an excessively dramatic change in their eating habits.
For most people; a moderate and sensitive approach to eating for their whole life, is far better than one that moves between extremes.

Nutrition and diets is an area where everyone has an opinion and dietary advice can be found everywhere from papers and magazines, the internet, information found in health food shops to that provided by healthcare professionals. Unfortunately the wealth of information available can be contradictory and confusing, while in some instances following advice can expensive and even be detrimental to health. In this chapter we shall look at different sources of dietary advice and provide information to help you to judge which advice you can trust and which should be treated with caution.

Weight loss diets

Weight loss diets are a very popular part of newspaper articles, features in female magazines and nutritional literature. While a quick internet search brings up hundreds of thousands of sites related to diets and weight loss. Very often these sources advocate ‘quick fixes’ to an obesity problem and have attractive headline promises that advise us to eliminate a certain food group such as carbohydrates so that weight drops off or suggesting dieters take a supplement or eat particular foods such as celery to speed up metabolism and promote weight loss. In view of this here are some things to consider when thinking of following a dietary plan you have read about on social media or before advocating this plan to someone else:

Nutritional Supplements

People often use nutritional supplements without fully understanding what they are doing. Nutrients are very complex things; and a deficiency or toxicity of any particular nutrient is rarely a simple matter of not eating enough of something. Nutrients interact with each other; for example, a toxicity of calcium in the body may cause a deficiency in sodium; and a toxicity of copper may cause a reduced ability to absorb zinc.  The acidity or alkalinity in the body, or level of hydration can affect the ability to absorb certain nutrients as well.
Doctors and other health professionals don't necessarily always understand what is happening when there are nutrient imbalances; and people trained in only nutrition, might not fully understand the implications of using nutrient supplements either. For a full and holistic understanding of the human body, and how o properly use nutrient supplements, you do need an understanding of human physiology and anatomy, combined with a knowledge of nutrition. This course provides the foundation in nutrition; but applying what you learn here should be done with caution, or in consultation with other professionals or after completing studies here with further studies in anatomy and physiology.

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