Course at a glance


Health, Diet and Nutrition are essential aspects of life. This internationally recognised qualification, can equip you with the knowledge and skills required to pursue a career within this rapidly growing industry. This Level 5 Diploma covers specially selected units which confer both transferable skills and essential knowledge. Whether students are looking to further their knowledge or move onto a new career path, this qualification is invaluable. Upon completion, students are eligible to register for membership with the Complementary Medical Association.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Entry Requirements

Students must hold a Level 3 Diploma (or higher) or A Level qualification to enrol into our Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma.

Basic English reading and writing skills, as full tutor support is given.

All students must be 16 years of age or above.

Study Hours

Approximately 800 hours.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Course Duration

2 Year.


You can enrol on the course at any time.

Awarding Body


Quality Licence Scheme

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Assessment Method

Coursework only.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Course Content

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 1: Using ICT in Health, Diet and Nutritional Studies

Information, communication and technology (ICT) comprises core skills for learning. In this distance learning course utilisation of methods, tools and strategies of ICT is important in order to establish and maintain a sound working relationship with tutors and the college. Students will need to develop ICT skills in order to communicate effectively and maximise their study progression in our Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma.

The first unit of this Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma explains how to set up an ePortfolio which students will use during the lifetime of the course for storage of all their files including coursework, self-assessment activities, independent research notes and reflective journals. The ePortfolio may be requested from time to time by tutors and moderators. Students will be asked at various points in the course to upload files for this purpose. The ePortfolio will not only provide students with a structured system of unique information but once completed can be used as a resource for continuing professional development (CPD), and a body of revision for future studies.

Independent research is fundamental to level 5 study and also equips students with confidence to source and evaluate information relevant to the core course topics. In this first unit students are presented with tools and strategies with which to begin to undertake independent research and integrate this into coursework activities, for example suggesting ways to read research articles and assimilate types of information from these.

The development of knowledge and understanding through writing skills is important for communicating ideas and arguments to tutors and other readers of written work. Therefore this unit reviews writing skills, and incorporates reflective writing into both the course and coursework activities. Reflective writing is a way that individuals can review their own approaches to learning and communication; and it also promotes pro-active implementation of skills enhancement through tutor feedback and self-assessment.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 2: Understanding health and wellbeing

There are many influencing factors which contribute to an individual’s perceived or actual state of health. Within this section we will explore some of the key factors. The social sciences are usually concerned with the study of human patterns of behaviour, activities and experiences of groups and communities and how those groups are organized into societies . The aspects of the social sciences that we should be concerned with in our studies and relevant to those working within health fields are: lifestyle choices and activities that people choose and that affect their wellbeing, this is also related to ethnicity, gender and social class. In addition the individuals’ personal development within their social group and community will affect their experiences, so this is a key factor as well.

The biological aspects involve understanding how the body works, health and disease and lifestyle; all these being related to what sort of care requirements they may need or seek.

Psychological aspects are concerned with the human mind, including thoughts and emotions that may influence actions, behaviours, and again, lifestyle choices. The following diagram shows how some of the social aspects of individuals are classified in groups. Many of these overlap and are certainly related to each other. All these factors are explored in the unit and relevant theories, models and legislation discussed

The quality of diet in general has deteriorated in recent years and more people are consuming highly processed foods, together with convenience meals in growing quantities. In addition the consumption of high sugar drinks and low fibre content foods is adding to the obesity problem amongst the general population. Portion size is becoming an increasing problem and contributing factor to obesity and the predisposition to chronic disease associated with being overweight such as coronary heart disease and Type II diabetes. Obesity also contributes to other serious health problems such as specific cancers, osteoarthritis, asthma, low back pain, sleep apnoea (not being able to breathe normally when asleep), fertility problems and a whole host of other conditions. This unit will explore factors which may affect diet such as socio-economic, demographic and ethnicity influences

Physical inactivity is known to contribute, not only to obesity but also to the risk of developing high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, Type II diabetes, stress, anxiety states and depression. Exercise is also fundamental in maintaining health bones and in the prevention of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis in later life. This unit discusses many of the conditions related to inactivity as a risk factor

Smoking remains the single largest cause of preventable disease in the UK and is bereft of any healthy benefits; in fact it predisposes to development of cardiovascular disease and lung cancer because of the intake of carbon monoxide, nicotine and tar. Alcohol and drug use is a part of normal social life to some people, however taken in excess they will almost certainly result in detrimental health effects. Binge drinking is becoming a significant problem in modern life and impacts health and social care services to disproportionate levels. These three key addictions are briefly discussed and associated issues of health and wellbeing explored.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 3: Understanding disease processes

