When trying to eat healthy, many people adopt the philosophy "brown is best." We are often willing to pay a bit more for the brown rice or the whole wheat bread. But does this same principle apply to eggs?
Brown eggs definitely have a higher price tag, but are they healthier than plain white eggs? Guess again ... there is no nutritional difference between the two. The shell color of an egg is actually determined by breed of the hen. Surprised? Well, the shell color may not be the only thing misleading you. Manufacturers often place bold claims on the cartons to sway you in their direction.
Food claims that might not mean what you thought.
- When it comes to eggs, all natural (and derivatives) has no real meaning. So those “naturally raised” eggs you might be eyeing are no different than the others.
- This term tells us that ingredients, such as flaxseed and fish oil, were added to hens’ feed to increase the omega-3 content of the egg. Enticing? Well, you might be better off adding those fatty acid sources directly to your diet if omega-3 is a concern.
- Eggs labeled cage-free are laid by hens allowed to roam in open space. This sounds pleasant, but the "open space" may be overly crowded with no guaranteed access to outdoors.
- Organic eggs are from uncaged hens that have been raised according to the USDA’s National Organic Program guidelines. This means the hens are allowed open space, outdoor access, and fed an organic diet. No assurance the quality is better, but organic might be a good option if concerned about animal-welfare.
A hen's environment and feed can impact the quality of your eggs, but don't get distracted by the colorful claims.