What to Know When Shopping for the Healthiest Egg

There are different levels of eggs and each indicate how much space the hens get

NBCUniversal, Inc.

When you go to the grocery store, surely, you have seen the number of options in the egg section. There are a number of brands, labels, and cartons - and this week, NBC 6 goes shopping with a nutritionist to find out what all of the labels mean and what are the healthiest type of eggs.

Meryl Brandwein is a nutritionist in Cooper City and helped us navigate the aisles of Whole Foods and how to understand the labels.

First up - is there a difference between brown eggs or white?

“No, not at all when it comes to nutritional value,” said Brandwein.

We won’t try to answer the dilemma what came first, the chicken or the egg but what nutritionists do stress is that the healthier the chicken, the healthier the egg.

There are different levels of eggs and each indicate how much space the hens get.

A cage-free egg is better than a conventional, it essentially means the chickens don’t live in cages. Free-range eggs are a step above, in theory, the hens have outdoor access. Pasture-raised eggs are the best. They come from happier and healthier chickens, according to Brandwein.

“So, pasture-raised, organic is like the crème de la crème,” said Brandwein.

She encourages shoppers to look for pasture-raised and stickers like “Certified Humane”.

“An animal that is raised in a healthy environment, has access to air, and water, and food is going to be a much healthier animal and subsequently the egg is going to be a healthier egg,” she continued.

She warns of labels like “All Natural, “Farm Free”, “Hormone-Free”, ‘Vegetarian-Fed” because they are useless and may not be all what they are cracked up to be.

Healthier eggs are expensive so we asked Brandwein about the best options if we want to save money.

“If you’re feeding a large family, do you want to spend 6 dollars a dozen on eggs? Maybe not, if you’re going through 2 or 3 dozen a week. The next best thing would be cage-free plus,” Brandwein said.

“You can find everything from Cage-Free plus to mobile houses on pasture,” said Jonny Rose, Whole Foods Market Marketing. Stores like Whole Foods have labels to navigate the "egg-cessive" options.

NBC 6 also asked about eggs whites versus the entire egg. Brandwein suggest having the entire egg as all of the nutritional value is in the yolk.

She said concerns about cholesterol in eggs do not equate to blood levels.

Got a story idea for Sheli? Email her at sheli.muniz@nbcuni.com

Contact Us