Defining health is a difficult and subjective issue; it could simply be an absence of disease or disease symptoms, to other individuals it may be a snapshot of how they feel at any given time and may even be when diagnosed disease exists. Disease likewise is just as difficult to define but in 2003 the World Health Organization introduced the 10 th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) which is a framework for disease categorization and statistical reference. Each disease is coded and grouped in one of 4 sub-categories. Another more simplistic way of categorization is to describe diseases as being physical, mental or social. In this unit we look at the classification of disease

Diagnosis is normally done by assessing the signs, symptoms and clinical features that a person presents with and that fits the ‘normal’ aetiology or pattern of that particular disease. Early diagnosis is the most effective weapon against disease and the spread of disease. There are many common diagnostic processes, tests and procedures. This unit presents examples of common diagnostic tests and procedures

Gathering data is an importance process in the field of public health as it not only provides a snapshot in time of current health status of populations and communities but also identifies trends and potential problems. This section of the unit looks at how data are gathered and evaluated. It also explores the applications of this gathered data and how the outcomes might influence health and wellbeing

When people experience ill health, many of these facets are linked and therefore it important that they are treated holistically rather than concentrating on a set of symptoms. The medical model is seen as a rather negative approach but has remained a powerful view in society, probably due to its link to pathology of disease and ‘scientific’ basis. The holistic approach or view takes into account all aspects of an individual’s life and therefore can give a more definitive view of someone’s state of health. For example a person with a controlled disease or disability may consider themselves to be healthy; but according to the medical model of health status measurement, they would not be. The unit looks at the different models of health and disease.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 4: Promoting health

Health promotion is a collaborative process; as well as involvement by public health departments, the NHS and local provisions; there are many ways in which individuals can take responsibility for improving their own health and maintaining a positive status. This module examines the provisions and ways in which individuals can take this responsibility

Health promotion is delivered through a number of routes which can be formal or informal, for example we may attend a support group or take part in an organized campaign, or alternatively we may exchange or impart health education within and between family members. There is however, a great deal of collaboration between the different organizations and agencies who deliver health promotion in a formal way. Different health promotion models are examined and evaluated

As discussed previously in the course material, research is important in order to predict and establish trends, possible outcomes and health needs relevant to care service provision and disease control. In order to move or progress practice in health care forward, research based evidence in strategic areas is needed. High standards are expected when research is carried out which involves patients and members of the public, therefore research governance are a collection of crucial processes to ensure that these standards are met. They include: ethical approval, research and development approval, evidence of informed consent and where clinical interventions are taking place, evidence of appropriate safety procedures.

Psychology aims to help us understand and explain how individuals think, feel and behave. In many care settings you are trying to effect behaviour change of some sort, therefore it is important to have a basic understanding of behavioural concepts and psychological approaches that can be employed to help this process. This section explores the psychology of health, associated theories and concepts.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 5: Anatomy and physiology in health and disease part 1

In each of these following units, example illnesses and conditions will be presented and discussed alongside the core course material

The body’s internal environment is rigidly controlled and this state needs to remain as constant as possible within certain ranges. The process of homeostasis is controlled by sophisticated mechanisms which are sensitive to changes that affect the body’s internal environment, and they respond accordingly. This section will concentrate on homeostasis and look at feedback mechanisms

Blood consists of 55% plasma, and 45% cells. It accounts for approximately 7% of total body weight, or about 5.6 litres in an average 70kg (11 stone) man. Blood is a connective tissue, and a communication medium between the body and the external environment. Haemoglobin is a large protein containing a globular protein called globin and a pigmented iron complex called haem. Each haemoglobin molecule consists of four globin chains, four haem units with one iron atom attached to each. The iron atoms can combine with oxygen which means that each haemoglobin molecule has the capacity to carry 4 oxygen molecules. In turn there are approximately 280 million haemoglobin molecules in each red blood cell. The haemoglobin molecule is said to be saturated when all iron atoms or binding sites are full and it therefore becomes oxyhaemoglobin. With the increased oxygen content the colour of blood becomes bright red, conversely blood low in oxygen content is a blue colour (unsaturated). Oxygen is easily release from red blood cells when required. This section of the unit concentrates on the constituent parts of blood and discusses how oxygen is distributed throughout the body.

