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Complementary Proteins

Why can some animals survive on foods that do not provide us with adequate nutrition? Humans can live and thrive on a diet composed entirely of plant material. Pure vegetarians need to be careful in selecting foods to eat to ensure that they get enough of all the essential amino acids. People who eat even a small amount of meat need to be much less concerned with this aspect of their diet. Many animals eat only plant material and often primarily plant material that has very low nutritional value such as leaves. How are these animals able to obtain the nutrition they need. Some animals are able to synthesize a broader range of amino acids than humans. Animals that primarily consume low nutrient plant material also have complex digestive systems that process food very slowly and thoroughly to extract the maximum nutrition. The volume of food consumed by leaf and stem feeding animals is also very high. Leaf eaters often spend most of their waking hours eating. In contrast a carnivore such as lion spends very little time eating.

View the animation below, then complete the quiz to test your knowledge of the concept.






1The ideal animal protein has an ideal balance of
A)lysine.
B)complementary protein.
C)nonessential amino acids.
D)essential amino acids.



2Which of the following contain the most protein?
A)legumes
B)cereals
C)nuts and seeds
D)fruits and vegetables



3Cooked meat is about
A)15% protein.
B)31% protein.
C)51% protein.
D)88% protein.



4The RDA for protein is
A)0.8 g/kg of body weight.
B)1.2 g/kg of body weight.
C)1.9 g/kg of body weight.
D)2.0 g/kg of body weight.



5If the 170 pound man ate 6,600 grams (14.6 lbs) of cereals, which amino acid would not be consumed in excess of his needs?
A)tryptophan
B)valine
C)lysine
D)leucine







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