by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
Have you noticed that “white” foods seem to have a bad reputation when it comes to health? For years, we have been asked to choose brown (wheat) bread over white bread, brown sugar over white sugar, brown rice over white rice, and so on… And same is the case when it comes to brown eggs and white eggs.
Does it mean brown eggs are more nutritious than white eggs? Is it just the color of the shell that makes it superior? Are brown eggs really worth the money since they tend to be more expensive? There’s so much confusion, right? Let’s dive a little deeper to understand if brown eggs live up to the hype.
Brown Eggs vs. White Eggs: Why is There a Difference in the Color?
As per the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), the breed of the hen determines the color of the eggs.
The eggshell depends upon the pigment produced by the hen. The pigment in brown eggs is called protoporphyrin IX. Apart from that, sometimes the color may vary in the breed due to genetics and other factors. For example, a few brown egg-laying hens may start to lay lighter color eggs as they age.
According to a 2015 review, here are a few factors that influence the extent of pigment in brown egg-laying hens:
- Age and strain of the hen
- How producers take care of the hens
- If the hen has certain diseases
- Stress factors like fear, particularly while laying eggs
The Nutritional Value
Let’s break the myth!
There’s absolutely no difference in terms of nutrition when it comes to brown eggs and white eggs. However, the diet and environment can affect the nutritional value.
50 grams of one large egg contains:
- Calories — 71
- Protein — 6.3 grams
- Carbohydrates — 0.3 grams
- Fats — 4.7 grams
Are Brown Eggs or White Eggs Healthier?
If you choose brown eggs over white eggs just because someone told you that they are healthier, you need to continue reading.
According to the USDA, there is no significant amount of difference in the level of nutrition between brown eggs and white eggs. Well, regardless of the shape, size, and color, the nutritional value is the same for both eggs.
Additionally, when it comes to the price, brown eggs are more costly only because they tend to be larger in size, and there is a difference in the food consumption of hens.
Years ago, the cost was due to the brown egg-laying hens being less common and that they produced fewer eggs. However, today, there are just as many brown egg-laying hens as there are white. So, you’re paying more for brown eggs today for really no reason.
5 Reasons and Health Benefits You Should Eat Eggs
Eggs are a great source of protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals. Incorporating eggs into your diet can be one of the best things you can do for your health.
Here are five health benefits that eggs have to offer.
1. Eggs are Highly Nutritious
This small little gem should be a staple in your nutrition plan. Why? As studies show, eggs are packed with an extremely high nutritional value. They contain various vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats, which provide a plethora of health benefits. Eggs are the most bioavailable source of protein out there.
2. Promote Weight Loss
Eggs are low in calories, which makes them perfect for weight loss. Also, eggs help you feel fuller and more energized for a longer period. This helps to avoid snacking in-between meals, which can keep you healthy and fit.
3. Improve Eye Health
Eggs contain vitamin A, an essential nutrient for eye health. Becoming deficient in vitamin A can lead to blindness. Egg yolk contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which may reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. As per studies, egg yolk also helps increase the overall nutrients found in the blood.
4. Improve Brain Health
Studies show that eggs contain choline, an essential nutrient for heart and brain health. It helps in regulating mood and memory and enhances the overall brain function. An egg contains 125.5 mg of choline, which is 25% of the recommended daily requirement.
5. Help Build Muscle
Eggs are a great source of protein, which is the building block of muscles. Fitness freaks and athletes consume eggs on a daily basis as they aid in muscle recovery by helping repair and rebuild torn down muscle fibers from intense workouts.
So, What’s the Bottom Line?Here’s the final takeaway from this article and hitting the main points as a refresher.
The nutritional value of eggs does not depend on the color of the shell. Both brown eggs and white eggs offer the same nutritional value. So, the color of eggs does not matter as much as people play them off to be. But be sure to choose fresh and organic eggs from authentic sources whenever possible.