I've posted before about how eggs are super nutritious, how they don't cause the cholesterol problems like many folks blame them for, and how evidence suggests that consuming 2-3 eggs per day is part of a healthy eating approach. Choosing the right eggs can be confusing. Let's make sense of all of the marketing jargon surrounding eggs so you can make the healthiest choice:
Refers to the hens possibly having a small exit in their confined hen house. They have the option of going outdoors but there's no guarantee that they get pasture access.
May or may not have outdoor access. Their feed is supplemented with an omega-3 source like flaxseed. Likely still kept in confined indoor space for majority of their life.
Your average eggs at the grocery store. These birds are likely living in overcrowded, indoor confines. They're fed mostly grain. There's also a good chance that hormones and antibiotics are being used.
This term indicates that no hormones or antibiotics were used with these hens. There's still a good chance that outdoor access is very limited.
As the name implies, this means that the birds weren't raised in an actual cage. It's still possible that these hens were raised in a crowded indoor space.
PASTURED or PASTURE-RAISED:
These birds are given access to sunshine and green pastures. They can graze on their natural foods like grass, plants, and insects. They're typically given a commercial feed to supplement what they get on the pastures.
WHAT TO CHOOSE:
The big winner within all of this terminology is "pastured" or "pasture-raised." You want to look for terms like open pasture, fields and forage. Eggs from hens that are raised in these types of environments have been shown to be more nutritious than eggs from hens in the other categories.
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Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS spent 6 seasons as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and is the founder of TD Athletes Edge. He is nationally renowned for his evidence-based and scientific approach to fitness, training, nutrition, and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
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