Ch 8: Protein in Nutrition

About This Chapter

Feel confident that you understand protein in nutrition using this chapter's fun video lessons. Strengthen your knowledge of concepts that include protein quality and completeness, protein turnover and balance and functions of protein in the body.

Protein in Nutrition - Chapter Summary

This comprehensive overview of protein in nutrition can help you better understand various aspects of this nutrient, including its importance in the functioning of the human body. Lessons also examine protein sources, deficiencies and differences between proteins originating from plants and animals. Upon completion of this chapter, you will have the knowledge to:

  • Explain how amino acids form proteins
  • Differentiate between essential and nonessential amino acids
  • Identify types of protein quality and completeness
  • Describe the primary functions of protein in the body
  • Calculate the recommended protein intake for adults, and list food sources of proteins
  • Provide details about the concept of protein turnover
  • Discuss health effects related to protein-energy malnutrition
  • List differences between plant and animal proteins, and develop vegetarian diets that include protein

Feel free to review the lessons in this chapter in any sequence that suits your current and desired knowledge of protein in nutrition. Access them anytime, day or night, from any computer, smartphone or tablet. Lessons are available as both videos and full transcripts, enabling you to review this chapter in the format that best suits your learning style. With each lesson is a short quiz designed to assess your knowledge of concepts covered. If you need additional information about any lesson topic, be sure to use the Dashboard to submit your questions to our experts.

8 Lessons in Chapter 8: Protein in Nutrition
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.