The cardiovascular system and conduction are fundamental to homeostatic maintenance. This section presents detailed anatomy and physiology. We will also look at: the cardiac cycle, cardiac output and blood pressure. In conjunction with the cardiovascular system we examine and discuss the respiratory system which is concerned with the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the blood and the lungs; this is essential for the provision of energy for cellular metabolic function. Most of this energy extraction which is derived from chemical reactions can only take place in the presence of oxygen, and the route of oxygen intake is via the respiratory system.

Next the unit moves onto the musculoskeletal system and the composition of bone, structure and function of muscles, tendons and joints. We look at movement and the skeletal relationship to other systems

The section will also look in detail at the central nervous system which detects and responds to internal and external environmental changes in, and out on the body. Finally in this section we examine the digestive system and processes, and link all the systems by homeostatic role.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 6: Anatomy and physiology in health and disease part 2

The endocrine system consists of several unconnected glands. These glands contain groups of secretory cells which are surrounded by dense networks of capillaries, allowing the diffusion of the hormonesthey produce, into the bloodstream. Hormones are chemical messengers which target specific organs and tissues in the body, influencing growth and metabolism. Although the endocrine system, which is under the control of the ANS is partially responsible for homeostatic maintenance, its main role is control of precise and slow changes of this state.

The skin is the largest organ of the body. It completely covers the body, and is continuous with all the linings, membranes and orifices. The skin protects underlying structures and organs from injury, and the invasion of foreign material and microbes

In almost every cell of the human body the nucleus contains and identical copy of the individual’s genetic material (apart from red blood cells and gametes or sex cells). Chromosomes carry genes along their length and each gene contains coded information which allows the cell to produce a specific protein. Each gene codes for one protein. Genes consist of long, tightly wrapped strands of DNA, totally in excess of one metre in each cell. DNA is a double stranded molecule consisting of two chains of nucleotides, which in turn each consist of a sugar, a phosphate group and a base. Most cells within the human body are capable of division by mitosis which produces identical diploid or daughter cells; these are essential for normal growth and repair. The production of the gametes or sex cells is different because of the chromosome number and role that they play in gender differentiation.

The reproductive system is one of the things that sets living things apart from nonliving things. It is not essential when it comes to keeping the living alive, but is essential in keeping the species alive. It is the process by which organisms produce more organisms like themselves. Both the male and female reproductive systems are essential when creating a new organism, and are very much alike in their qualities

The urinary system has key roles in thermo and fluid regulation as well as filtration and control of specific hormones and substances. This unit will look in detail at these and link the processes to homeostatic maintenance

The special senses link many of the systems and processes, and bring the external environment into homeostasis. These systems and processes will be examined.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 7: Body chemistry and organisation

The atom is the smallest part of a known element that exists in a stable form. Atoms are largely spaces which contain protons and neutrons with electrons continually orbiting them. Neutrons do not carry any electrical charge but protons are positively charged and electrons negatively charged. Atoms contain protons and electrons in equal numbers so therefore have no net charge to them. Where these particles differ is their mass which is measured in atomic mass units; a proton has 1 mass unit with 1 positive electric charge, a neutron has 1 mass unit with neutral charge, and an electron has a very small (almost immeasurable) mass with 1 negative electrical charge.

In addition to this, each element or substance that contains only one type of atom differs from each other by the number of protons it contains in its atomic nuclei. Examples of elements are hydrogen, oxygen and sodium. We need to have a basic understanding of atoms as their configuration and behaviour produce molecules required for biological diversity.

This section of the unit looks at molecules essential to life The unit presents and discusses structure and function of these molecules and includes discussion about balance and role in homeostasis

Efficient cellular function is essential to maintaining normal of function. This section covers cell structure, function and discusses how cellular transport occurs, and what can go wrong when this is interrupted or prevented from occurring.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 8: Pathology, immunology and epidemiology

Pathology is literally translated as the study of suffering and it links clinical science with clinical practice, combining investigation of the causes of disease (etiology) and the underlying mechanisms which result in presentation of signs and symptoms (pathogenesis).

In pathology there are many strategies which are employed in order to understand the changes that occur in cells, tissues and organs; these are: molecular, microbiologic and immunologic. The pathology will help to guide diagnosis and therapy through the identification of microscopic changes in cells, tissues and body fluids (morphology).

