Which Eggs Are Best? (So Many Labels, So Little Time)

The Short Answer from a functional medicine physician

Which Label Matters Most When You're Buying Eggs?

Q: Which eggs are best? The labels confuse me.

A: Eggs are labeled in so many ways, but the label I think is most important is “pasture-raised.”

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Eggs may be labeled “hormone-free,” but chickens don’t actually get hormones. They may be labeled “cage-free,” but the chickens may be locked in a room. They may be labeled free-range, but the chickens may be foraging on cement.

Pasture-raised eggs are best because the chickens can hunt for grubs and larvae to eat. Their shells are really hard, not like the factory-farm egg shells you can crush with your fingers.

Their yolks are a dark yellow-orange — rather than pale yellow — because they contain so much lutein, the same antioxidant nutrient that colors salmon, carrots and sweet potatoes.

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And because of the food that pasture-raised chickens forage, their eggs also contain far more healthy omega-3 fat.

—Mark Hyman, MD, Director, Center for Functional Medicine

Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD, is Director for the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, Chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine and founder of The UltraWellness Center.
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