10 Amazing Free Online Nutrition Courses You Should Take

The focus of this article will be on free online Nutrition courses you can take. So, whether you are a student looking to pass your Registered Dietician exams. Or an individual looking to acquire knowledge on how you can live a healthy life by improving your nutrition. Keep reading, I’ve got something for you. 

Isn’t it ironic that we all know the benefits of eating healthy, nutritious food, yet we struggle daily to cut down on junk foods? Junk foods have been known to stand for everything we do not want in our lives. Yet,  it is like that part of us we do not wish to get rid of.

While getting rid of junk foods completely would seem to be the best decision you can make in your life now, you need to know you do not necessarily have to give up on your favorites. With proper dietary plans, you can have your favorite junks while still maintaining a healthy, robust lifestyle.

That is why we’ve selected the best free nutrition courses you can take online now to start taking charge of your health. These courses were carefully selected to cover the different aspects of nutrition we should know about.

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What Is Nutrition All About?

Nutrition is the study of how our body utilizes the nutrients we derive from food and drinks. The foods and drinks we ingest daily play key roles in providing our body with the energy it needs to function effectively. 

That is why it is important we eat healthy, nutritious food regularly.

Understanding nutrition makes it easier for you to make better food choices, and know what toxic food items to avoid.

Who Is A Nutritionist?

A nutritionist is an expert in food, and nutrition, whose job is to direct people on what they should eat and drink to remain healthy.

As a Nutritionist, you can work as a nutritional therapist, regulatory affairs specialist, public health nutritionist, food product development scientist, food labeling specialist, etc. 

There are different career options available to you if you study Food and Nutrition. However, if you have no intention of becoming a nutritionist, these free online nutrition courses listed here can help you live and stay healthy.

How Much Do Nutritionists Earn?

Nutritionists make a median salary of $63,090. The top 25 percent earn $77,180 while the lower-paid 25percent earn $51,700. 

Free Online Nutrition Courses

There are several free online nutrition courses available. But the ones listed here were carefully selected based on the ratings and reviews from previous students. You will get a lot of value from any of them.

1. Introduction to the Role of Nutrition in Human Health (Alison)

Access: Free

Completion Time: 4 Hours

Curriculum level: Introductory

In this course, you will be introduced to the relationship between food, and nutrition and the vital role they play in maintaining human health. You’ll also be acquainted with how the body digests, absorbs and makes use of the nutrients derived from food.

The course begins by introducing you to the different classes of nutrients and the food categories where they can be derived. You’ll also learn the energy requirements of the body, and the causes and symptoms of some diseases that affect the body. You’ll also gain insights on the dietary requirements of the body to combat those diseases.

This course will be of great importance to those who want to learn the role food plays in maintaining sound health in the body. Below are the course Modules:

  • Introduction to Nutrition and Health
  • Classes of Nutrients and Their Importance
  • Energy Needs and the Benefits of Vitamins
  • Nutrients – Introduction to Minerals

2. Introduction to Food and Health (edX)

Access: Free

Completion Time: One Week

Curriculum level: Intermediate

This course is being offered by the Stanford University School of Medicine. The key focus is on physicians, nurse practitioners, allied health professionals and nutritionists involved in nutritional assessment and education of patients. The aim is to train these people on the effective use of food to boost energy and health.

By assessing personal dietary behaviors and obstacles to healthy eating, health practitioners will emerge from the course well-prepared to support sustainable progress in the food choices of their patients.  At the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe the fundamental principles of nutrition
  • Conduct a motivational interview and nutritional assessment in a primary care setting.
  • Create a strategy based on the nutritional assessment of your patients to improve their health
  • Make informed analysis of the causes and remedies of certain health diseases your patients are facing

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3. Weight Management: Beyond Balancing Calories (Coursera)

Access: Free, but a certificate comes with a fee.

Completion Time: 18 hours

Curriculum level: Beginners

This weight management course is offered by Emory University, Georgia – one of the World’s leading research universities.

In this course, you’ll learn to identify the dietary factors that affect weight in humans. You will also be made to create a feasible plan to manage your weight for the rest of your life.

The instructor of the course, Ass. Professor Sharon Horesh will explain to you all you need to know about obesity. The meaning, causes, and physiology behind it. You will also learn how to work with your body and control what you eat to manage weight gain.

