Health & Wellness

Are Brown Eggs Healthier Than White Eggs?

Debunking Egg Nutrition Misconceptions: Many people hold misconceptions about the nutritional benefits of different types of eggs. For example, some believe that brown eggs are healthier than white eggs, or that free-range eggs are better than conventional ones. However, unless the hens’ diets have been altered, none of these claims are true.

Brown eggs come from hens with brown feathers and earlobes

White eggs come from hens with white feathers and earlobes.

Nutritional value of both types of eggs

However, the nutritional value of both types of eggs is the same. Terms like "Cage-Free," "Pasture-Raised," "Enriched Colony," "Free-Range," "Conventional," and "Organic" simply describe the farming method and do not necessarily reflect a meaningful nutritional difference unless the feed is fortified.

The price of an egg doesn't reflect its nutritional value, but the farming method used to produce it. Brown eggs, for example, cost more because the birds require more food. Additionally, a hen's diet determines the color of the yolk, with carotenoid intake playing a significant role. Carotenoids are pigments that give the yolk its yellow-orange hue, and can be added to hen feed, regardless of the farming method, through carotenoid-rich extracts such as marigold. As a result, yolks can vary in color from light yellow to dark orange.

Eggs come in a variety of types to suit different preferences and budgets. However, nutritionally speaking, all eggs are rich in nutrients and can be included in a healthy diet. Regardless of their shell color or farming method, all eggs contain the same vital nutrients unless they have been fortified.

If eggs are noted as nutritionally enhanced, their labeling will specify which nutrient content has been altered. For example, some eggs may be enriched with omega-3 fatty acids or higher Vitamin D levels. Always check the Nutrition Facts label on the carton if you’re ever questioning the nutritional levels.

Check out Egg Nutrition Center’s labeling handout for more details, and other common terms on egg cartons. No matter the hen's diet or farming method, egg farmers make it their mission to provide eggs of the highest quality. They prioritize the health and well-being of their hens and are constantly devoted to promoting sustainable eating habits.

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