Demystifying Egg Myths
With numerous choices available, it is important to understand the truth about eggs. Shopping for the best eggs at the grocery store can be perplexing. Conflicting information in the media adds to the confusion. In this blog, we’ll unscramble some of the myths surrounding eggs.
Brown vs. White Eggs: No Health Difference
The color of the shell comes from the color of the hen. Hens with brown feathers and brown
earlobes produce brown eggs and hens with white feathers and white earlobes produce eggs
with white shells. Despite popular thinking, there is no nutritional difference between the two.
Decoding ‘Cage-Free,’ ‘Free-Range,’ and ‘Organic’
Cage-free means the hens live in an open barn with bedding material, perches and nest boxes
to lay their eggs. Free-range is a term used to indicate the hen has continuous, free access to
the out-of-doors for over 51% of the animals’ lives — but does not ensure that the animal
actually went outdoors. These terms as a marketing tool and don’t necessarily impact the
nutrition specs of the eggs.
Additionally, organic means that the hen was raised uncaged and was free to roam as well as fed with organic feed, grown without synthetic chemicals, antibiotics and growth hormones.
Free-range, cage-free nor organic classification impact the nutritional value of the egg.
Yolk Color and Nutritional Content: The Truth About Egg Yolks
While some yolks are more orange than yellow, the nutritional value of the egg can only be
influenced by the nutrition content of the feed itself. The color of the yolk comes from the
carotenoids in the hens feed. Adding more carotenoid-rich extracts to the feed can lead to a
darker yolk, richer in carotenoids, an antioxidant.
Hens may also be fed nutritionally fortified feed with other specific ingredients that lead to eggs
marketed with a particular nutrient content label. For example, they may be enriched with
omega-3 fatty acids or extra vitamin D.
The Truth About Eggs and Cholesterol: Breaking the Myth
The latest research and the 2020 Dietary Guidelines give eggs a green light in healthy eating.
While eggs are rich in cholesterol (providing 200 mg cholesterol per yolk) they provide many
nutrients such as protein, choline, biotin, vitamin A and D and the antioxidants known as lutein
While eggs can have a minimal impact on your cholesterol levels, eggs alone will not likely
significantly increase your risk of heart disease in the long run. Dietary saturated fats have a bigger impact on your blood cholesterol levels than dietary cholesterol. Foods highest in saturated fats include bacon, sausage, fatty cuts of meat, biscuits, baked goods, full fat cheese and dairy products.
Making Informed Choices
Most of the nutritional differences between different egg varieties are minimal and not
something to stress over. Instead, choose what best fits your preferences.
Whatever kind of eggs you buy, keep these food safety tips in mind. Because a contaminated
hen can transmit salmonella to the inside of the egg and salmonella can penetrate the porous
shell of the egg, always wash your hands before and after handling eggs.
Promptly refrigerate eggs at 40°F or below. Avoid storing them in the door of the refrigerator
where temperatures are warmer. Throw out any cracked eggs.
Cook eggs until the whites and yolks have solidified and they reach an internal temperature of
160°F. To reduce the risk of food born illness, don’t let cooked eggs or egg dishes sit at room
temperature longer than two hours.
Are you looking for healthy options? Check out the Mediterranean Diet for other health alternatives.