Therefore the basis of pathological science is the behaviour of cells and because cells are active participants in their environment, they are sensitive to changes and adjust their structure and function accordingly in order to maintain homeostasis.

Immunity can be described as a bodily state of protection against disease through the activities of the immune system. The immune system is a collection of cells and proteins that protect the body from harmful micro organisms. In this unit we look at different types of immunity

Bacteria and viruses attack the body systems in different ways. In this section we build on knowledge and understanding of pathology and immunology and discuss how diseases are prevented and what kinds of deficiencies in the body might cause these diseases.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 9: Digestion, nutrition and the psychology of appetite

All living organisms, including humans, need food and water, for the following reasons:

  • To stay alive and to carry out the key activities of ingestion, digestion, absorption, respiration, movement and co-ordination, circulation, excretion and reproduction.
  • To control and regulate our metabolic processes.
  • To build up our resistance to, and fight, illness and disease.
  • To enable growth, repair and maintenance of our muscles, bones, organs and tissues.

Good nutrition can also protect our bodies against common health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. It provides us with sufficient amounts of the right type of fuel and fluid to enable us, not only to go about our daily lives, but to also take part in regular physical activity. It can also improve our levels of concentration and even our mood. This unit explores these statements and assumptions

The processes of digestion and absorption are key to good nutrition and homeostasis. This section builds on knowledge and understanding of anatomy and physiology to bring the processes into focus and relate them to how, what and why we eat.

Seeing and smelling food is just as important as tasting when it comes to enjoying our food. Even though our eyes and nose are not considered as part of the digestive tract, the starting point of digestion occurs here. All of us experience a conditioned response when we see appetising food. Our words or thoughts about these foods stimulate our brain, which tells our digestive organs to get ready. As far as our nose is concerned, what happens when we smell food is solely physical. This section examines the process in detail

So, what makes us decide what we like to eat or not? It’s a fact, deep rooted in biology and evolution, that all humans and most animals like sweets, crave salt, go for the fat, and avoid the bitter, at least when we first start out on our culinary journey.

Scientists used to think that we all had particular taste buds for particular flavours, for example sweet taste buds for sweet flavours, etc. However, the theory nowadays is that groups of taste buds work together, so that the chemical bonds in taste buds link with the flavour chemicals in food to make the tastes we are familiar with: sweet, sour, salt and bitter. This is known as across-fibre pattern theory of gustatory coding and is closely examined in the unit

There does seem to be a link between the foods that taste good and our need for them in the right amounts, if we are to maintain a healthy body. This section will explore these assumptions.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 10: The science of nutrition

The nutrients in our food provide energy, promote growth and development and regulate our bodily functions. A variety of these nutrients are needed to keep fit and healthy particularly if you are generally active. Our body depends on these nutrients, as it is unable to produce sufficient amounts on its own.

There are six major groups of nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fats and oils (otherwise known as lipids), vitamins, minerals and water.They all work together in our bodies to provide good nutrition to enable us to achieve optimal health, with each nutrient performing a specific function. If just one of these nutrients is missing from our diet, then, our bodies are at a disadvantage.

Therefore we can see why it is important to have a balanced dietary intake of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, together with vitamins and minerals. Without this balance, homeostasis cannot be maintained, and these deficiencies may result in illness and loss of normal function, such as fatigue. Humans require a mixed diet from different food groups in order to achieve and maintain this balance. This section will concentrate on the different food groups and what kinds of nutrients they provide

Everyone should aim to eat as varied and balance a diet as possible, so that daily needs are provided for. Supplements can be useful to “plug the gaps” if regular consumption of a balanced diet is not possible due to a lack of access to the right kinds of food, or when nutritional needs are increased at specific times in our lives.

Supplements supply micronutrients but cannot replace the macronutrients in our diet. Many athletes take vitamin and mineral supplements, because they believe that taking them will lead to better performance. There is no evidence to suggest that supplementation with vitamins and minerals enhances performance except in cases where a pre-existing deficiency exists and then it just brings you up to the correct level.

In other words, most of the research has found that vitamin and mineral deficiencies adversely affect performance, but consuming more than is necessary will not improve it. This section looks closely at dietary supplements and their effects on homeostasis

The last section in this unit concentrates on antioxidants, free radicals and plant nutrients. Cellular stress is a precursor to inflammatory processes and therefore we explore the concepts of including specific foods in the diet to combat this state.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 11: Energy and nutrition

Energy is stored within the chemical bonds and when they are broken the energy is released; the amount of energy contained in a food substance can be measured by a process known as calorimetry.This process measures the energy released in a given quantity of food when it is completely oxidised by burning in pure oxygen.

