In this article, I will discuss 5 egg nutrition facts that you should know about!
Let’s get started.
Egg Nutrition Fact #1
A chicken is hatched from an egg not egg white nor just egg yolk.
Nature works in synergy and not in isolation.
Keeping science aside, eat food as nature intended them to- as ‘whole’.
Egg Nutrition Fact # 2
As opposed to conventional wisdom, nutrition in an egg is divided into egg white and the yolk.
Consider this chart:
Image source: The World’s Healthiest Foods
Notice that omega-3 fatty acids are only available in egg yolk.
In addition, most of the fat and water-soluble Vitamin like A, D, E, K, B5, B6, B12, folate, choline are only found in yolks.
Choline is one other very important nutrient only found in egg yolks.
My suggestion is to eat an egg as a whole.
Egg Nutrition Fact # 3
Cholesterol in eggs is NOT A PROBLEM AT ALL.
The evidence is pretty clear that you can eat up to 3 whole eggs daily.
I have written a very detailed post on the studies and research related to cholesterol and eggs here.
Egg Nutrition Fact # 4
The color and the firmness of the egg yolk determines the quality of the egg.
There are predominantly three egg-yolk colors! See image below:
Image source: Can You Tell a Healthy Chicken from the Egg Yolk Color?
Hens lay eggs and the product [eggs] is as healthy as it’s the source [hens!]
If hens are pasture-raised—which means they are allowed to graze on the green pastures throughout the day, where they eat insects, worms, grass, and even weed which is their natural diet then the yolk-color will be dark orange (the one on the extreme left).
The orange color is due to the compound called: Carotenoids.
Carotenoids are anti-oxidants and this compound gives the egg-yolk the orange color. This class of nutrients is found mainly in the pasture feeds.
On the other extreme, when hens are caged, free-range, cage-free (see chart below), basically they spend very little time out in the pastures eating their natural diet i.e. insects and worms.
In this case, hens mostly eat a commercial feed of soy and corn! And the color of yolk from these hens will be pale- yellow!
Because it’s way cheaper to stock up a lot of hens in cages, and even cage-free does not require a significantly large portion of land, these eggs are cheaper!
Image source: Learn What Cage-Free Eggs Means and What It Doesn’t
Bottom line, Egg yolk color is widely regarded as a good indicator of an egg’s health.
Dark orange color, however, is very tough to get. They are super-expensive plus their availability is very limited.
One such brand I consumed for about a year was:
The best eggs in the United States according to Organic Egg Scorecard – The Cornucopia InstituteP
Please do note, because people are willing to pay a premium for orange yolks, companies have started to add synthetics, and other coloring-agents in the feeds of a hen so that the color of yolk comes out to be orange!
A Full-Proof Method to procure a superior egg is to just look at the label.
As you can see in the picture above —the keyword on Stueve Organic eggs is—
Pasture-raised eggs are nutritionally superior to cage-free/free-range eggs and should be preferred.
In one egg-testing project by Mother Earth News in 2007, it was concluded that pasture-raised hens contain:
• 1/3 less cholesterol
• 1/4 less saturated fat
• 2/3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene
2- What about the shell of an egg? Is brown egg superior to a white egg?
This just depends on the breed of hens.
Hens that lay brown eggs are larger in size and they need to be fed more and therefore you will find brown eggs to be more expensive than white eggs!
If you are worried about whether you should have the egg yolk in the first place, read this article:
Egg Nutrition Fact # 5
You should eat soft boiled and keep your yolk slightly running.
If you cook your eggs too much, you oxidize the cholesterol in the yolk which then contributes to chronic inflammation in your body.
The best options are:
-Sunny Side Up-Half Fries (without cooking the yolk)
-Omelette (slightly under-cooked)
It’s best to avoid scrambled eggs as the yolk is thoroughly cooked which may oxidize the cholesterol in the eggs leading to health issues!
However, science is still inconclusive about whether oxidized cholesterol is harmful or not!
Conclusion and My Recommendation
Ideal Choice: Pasture-Raised Eggs. You’ll find these words written on the box that the eggs come in.
In most cases, the yolk you’ll get from these eggs will be orange, could be dark orange too!
There is a slim chance of golden-yellow or bright yellow colored yolks but NEVER Pale-Yellow.
Also, the yolk from pasture-raised hens will be firm, intact, and never runny!
If hens are pasture-raised then the feed will most probably be organic, non-GMO, and also free from herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, and antibiotics.
Although, you cannot assume this and this fact should be mentioned on their box and/or on their website.
Secondary Choice: For most people availability and budget (pasture-raised eggs are expensive) can be an issue. Then opt for:
Organic, Non-Gmo, and also free from herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, and antibiotics.
Free-Range: Hens that are allowed some time in pastures but the area is small and limited.
The color of the yolk from free-range even cage-free maybe bright-yellow or even orange.
It’s very very tough to know if the company is adding coloring-agents to produce orange-yolk or mixing.
Lastly, if you still prefer to eat egg whites to fulfill your daily quota of protein, that’s fine!
Just ensure you include at least 2 whole eggs along with the egg whites to ensure you ingest everything that this superfood has to offer.
What do you think about these egg nutrition facts?
Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!