After completing this unit, you should be able to:
- Describe the basic chemical structure of all amino acids, and understand the difference between essential and non-essential amino acids.
- Describe how proteins are formed from amino acids and name the four levels of structural organization of proteins. Appreciate how the structure of a protein is vital to its function.
- Describe and give examples of the wide variety of different functions of proteins in the body.
- Define the guidelines for protein intake, and identify food sources of protein in the diet, distinguishing between complete and incomplete proteins.
- Trace the steps of protein digestion and absorption through the gastrointestinal tract, and discuss how absorbed amino acids are used by the body.
- Identify the health consequences of too little and too much dietary protein.
- Discuss the environmental and public health consequences of protein choices, and identify ways to make more sustainable choices.