We all need a basic amount of energy so that normal function can be maintained – this is known as the basal metabolic rate (BMR) and is measured at rest. It is calculated from body temperature changes over a given period of time and is related to total and lean body mass. Therefore those with higher proportion of muscle with have a higher BMR as muscle needs more energy to function than fat. Consequently, men normally have a higher BMR than women. BMR decreases with age as muscle is lost. The new Food Guide Pyramid was introduced in 2005 by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Department of Health and Human services (HHS) and was designed to help American people make positive changes in their diets so that they try to eat a balanced diet from a variety of foodstuffs without feeling that they have to count calories. It provides a basic understanding of what our bodies need to function properly and is a useful starting point when talking about diet and nutrition.

The My Pyramid Plan can help you find out about the sorts of foods you should eat every day and how much of these you need to eat, depending on your age, gender and the amount of physical activity you do. Once this basic nutritional plan is in place, we can then tailor the plan to suit individuals; those wanting to lose or gain weight, vegetarians and vegans, young people, etc.

The final thing to look at is the way your body manages the food it receives. The increase in the energy needed to digest food is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF) and is easy to work out. The TEF = the total kcal consumed x 10%. If you eat 2,000kcal a day the calculation is 2000 x 0.10 = 200 kcal used for TEF. Alternatively, we can use the Harris Benedict Equation, which is a formula that uses your BMR and then applies an energy factor to determine the number of calories you need to eat in order to maintain your weight. This unit presents all the relevant equations and formulae and then discusses specific nutritional plans for different individual needs.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 12: Weight loss, dieting and weight gain

Many people wish to lose weight. They may want to improve their appearance and confidence, as well as improving their overall health and well being. However, rapid weight loss can cause problems and have serious consequences for our health. Therefore, it is essential that we know about safe weight loss methods. The key to long- term weight management is, in fact, lifestyle management. It is not enough to lose vast amounts of weight suddenly, as invariably, this weight goes back on. Health experts estimate that between 96-98% of dieters fail to maintain their weight loss within a 2-3 year period and some even put on more weight. This section looks at the effects of weight loss on health, and also examines several weight loss plans

More and more people are complaining about their stressful lives, causing them to gain weight. Research has shown that those people who experienced one or more upsets during the day like an argument with a colleague or missing a deadline ate a lot more between-meal snacks and fewer vegetables than those who hadn’t experienced these upsets. In this section the causes of stress are examined and different physiological and psychological effects of eating and food types discussed

It is estimated that about one in twenty people in the United Kingdom are vegetarian, one in three only eat meat now and then and one-quarter of households now has a family member who is vegetarian, and this figure is steadily rising. Many people choose to follow a vegetarian diet for varying reasons. The unit explores this current trend and looks at the different types of vegetarian diet including possible resulting deficiencies and illnesses

We will now look specifically at the dietary needs of women at different stages of their lives, including during pregnancy and the menopause. We will also consider the particular issues faced by women who are very active and look at whether premenstrual tension can have an effect on well being and performance and what we can do about it.

Other groups with special dietary needs include those diagnosed as having diabetes, heart disease, allergies and asthma. We will consider the signs and symptoms associated with these diseases and what we can do to prevent or delay their onset.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 13: Food safety

For many of us, knowing about basic food safety is something we take for granted. We seem to instinctively know how to avoid food poisoning and how to handle food, possibly because our mums taught us at a very early age.

However, there are still an estimated 5.5 million cases of suspected food poisoning in the United Kingdom every year; that amounts to about 1 in 10 people suffering from some food related illness. This unit looks at food safety rules and explores how domestic food preparation and cooking practices are relevant

Some processed foods are self evident, such as, for example, processed cheese, that is, cheese altered from its original form. Not so obvious are all these processed foods, for example, baked potatoes, scrambled eggs, tinned tuna and frozen peas. All these foods have been altered in some way.

One of the key reasons manufacturers’ process food is to preserve it and give it a longer shelf life, so that we throw out less food that has, “gone off” and that food can travel greater distances and still be edible.

