6 Different Labels for Eggs: Which One is the Best?

Eggs : All Cracked Up?

Just within the past few decades, eggs have been demonized as having too much cholesterol.

You know the story – you’re eating too much cholesterol, you’re going to clog your arteries. 

But, wait one second there. We know dietary cholesterol is not to blame!

In fact, studies have shown that eating 2-4 eggs per day have very little impact on blood cholesterol levels in most people. (1)

Yep, that’s right. Dietary cholesterol does not influence cholesterol levels in our blood. The body tightly regulates our cholesterol in the blood.

Our body knows when to put the brakes on production, and when to ramp up production in the liver.


Nutrition Bombs

So, now that we've been given a pass to fry up some eggs -- what makes eggs so great, anyway?

1 egg contains (2):

  • 200 milligrams of cholesterol – every cell in our body needs it!
  • All 9 essential amino acids
  • Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K
  • Water-soluble B vitamins
  • Iron, phosphorus, selenium
  • Choline – essential for brain health by providing neurotransmitter production, and helps prevent cholesterol from sticking to our arteries. That’s right, eggs could improve heart health!


Living Conditions & Feed Affect Nutrition Value

Compared to eggs from conventionally-raised chickens, eggs from pasture-raised chickens contain (3,4,5):

  • 2/3 more Vitamin A, 7x more beta-carotene – immune and vision health
  • 3x more Vitamin E –cell and antioxidant health
  • 2x more Omega-3 – anti-inflammatory and heart health
  • 3-6x more Vitamin D – cell and metabolism health
  • More folate and B12 – energy and cell metabolism


Why the Nutritional Difference?

Conventionally-raised chickens generally live in cramped cages or henhouses. They are not given access to sun, fresh air, or peck-worthy insects. They’re fed grain, and are sometimes given antibiotics and hormones. Not a fun, happy, healthy life for a chicky.  

Pasture-raised chickens are free to roam outside in the sun, peck at bugs, insects, plants and are given some commercial feed. They have indoor protection to nest, but otherwise enjoy the outside life. Sounds great, right?!

It’s no wondering these healthy birds hatch healthy eggs. As with cows, happy, healthy chickens provide healthy eggs, so we can be healthy and happy, too!


Labels -- What's the difference?

Navigating the egg section of the grocery store can be tricky. Omega-3 enriched? Organic? Cage-Free? What does it all mean?


Conventional Eggs

Living Condition: Inside an overfilled henhouse or cage.

Feed: Grain-based feed. May be treated with antibiotics and hormones.'



Omega-3 Enriched/Vegetarian-Fed Eggs

Living Condition: Does not indicate living conditions. Chickens could be conventionally raised.

Feed: Grain-based, vegetarian feed. If labeled Omega-3 enriched, could be supplemented with flaxseed. But flaxseed is not a great source of Omega-3s, anyway.

Note: Chickens naturally eat insects, bugs and other critters, so this is not mimicking their natural state.


Organic Eggs

Living Condition: Limited access to the outdoors.

Feed: Not treated with antibiotics or hormones. Received organic feed.


Cage-Free Eggs

Living Condition: Could live in overcrowded henhouses without a cage.

Feed: Unknown, unless indicated on the label. Most likely conventionally fed, if not indicated on the label.



Living Condition: Access to the outdoors 51 percent of their lives. Whether they choose to go outside or not, is unknown.

Feed: Unknown, unless indicated on the label. Most likely conventionally fed, if not indicated on the label.


Pastured Eggs

Living Condition: Roam free outside, given inside protection to nest.

Feed: Forage for insects, plants and commercial feed.


The most nutrient-rich eggs will be eggs from local, pasture-raised chickens.

Find a local farmer to find pasture-raised eggs.  Can’t find pasture-raised eggs, or can’t afford the heftier price tag? Don’t sweat it. Do the best you can! Eggs of all variety are a great source of fat, protein, vitamins and minerals!

Healthy, happy chickens keep us healthy and happy, too!