Not getting enough sleep and bad eating habits are among the major causes of extreme weight gain. So, this course will provide you with practical tools and strategies to create a long-term plan to manage your weight. Below are the key topics discussed in the course:

  • Understanding Obesity
  • Managing Obesity: The Role of Diet
  • Beyond Diet: The Role of Stress, Exercise & Sleep
  • Using Habit & Emotions to Your Advantage
  • Creating a Weight Loss Plan: A Step-Wise Approach

4. Understanding Obesity (Coursera)

Access: Free

Completion Time: 6 hours

Curriculum level: Beginners

This course looks to unravel the facts and misconceptions around obesity. The instructor believes there are biological and environmental factors that make it easy to gain weight and hard to lose it. This course promises to reveal all that and also look at how the brain controls appetite in the human body.

The instructor, Dr John Menzies, is a Lecturer in the Center for Integrative Physiology at the University of Edinburgh. His specialty is on the neurobiology of appetite and reward. His entire research has been on finding how the brain systems related to appetite are influenced by food, obesity and mood.

Dr John obviously has a lot to teach you about how the brain processes appetites for food and how it can be rewired to reverse the weight gain process. Take a look at the topics discussed in this course:

  • Obesity: What we know, and how we know it.
  • Physiological and Stress
  • Psychology and Behavior
  • Consolidation and discussion

5. Diabetes – the Essential Facts (Coursera)

Access: Free

Completion Time: 10 hours

Curriculum level: Beginners Level

According to the World Health Organization, Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation. It is recorded as of 2014 that over 422 million people have diabetes worldwide. As a matter of fact, more people die yearly from diabetes than HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined. This shows how deadly diabetes is.

That is why this course is focused on educating you and the public about the important facts about diabetes, the causes, preventions, and cures available. At the end of this course, you will know the different kinds of diabetes, their causes, and those at risk of getting them. You will also learn the role of medicine, exercise, and nutrition in the efforts being made to prevent, delay or even cure diabetes.

This course is offered by the University of Copenhagen in collaboration with other relevant researchers and institutions like the Imperial College London, Emory University in Atlanta, and Steno Diabetes Center in Copenhagen. It is one of the best nutrition courses you can find for free online.

Below are the key course modules:

  • Fundamentals of Diabetes
  • Prevention and Treatment
  • Diabetes in the Future

6. Digestion and Detoxification (Oxford Home Studies)

Access: Free

Completion Time: 10 hours

Curriculum level: Open to All

This course by Oxford Home Studies is focused on how the body system handles food, from the point of ingestion to the point of excretion. Food goes through a lot of transformation from the time it is ingested to when the body passes it out through various means. Any disruption in the digestive process has resultant side effects.

In this course, you’ll learn in detail what happens to the foods we eat inside the body. You’ll also know how the liver detoxifies the body from harmful toxins ingested as food into the body. And you’ll be taught the things that enhance digestion in the body system. Below are the key topics discussed:

  • What is Digestion?
  • Stress and Digestion
  • Detoxification
  • Enhancing the Process of Digestion   

7. Diploma in Human Nutrition – Revised (Alison)

Access: Free

Completion Time: 15 hours

Curriculum level: Intermediate

This course is a part of Alison’s diploma program – a more detailed learning program that offers free assessments and certificates. The instructor of the course is Brian Lindshield, an Associate Professor in the Department of Food, Nutrition, Diabetics and Health at Kansas State University.

In this course, Brian discussed the three energy-yielding Macronutrients (Carbohydrates, Proteins and Lipids) that our bodies need to consume daily to function effectively. He also looked at the three main types of amino acids, the compounds derived from fatty acids and the various vitamins and minerals our bodies need to function.

This Diploma course will be of great benefit to health practitioners and individuals who are curious to learn how to live a healthy, disease-free life. The impeccable five-star rating from the over 120,000 persons who have taken the course is a proof that it is value filled.

Below are the key modules of the course:

  • Introduction to Nutrition
  • Nutrition and Science Research
  • Introduction to the Human Digestive System
  • Digestion, Absorption, Elimination and Protection
  • Introduction to Carbohydrates
  • Introduction to Proteins
  • Introduction to Lipids
  • Introduction to Macronutrient Metabolism
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism Pathways
  • Lipid Metabolism Pathways
  • Protein Metabolism Pathways
  • Introduction to Vitamins and Minerals
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Selenium

8. Mental Health and Nutrition (edX)

Access: Free

Completion Time: 8 weeks

Curriculum level: Open to All

Nutrition plays an important role in the mental health of man. There are certain things we eat that trigger mental disorientation, and there are things that support our mental health.

