Yes, Eggs are an amazing source of protein! But when you have it everyday, you start questioning which ones to pick up from the shelves…right?!
Here’s a very interesting article that explores one type of eggs and whether one type of eggs is truly healthier or tastier ! Article from Authority Nutrition by Taylor Jones, RD . Below are some parts summarized before you get to read the whole article:
Eggs Come in Many Colors
Chicken eggs can come in different colors! Chicken eggs can be brown, white, blue (and in China common to see the black!). However, many people don’t know what causes eggs to have different colors.
The answer is quite simple — The color of an egg is determined by the breed of the hen that lays it
The different eggshell colors come from pigments the hens produce. But while genetics is the main factor that determines egg color, other factors can have an influence too (4).
For example, as hens that lay brown eggs age, they tend to lay larger and lighter-colored eggs. The hen’s environment, diet and level of stress may also affect shell color, to some extent (4).
These factors can make the shade lighter or darker, but not necessarily change the color itself. The main factor determining color is still the breed.
Are Brown Eggs Healthier Than White Eggs?
However, scientists have compared eggs with brown shells to those with white shells to see if there is any difference. Several studies have found that shell color has no significant effect on egg quality and composition (9).
However, there are other factors that can affect the nutritional content of an egg.
The hen’s environment and the type of feed a hen eats can affect the nutrient content of egg! For example, eggs from hens that are allowed to roam in the sunshine contain 3–4 times the amount of vitamin D you’d find in eggs from a conventionally raised hen (10).
Hens fed a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids produce eggs that contain much higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than normal.
Does One Color Egg Taste Better?
There is no real difference between the taste of brown- and white-shelled eggs (13)… but factors such as type of feed, freshness and how an egg is cooked may affect the way it tastes.
The diet of a home-raised hen is not the same as that of a conventionally raised hen, which may also affect the flavor of the eggs.
Additionally, the longer the egg is stored, the more likely it is to develop an off flavor. Storing eggs at a stable, low temperature, like in the refrigerator, can help preserve their flavor for longer (13).
These reasons may be why some people believe that eggs from home-raised chickens taste better than those from conventionally raised chickens.
Backyard eggs don’t go through processing and shipping like conventional ones do, so they may end up on your plate more quickly than eggs bought from the store. Because they’re fresher, they may taste better.
Why Are Brown Eggs More Expensive?
This fact has led many people to believe that brown eggs are healthier or higher-quality than white ones.
Today, brown-laying hens have nearly the same production costs as white-laying hens. Nevertheless, their eggs still tend to come with a higher price tag (2).
This may be because specialty eggs, such as free-range or organic, tend to be brown rather than white.
So what should you take into account when buying eggs?
The term “natural” is not regulated in the US because natural cannot be defined (17).
Eggs labeled “naturally raised” or “all natural” are no different than any other egg.
Eggs that are certified as organic in the United States and European Union are from chickens given only organic and non-GMO feed. In addition, they have not been given antibiotics or hormones, though hormones are never permitted for laying hens (18).
The organic label means antibiotics may only be used when medically necessary. Otherwise, low doses of antibiotics are often given in feed and water, which can contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
Currently, there is no evidence that organic eggs are more nutritious than conventional eggs (19).
When the term “cage-free” is applied to eggs, it may be misleading.
While conventionally raised hens in the US are housed indoors in very small, individual cages, cage-free hens are housed in an open building or room (17).
However, the conditions for cage-free hens are often still very crowded, with no access to the outdoors.
Cage-free living may be slightly better for the hen. However, in terms of nutrition, cage-free eggs are probably no healthier than conventional eggs.
The label “free-range” signifies eggs that come from hens housed with some form of continuous access to the outdoors (17).
This ideally provides a better quality of life for the hens.
It may also increase the nutritional quality of the eggs, since hens that are exposed to sunlight produce eggs with much higher vitamin D levels (10).
Omega-3 enriched eggs come from hens fed a diet enriched with healthy omega-3 fats. Therefore, the omega-3 content of the egg is much higher than normal.
Backyard and Local
Eggs that come from backyard flocks or those bought directly from small, local farmers are likely to be the freshest and usually come from hens that live in more natural environments with plenty of access to sunshine.
The diets of backyard hens may be different from conventionally raised hens and this may affect the nutrition content of the eggs, as well.
However, backyard flocks are not subjected to the same hygiene regulations as commercial flocks, so be sure to buy local or backyard eggs only from sources that you know follow good care and hygiene practices.
The Bottom Line
Eggs come in many colors, depending on chicken breed. However, there is no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs. In the end, the only real difference is shell color and maybe price. Nevertheless, other factors do affect the flavor and nutrition of eggs, including the hen’s diet and housing conditions.
So the next time you reach for a carton of eggs, make sure you’re taking these other factors into account. Shell color won’t tell you the whole story.