Food processing attempts to prevent the time it takes for microorganisms to attack the food, preventing us from consuming it safely. We know, already, that not all of these microorganisms are bad for us; for example, we use the good ones to ferment milk to make yoghurt and cheese. However, there are plenty of other microbes that do need to be eradicated if our food is to last longer without causing us any problems. This unit examines these practices and relates then to nutritional values in food

Having looked at some of the processes our food goes through when it is manufactured, we’ll now look in more detail at what gets added to our food and why?

As well as preserving food, additives also improve the texture, colour and/or taste of the food we eat. In the United Kingdom, manufacturers are only allowed to use additives in food if they are deemed necessary and safe.

All additives must also be included on the food labels of the products and are represented by a number, and if the additive has been approved by the European Union, it is also prefixed by the letter, “E”, hence the term, “E numbers”.

We will see that food additives can be synthetic, that is, man made in a laboratory, or natural, as is the case of vitamin C, which is added to food because of its natural preservative property.

Most of the food we consume nowadays is cooked in some way, whether it be grilled, boiled, baked or cooked in the microwave. Cooking not only affects the appearance, smell, taste and nutritional value of food, it also affect its safety. This unit looks at different cooking methods and how it affects the nutritional value of food as well as potential organism growth.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 14: Treating ailments and illnesses through nutrition

This next unit in this BTEC in Health, Diet and Nutritional Studies course concentrates on looking at how different types of food might help relieve symptoms of illness or conditions as well as contribute to prevention of them. There are specific food groups identified as well as common examples of illnesses and conditions

The research into skin conditions suggests that diet may play a key role in the maintenance of healthy skin. Suffice to say, we are not going to look at all 2,000 skin disorders, but will pick out some of the common ailments and illnesses and explore how a healthy diet can help alleviate some of the associated symptoms

Acne happens when the sebaceous glands in the skin produce a lot of oily sebum and, therefore, block the sebum duct, causing bacteria to grow. The exact causes are unknown, but many experts in the West are not convinced that an unhealthy diet causes acne. However, some nutritionists are convinced that excluding some foods from our diets may help to alleviate the symptoms of acne and, for many, this comes as a relief to know.

Psoriasis is a very distressing skin disorder, which usually occurs between the ages of 15 and 25 and can be linked to stress and anxiety. The correct advice is therefore that sufferers avoid red meat and dairy products as much as possible and that they also avoid alcohol, as research has shown that alcohol may trigger psoriasis in those who are prone to it.

All the cells in our body need oxygen to be able to function properly. We get oxygen via our respiratory and circulatory systems. These systems also have the job of removing any carbon dioxide, which our bodies do not need, so it is a waste product.

It seems, that despite numerous years of research, there doesn’t seem to be much we can do to prevent the common cold except take lots of vitamin C. Echinacea has also been shown to help prevent the onset of colds if taken for a short period of time before the “cold” season sets in.

There is, however, some evidence to suggest that allergies and asthma respond to nutritional therapy and that our risk of lung cancer can be less if we regularly consume certain fruits and vegetables

The key role of our urinary system is to form and excrete urine. Our kidneys have the job of regulating the amount and make-up of the fluids in our body. They act as a filter and filter waste products like uric acid from our blood. They also control the levels of potassium and sodium in our body. Any excess fluids are then excreted as urine.

The best way of keeping our kidneys healthy is to drink plenty of water, as this prevents us from becoming dehydrated and helps stop the formation of kidney stones. Cranberry juice has also been shown to help relieve kidney-tract infections.

If they are suffering from urinary diseases like cystitis, individuals should avoid coffee, tea and cola drinks, citrus fruits and spicy foods. This unit looks at these nurtirtional plans and evaluates their effectiveness

As we have seen, diet can help alleviate many symptoms and help in the treatment of different ailments within our bodies. It is, therefore, natural, that consuming a healthy, balanced diet should, also help any ailments of the ears, nose, throat, mouth and eyes that we may have. In fact, research has shown that the more antioxidants you consume, the less likely you are of developing eye problems like cataracts and glaucoma. To maintain the health of the ears, nose, throat, mouth and eyes, individuals should consume a healthy, balanced diet made up of plenty of fruits and vegetables and little sugary and fatty products.

Everybody knows that a healthy heart is essential to good health. Heart disease is one of the Western world’s biggest killers. Too much bad cholesterol can narrow and clog our arteries, causing a greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

One of the best foods for a healthy heart is garlic, as it reduces the amount of bad cholesterol and blood fats, whilst increasing the amount of good cholesterol, it lowers our blood pressure and helps prevent our arteries from hardening. Oily fish contain omega-e essential fatty acids, which reduce the chance of suffering a heart attack, and lower high blood pressure, so it’s a good idea to try to eat herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines or trout about twice a week.

