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Ch 5: Protein's Role in Nutrition

About This Chapter

Watch online nutrition video lessons and take self-assessment quizzes to learn about amino acids, protein turnover, protein-energy malnutrition and more.

Protein's Role in Nutrition - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Begin your study of protein's role in nutrition by learning how our bodies process amino acids. You can also examine the differences between complete, complementary and incomplete proteins and find out how we source these nutrients. Experienced instructors also discuss recommended dietary allowances for protein as well as the effects of protein-energy malnutrition. Lessons in this chapter are designed to teach you the following:

  • Types of amino acids and their importance in protein synthesis
  • Differences between high and low quality proteins
  • Effects of protein intake on overall health
  • Plant and animal sources of protein

Video Objectives
How Amino Acids Form Protein Describe how the body converts amino acids into proteins.
Essential & Nonessential Amino Acids: Difference & Roles Distinguish between essential and nonessential amino acids. Explain why adequate amounts of each essential amino acid are required for protein synthesis.
Protein Quality & Completeness: Types & Examples Recognize the differences between high quality and low quality proteins as well as complete proteins, incomplete proteins and complementary proteins.
Primary Functions of Protein in the Body List the primary functions of protein in the body.
Proteins: Food Sources & Recommended Intakes Learn how to calculate the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein for an adult. Identify food sources of protein.
Protein Turnover & Balance Explain the concepts of protein turnover, amino acid pool and nitrogen balance. Differentiate between protein balance, negative protein balance and protein equilibrium.
Health Effects Associated with Proteins Understand why protein-energy malnutrition can eventually lead to disease. Discuss protein and amino acid supplementation.
How Vegetarian Diets Include Protein: Plant vs. Animal Proteins Learn how to develop vegetarian diet plans that meet the body's nutritional needs for protein. Study the differences between animal and plant protein sources.

8 Lessons in Chapter 5: Protein's Role in Nutrition
How Amino Acids Form Protein

1. How Amino Acids Form Protein

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Learn about the basic structure of an amino acid and how the molecules bond together through peptide bonds using a process called a dehydration synthesis reaction.

Essential & Nonessential Amino Acids: Difference & Roles

2. Essential & Nonessential Amino Acids: Difference & Roles

The proteins in your body are made up of 20 amino acids. Your body can synthesize the nonessential amino acids, but the remaining amino acids need to come from your diet, making them essential amino acids. Learn about this difference and their roles.

Protein Quality & Completeness: Types & Examples

3. Protein Quality & Completeness: Types & Examples

Protein quality is a measure of how good a food is at providing the essential amino acids. See examples of high and low-quality proteins in this lesson, and learn the difference between complete, incomplete and complementary proteins.

Primary Functions of Protein in the Body

4. Primary Functions of Protein in the Body

Protein is a vital molecule that carries out many functions in your body. Learn how proteins provide structure, regulate body processes, transport materials throughout your body, help your immune system and act as a source of energy.

Proteins: Food Sources & Recommended Intakes

5. Proteins: Food Sources & Recommended Intakes

Do you know which foods provide the best source for protein? Learn about both animal-based and plant-based foods that contain protein in this lesson. It will also show you how much protein you should consume each day to stay healthy and avoid disease.

Protein Turnover & Balance

6. Protein Turnover & Balance

Protein breaks down into amino acids, which can be reassembled into new proteins. The balance between protein breakdown and buildup is known as protein turnover. Learn about protein turnover, the amino acid pool and nitrogen balance in the body in this lesson.

Health Effects Associated with Proteins

7. Health Effects Associated with Proteins

If a diet is deficient in protein, it can lead to a type of protein-energy malnutrition (PEM), such as kwashiorkor or marasmus. If a diet is too high in protein, it can lead to dehydration or increase the risk of heart disease or cancer. Learn about all of this and more in this lesson.

How Vegetarian Diets Include Protein: Plant vs. Animal Proteins

8. How Vegetarian Diets Include Protein: Plant vs. Animal Proteins

Most plant-based foods only offer incomplete proteins, meaning they do not contain all of the needed amino acids. Animal products, on the other hand, are a good source of complete proteins, but vegetarian diets limit these foods. Learn how vegetarians can meet their protein needs in this lesson.

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