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Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: Diane McKay

Tufts OpenCourseWare
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Foundations of Nutrition Science, Fall 2012
D. McKay, PhD, FACN



  • Describe how the chemical make up of proteins differs from that of carbohydrates and fats.
  • Explain why some, but not all amino acids, are essential, and state the consequences should an essential amino acid be lacking from the diet.
  • Describe how and where proteins are digested. 
  • Describe the fate of amino acids once they are digested and absorbed.
  • Define deamination and transamination.
  • List the major functions of protein in the body.
  • Define protein quality and give examples of foods containing high-quality proteins vs. low qualify proteins.
  • Describe how the plant-based foods in a vegetarian diet can be combined to make complementary (complete) proteins.
  • Summarize the health advantages and nutritional risks of a vegan diet.
  • Identify the 2 major forms of protein malnutrition.
  • Discuss reasons why consuming too much protein is not recommended.

Required readings:

  • Whitney & Rolfes, Chapter 6, Proteins: Amino Acids AND p. 62-67 (skip Highlight 6)
  • Vegetarian Diet Pyramid (Oldways Preservation Trust)

Supplementary readings and links:

  • Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian Diets