Professor Julia Rucklidge of the University of Canterbury is a world-leading researcher in the area of nutrition and mental well-being. In this course, she will expose you to instances where food has been used as treatment for mental health. She will introduce you to the food components to consider when making dietary choices. You will learn that micronutrients like minerals and vitamins are vital for building a healthy brain.

Here are the things you will learn from this course:

  • Nutritional changes in food supply
  • Food components relevant to mental health
  • Dietary patterns that maximize nutrient density
  • Individual and Environmental factors that influence the supply of nutrients to the brain
  • The recent use of broad spectrum micronutrients to address mental health challenges

9. Infant Nutrition: from Breastfeeding to Baby’s First Solids (FutureLearn)

Access: Free for limited access. $28 per month for unlimited Access

Completion Time: 2 weeks

Curriculum level: Open to All

Adopting the principles of good infant nutrition is very vital to baby’s development. Both breastfeeding and formula can be very useful to an infant. Using them in the right proportion will ensure there’s no nutritional imbalance in the infant’s body.

In this course, nutritional experts from Deakin University will introduce you to the global infant nutrition guidelines and best-practices. The chief instructor Professor Karen Campbell will ensure you do not just know the principles behind infant feeding guidelines, but also know the types of food that are healthy and nutritious for infants. Here are the topics discussed:

  • Infant’s nutritional requirements and the importance of both breastfeeding and formula in meeting them
  • Comparison of global nutritional guidelines, best practice and evidence-based  research to find out what food babies need, and how often to feed them
  • When and how to introduce solid foods
  • Why participating in family meals is important for promoting food acceptance and preferences for lifelong health and wellbeing.

10. Causes of Human Disease: Nutrition and Environment (FutureLearn)

Access: Free limited access. Unlimited access is $28 per month

Completion Time: 2 weeks

Curriculum level: Open to all, no previous knowledge is required.

This course will expose you to the negative changes that occur in the human body when it doesn’t receive the right nutrients.  You will learn about how malnutrition and obesity lead to the development of diseases (like diabetes) in the body.

Research by the University of Leeds on how one can get food poisoning and fall ill by eating infected foods will be demonstrated in this course. You’ll be made to carry out an investigation on how environmental factors like air pollution can cause cardiovascular diseases.

Here are the topics discussed in this course:

  • The importance of vitamins and minerals for human health
  • Protein and Energy Malnutrition (PEM): the causes, and physical and physiological symptoms
  • Obesity: its presentation, causes and consequences
  • Food toxins and the risk to health
  • Contribution of environmental toxins and the association with human disease
  • Waterborne toxins and the impact on health
  • Air pollution and its contribution to cardiovascular diseases.

Conclusion

There is a saying that, “what you eat is what you become.”  That is an indisputable fact. If you want to live healthy and happy, you should pay serious attention to what you put into your mouth.

If you feed daily on junk foods, it’s only a matter of time before you start having complications from the nutritional imbalance that will result from it.

One or two of these free online nutrition courses will guide you through a healthy eating lifestyle. There are different categories available, choose the one that best suits you.

Cheers to a healthy lifestyle henceforth.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Free Online Nutrition Courses

Does Eating Junk Food Lead to Health Complications?

Junks foods contain more calories than your body needs. This can lead to obesity, and obesity increases your risk for several diseases.
As much as you can, avoid junk foods. Or reduce their intake to the barest minimum.

How can I Become a Nutritionist?

To become a registered Dietician or Nutritionist, you need to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition or a similar field from an accredited institute. You also need to obtain a Master’s Degree or obtain a relevant certificate that guarantees you at least 1,000 credit hours. Obtain a supervised dietetic internship program from an accredited body. Finally, you need to obtain a passing grade on the Commission on Dietetic Registration exam.
A license will then be issued to you to practice as a nutritionist.

Can I Become a Nutritionist Without a Degree?

You can’t become a Registered Nutritionist without a degree. Online nutrition courses and practical lessons will teach you all you need to know as a nutritionist. But to be employed by a relevant institution as a Nutritionist, you must be a Registered Dietician Nutritionist (RDN) and that requires you to have at least a bachelor’s degree.

Can I do a Nutritionist Course Online?

Yes. An online course on nutrition could be all you need to lead your life in the right direction. Even as a student aspiring to take Nutrition exams, the courses listed here can provide you all the clarity you need to excel in your exams.

Can a Nutritionist Write a Prescription?

No. Only registered medical personnel can write prescriptions. The duty of a nutritionist is mainly to guide a client on how to live a healthier life by eating balanced diets.

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