Fibre, including beans, brown rice, corn, fruit, lentils and wheat, works to keep our heart healthy by producing substances that clear our blood of bad cholesterol, and prevents fat being brought into contact with our blood vessels, and, consequently, less is absorbed, so more of the bad cholesterol is then excreted. In this section of the unit we look at some of these dietary plans and specific cardiovascular benefits.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 15: Diets and dieting

If you pick up any glossy, particularly women’s magazine, you will instantly find some new diet that supposedly “works wonders”. Usually endorsed by some star or other, they claim to help you lose weight quickly, so that you too can be the same size and have the same success!

In this section, we’ll look at some of these, deciding what makes them so special and, more importantly, do they work?

The term, “detox”, is usually reserved for those suffering from alcohol and/or drug dependency, but is also used for anyone wanting to rid their body of toxins, such as pesticides, food additives, pollution and cigarette smoke, which have built up over a period of time. As we can see, these can be the toxins from food and drink we consume, as well as the toxins present in our everyday environment.

During detoxification, our bodies neutralize and elminate these toxins, transforming them chemically, and then excreting them. A detox diet is not intended to be a long term way of life, but a short-term diet typically 3 weeks, which can aid digestion, and promote a feeling of well-being

It may be that an individual needs to gain weight, but it’s not enough just to eat more, as this will result in a fat gain, rather than a lean muscle gain. To gain muscle mass effectively, a positive energy balance is needed. That means that they need to consume more calories than they need for maintenance, and these need to be high quality calories. This calls for a general increase in dietary intake and this increase should come from a balanced ratio of carbohydrate, protein and fat.

It has become more obvious over recent years that the foods and drinks we consume can affect our ability to fight diseases and infection. The research suggests that, if we consume little vitamin C, zinc and beta-carotene, we are reducing the power of our immune system to combat disease.

These are foods that are able to fight against the effects of bacteria and viruses like garlic and onions. As well as eating foods, which fight against bacteria, it’s also important to adapt our lifestyles to avoid stressful situations and pollutants like cigarette smoke, and take plenty of exercise. This unit examines these claims and looks at food groups related to them.

Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma Unit 16: Eating disorders and nutrition for special populations

Sufferers of disordered eating have an intense fear of becoming fat or gaining weight even though their weight is normal. They may not fall into the clinical eating disorder categories of anorexia, bulimia and compulsive eating, but they may certainly have a sub-clinical eating disorder.Not only does their weight concern them, they are also preoccupied with food and body shape. They have a distorted body image and attempt to lose weight by restricting their daily calorie intake. They may also exercise excessively in order to burn more calories. This results in a disordered eating pattern and lifestyle.

Some people restrict their calorie intake to such an extent, that even though, technically, they do not have an eating disorder, they display the signs of disordered eating. They may have a low body weight for their age and height and may also have episodes of binge eating and purging, the signs and symptoms of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. In this unit we look at disordered eating and the underlying causes

More and more people are complaining about their stressful lives, causing them to, not only to become unhealthy, but also to gain weight. Stress can also increase the risk of a wide variety of illnesses including, eczema, IBS, diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease

Research has shown that those people who experienced one or more upsets during the day like an argument with a colleague or missing a deadline ate a lot more between-meal snacks and fewer vegetables than those who hadn’t experienced these upsets. In this section we look at various stress-related conditions and also concentrate on male problems.

During pregnancy a woman needs to have a varied diet that contains adequate amounts of all the nutrients needed by herself and her growing foetus. All women of child-bearing age who may become pregnant are advised to take daily supplements (400 micrograms) of folic acid, as this can help to reduce the risk of the baby suffering from a neural tube defect.  Pregnant women need to limit their intake of alcohol and caffeine and minimise their risk of suffering from food poisoning

Staying physically active during pregnancy is important to promote general health and well-being.

The unit continues to look at the dietary needs of women during different life stages such as the menopause as well as presenting example food groups and diet plans for a range of special groups and problems, this unit presents a considerable amount of current research for evaluation

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This Level 4+5 Accredited Health, Diet + Nutritional Studies Diploma can be used to gain entry to a Level 6 Diploma or Degree course in a related field.